ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — The dynamic between Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan was again on display Wednesday at Redskins Park as the quarterback and head coach were each asked to describe their relationship.
In somewhat of a reversal of personalities, it was the veteran coach who offered a more light-hearted response than the franchise player, who is 38 years his junior.
When asked to describe the progression of their rapport since last season’s turbulent ending, Shanahan jokingly replied to the inquisitive reporter: “Which area? Are you talking about football? Are you talking about when we go to the local pub and have a beer together?”
The quip brought a laugh as Griffin is a notorious non-drinker.
Shanahan then transitioned into a more serious tone and tried to dance around the question a bit. He spoke of Griffin’s well-documented recovery from knee surgery and the quarterback’s tough mindset before ultimately tackling the inquiry in swift and direct fashion when pressed.
“I think we have a good relationship,” he said. “I think it’s always been good. I know some of the things I read it’s not always that good, but I’ve always felt it’s been good.”
Griffin, who initially took a more matter-of-fact approach when fielding questions from reporters a short time later, did chuckle when told of Shanahan’s playful pub comment.
The 23-year-old defended criticism of the coaching staff from those outside of the organization, saying they are “trying to sink the ship.” Griffin acknowledged that blunt critiques come with the territory when a team has just three wins through 12 games in the season.
He too had to be pressed to give a direct answer regarding his relationship with Shanahan and the direction of the organization.
“I think these guys have a great future,” Griffin said. “I love having them here. That’s all I can say. We’re focused on Kansas City. They’re focused on Kansas City and that’s all we can control.”
As for whether trust is an issue between the two, Griffin said it has developed as much as possible since Washington selected him second overall in last year’s draft.
“I haven’t spent a lot of time here. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the league,” he said. “And it takes time to build that trust over time with a coach anytime.”