by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The reach of Robert Griffin III’s popularity is undeniable, and extends far beyond the barriers of Washington, D.C.

In short, he’s a media darling and every word he utters is magnified beyond believability.

When RGIII speaks, everyone listens, and he is very deliberate.

Each word is meticulously crafted, then laser guided to its intended recipient, through layers and layers of media.

In a recent cover story for ESPN the magazine, J.R. Moehringer – the story’s author – spoke of the moment the Redskins quarterback awoke in a hospital bed following an operation to repair his mangled knee, which was ripped to shreds in a playoff game just days before. He spoke of the people in the room anxiously awaiting Griffin’s first words, and spoke of them as family to him. His football family.

Everyone in this football family, which according to the story, consisted of  Dan Snyder, Redskins owner; Bruce Allen, general manager; Tony Wyllie, head of public relations, was standing above Griffin as he opened his eyes after surgery, all with tears in theirs.

Then the author allowed Griffin to speak, and one very revealing word stood out among all others: trust.

“It’s tough for professional athletes to trust anyone in this business,” Griffin said. “When the owner of the team, the general manager of the team, the PR director of the team, they’re all there, that’s how you know: I can trust these guys.”

There was one name missing from this statement.

Mike Shanahan.

It wouldn’t be strange that Shanahan’s name was left had he not allowed Griffin to remain in that opening-round playoff game, clearly injured, for his knee to be left in harm’s way, and eventually torn.

It wouldn’t be strange had Griffin not associated every higher-up at Redskins Park, but Shanahan, with the word trust.

But he did.

The issue of context was raised by 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Wednesday:

“Shanny is the second biggest man in this organization behind Dan Snyder, and it looks to me as though he just left him out, and he’s talking about trust,” Holden said. “Am I digging too deep into this?”

“I think so,” Danny responded. “I think it’s just an omission in that moment, because two paragraphs later he’s talking about conversations that he and Mike Shanahan had. And I’ve seen some of those similar reports that Shanahan was down there, but I think this was just to offer a little bit more color into it.”

“This is a very calculated kid,” Holden bounced back. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows everything he’s going to say is scrutinized.”

The only thing that rivals RGIII’s athleticism on the field is his intelligence off it. He knows the line between loyalty and disrespect and can dictate the words to walk you to it.

“Your survivor instinct kicks in. You’re like, ‘I’m a warrior. I’m a beast. I do all these things, I can push through adversity,'” Griffin said of his mentality in the playoff game against Seattle.

Mike Shanahan was entrusted to override Griffin’s instincts willing him to stay on the field, and pull him from the game. He did not.

If you want to know if RGIII has trust issues with his head coach, start with his words and see where they take you.

But hey…

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