WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Darrell Green was incredibly forthcoming Thursday with his feelings on the Redskins coming apart at the seams, and what a 3-7 record ultimately means for Mike Shanahan.
But he was also glowing of Robert Griffin III, who he recently indicated was not “the leader” of the Redskins, although he clarified Thursday, is still very much a leader.
“This is very interesting because when I spoke, people heard the quote and still ignored it, and said I said he wasn’t a leader,” Green told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny. “I never once said he wasn’t a leader. The question was asked to me was ‘Was he the leader?’ And I said ‘No, he’s not the leader.’”
The interview to which Green is referring was on Inside the NFL a little more than a week ago, and the questioner was James Brown.
Here was Green’s response, when asked to name the Redskins’ leader, not the face-of-the-franchise:
“I think that’s a problem,” Green said. “I think it’s super important to have leadership, and I don’t think [RGIII] really is the leader.”
“Who do you think is the leader?” James Brown asked.
“I don’t know if they have a leader,” Green said.
So, to clarify, Green thinks Griffin is a leader, just not the leader, but also doesn’t know if the Redskins have a leader.
Now, on to the glowing RGIII comments.
“I want to say, and I will make it very clear, I think very highly of this young kid,” Green said to Holden and Danny.
“There’s a lot of pressure. I mean, this is Washington, D.C.,” he said earlier in the interview. “Do you know we haven’t really been a real winner for twenty years? We’ve won, we went to some playoff games, but we haven’t really been that real, what we have historically believed is ‘We are winning. We are the Washington Redskins.’ But we haven’t been that in twenty years, and every coach and every player that has come through here still has to live under the pressure that this community, that we expect and all that goes with being an athlete.”
Asked to offer some advice for Griffin in dealing with the media, Green said he believes the franchise quarterback has done a 180 since last year, and has really learned to humanize himself in front of the media and to fans, which is admirable, he says.
“I think that you communicate with the media like human beings, you speak to them, you cause them to respond to you like a human, you don’t have your head down, you don’t, you know, ‘Whoa is me,’” Green said, fulfilling the advice portion of the request. “You just speak like a human and you communicate. And it doesn’t always have to be something you like, but you communicate with these guys, cause guess what? You guys are just human beings, you’re not like some, you know, Martians or something.”
Dealing with the media can be a blessing and a curse, although, it’s increasingly becoming a necessity. It can pave a path to a post-career in broadcasting, and open doors to business ventures from the exposure alone. But it can also damage careers, if too little care is taken in ones’ own words, or public image in general, and circumnavigating the media altogether strains one’s ability to ingratiate himself to the fans.
“Just talk and communicate,” Green continued. “And I think that this young man is starting to do a better job, cause I think, at the end of the day, when people really feel like they know you, they felt your pain, they felt your joy, and I think in the beginning, he wasn’t going to let you feel his pain.
“I think now, he’s willing to say, ‘You know what guys, this hurts. I’m hurting. I’m not feeling good. I don’t like what’s happening.’ You know what? I appreciate that. And I think that’s the way you deal with the media. You deal with them like you’re talking to your friend, or down the street. Just be free. Just be free. You don’t have to try to cover, because like you said, y’all are gonna dissect everything anyway.”
As always, full context below.