Washington Redskins: Mike Shanahan, Robert Griffin III Power Play Has Clear Winner

By Greg Bradshaw
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and head coach Mike Shanahan don’t always appear to be on the same page. That can be attributed to Griffin’s torn right ACL injury last season, as well as his subsequent recovery schedule. RG3 wanted to get some preseason work in before the 2013 season began, but was denied those efforts by Shanahan under orders from Dr. James Andrews, RG3’s surgeon.

That doesn’t matter, as RG3 and Shanahan have both come under fire for the Redskins’ poor season in 2013. Each comes with a resume that suggests a chance for Washington to regain some of its past glory. With a 3-8 record, that return isn’t happening this season. That’s a disappointing realization for Redskins fans, considering the quick turnaround that many NFL teams have experienced in recent years.

Many fans are calling for wholesale changes to the Redskins. Some say that Shanahan and his coaching staff need to go. Others say that RG3 needs to go, with reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins becoming the starter. However, there’s no doubt to who’ll stay and who will eventually leave Washington.

RG3 is a second-year quarterback with a tremendous upside. Washington sacrificed first-round selections in 2013 and 2014, as well as a second-round pick in 2014 to obtain his draft rights in 2012. Those high-end draft picks could have helped the Redskins add potential starters to a roster riddled with needs at multiple positions. While RG3 has struggled this season, the aforementioned reasons suggest that Washington is more inclined to give him some more time to develop.

Shanahan has the pedigree for NFL success, evidenced by his two Super Bowl titles as the head coach of the Denver Broncos. However, those titles came in the 1990s with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway under center. Shanahan has a reputation for having a no-nonsense approach. That approach hasn’t produced the desired results, as his Redskins have struggled with inconsistent play supported by dropped passes and missed tackles during Shanahan’s coaching tenure in Washington.

RG3 will survive the power play between himself and Shanahan despite having a less-than-impressive NFL resume. While Cousins is a capable quarterback, RG3’s physical talents dictate that he gives Washington the best chance to win. Meanwhile, Shanahan can’t rest on his past laurels, as his record in Washington includes losing seasons in two of his first three full seasons as the head coach.

Next season is the last season of Shanahan’s five-year contract with the Redskins. While it’s likely he’ll be back to coach in Washington next season, Redskins fans are growing impatient with their team’s constant underachievement. It could cost Shanahan and his coaching staff their jobs, ending yet another tumultuous tenure for the Redskins.

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