The rumblings coming out of Redskins Park aren’t quieting. In fact, they’re only growing louder.
It seems as though every week there is another quote from Robert Griffin III, Dr. James Andrews or Mike Shanahan regarding the quarterback’s injured knee. And each time another interview is given or a tweet is posted, more questions arise.
Are the Washington Redskins handling the situation properly? Is this a smokescreen to get on national television? Is this really good for Griffin’s career? And most importantly, what happens if he’s not ready?
Griffin has stated he will not put his career in jeopardy simply to be ready for Week One.
Conversely, Shanahan recently stated RGIII was going to set a record for his quick recovery.
The incessant chatter is the antithesis of everything the coach typically is. The cards in Ashburn are played closer to the vest than Chris Moneymaker’s at the World Series of Poker.
“It’s a little bit odd, to me anyway, that he continues to go along with this whole hype up the expectations about Griffin’s recovery,” Mike Jones of The Washington Post told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes. “Maybe he really is that enamored with the progress he’s seen this guy make. So, he’s talking this way.”
Shanahan’s demeanor is in direct contrast with the way he’s operated since taking over the franchise more than three seasons ago.
“With a guy who’s always cautious about everything and doesn’t say anything about anything, this is really breaking from his normal routine,” Jones added. “If ever there was a time to be cautious and lower expectations, this would be it.”
Which leads to another question. What is the driving force behind the constant breaking of silence? Money, perhaps?
Arrington thinks that’s plausible.
“My reasoning is you have to utilize your commodities,” he said. “You have to maximize. I say ticket sales.”
Not that the Redskins have difficulty moving tickets. The franchise has sold out 377 consecutive home games, including the postseason, and boasts of a mile-long waiting list for season tickets.
Aside from the money, Arrington also hit on something that hasn’t been nearly as heavily speculated.
“You would have to assume that Mike Shanahan is doing something that is uncharacteristic of him because for once it is a player, not a team, that he is depending on,” the former linebacker said.
Back to the money… It has been suggested the push is being made to get the Redskins on national television this season. ESPN has already given Washington the benefit of the doubt and putting them on the third Monday night of the preseason.
The regular season schedules are being finalized and will be released shortly. A healthy Griffin would go a lot way to ensuring the Redskins are prominently showcased to a national audience.
Certainly the spotlight will help to increase an already booming Redskins brand, furthering jersey and merchandise sales, as RGIII’s popularity soars to an all-time high and millions more dollars roll in.
But rushing him back could actually be bad for business in the long run.
“I understand that you want to sell hope and everything like that. But at the same time, I think you have to be mindful about the messages you’re sending out,” Jones said. “And maybe behind closed doors he is saying to Robert and (head trainer) Larry Hess, ‘Look. Take this thing slow. Be really careful.’ Then, it just seems like there’s almost a disconnect with the hype machine that they’re driving right now with the ‘super human’ and the ‘record setting’ and all that type of stuff. I don’t quite get it.”