Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III and head coach Mike Shanahan have had a difference of opinions since the start of training camp. Griffin III, or “RG3”, has been eager to increase his preseason practice workload since he suffered a torn right ACL during the 2012 NFL season. He vows he will be prepared for the Redskins’ season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9.
However, Shanahan has opted to gradually ease RG3 back into the offense. Shanahan finally gave his approval for his franchise quarterback to participate in 11-on-11 drills this past week. Griffin III wanted to participate in these drills earlier in preseason, but he’s not authorized to make such decisions. On the surface, it sounds like a frustrating situation between player and coach.
In reality, this situation is anything but frustrating. NFL fans know that RG3 will be on the field ready to play against the Eagles. Shanahan had faced criticism for leaving RG3 in the 2012 Wild Card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks last season. The head coach faces a no-win situation in regards to integrating Griffin III back into the offense.
Here’s why: if Shanahan gives RG3 increased snaps during practice (and maybe even during preseason games), he’ll face criticism that he’s risking injury to his quarterback once again. Resting RG3 and allowing reserve quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman and Pat White to handle the quarterbacking duties during the preseason seems like the right move. However, RG3 might be rusty when he returns against the Eagles. If he and the Redskins struggle early in the season, concerned observers may look to his inactivity during the preseason as the basis for the team’s early plight.
All of that doesn’t matter now. Shanahan is a top-flight NFL head coach with an impressive resume, while RG3 is an impressive young quarterback who has the skills and the mental capabilities reflective of a franchise quarterback. If they can get through training camp with Griffin III healthy and ready to play, the sky’s the limit for the Washington Redskins.