WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins penned a recent column which paints Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III as a bragging, finger-pointing egotist who’s been so empowered by Daniel Snyder, it should give head coaching candidates pause about taking the reigns in Washington.
Previous Washington Redskins coaches only had to deal with one divisive influence at the top of the franchise. Now there are two. The next head coach will have to cope not just with owner-supremo Daniel Snyder’s interference, but with the added complication of a 23-year-old boy emperor who believes he can dictate everything from the play-calling to what’s served at training table. You don’t like eggs? Take it up with Robert Griffin III.
On the surface, the presence of Griffin should be a lure for a head coach: Who wouldn’t want to work with an electromagnetic talent who just needs some schooling as a dropback passer to become one of the most powerful weapons in the league, right? That’s how it should be. But it’s not.
Instead, any head coaching candidate will be hesitant about working with a player whose rampant owner-empowered entitlement was clearly part of the team’s problem this season. Once, Griffin was an immensely likable, unpretentious kid who was wide open to collaboration. But according to insiders, Griffin’s public campaign to have the offense altered for him was just the tip of his egotism in his second year. Behind closed doors, Griffin had fierce finger-pointing tensions with his wide receivers, and he bragged to teammates that he could procure favors from the owner and influence the franchise’s direction.
The last RGIII slam piece by Jenkins — in which she identified Griffin as an unteachable know-it-all — came prior to all the reports leaked to the media as the season was winding down, which would lead to Griffin being benched for the final three games and eventually, Mike Shanahan being fired. In fact, the Redskins were 2-5 and still had an outside shot at turning their season around.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. The Redskins continued to sink as leaks sprung all over, and the separation between Griffin and Shanahan seemed to grow outwardly more unrecoverable with each passing day.
It seems impossible that Jenkins’ source could be anyone other than Shanahan (one of them).
Regardless, it’s only fair for fans to hear both sides before forming an honest opinion that could change their perception of Griffin forever.
In this case, you really can’t turn to the player to confirm/deny the details of the story (although, it would be remarkable to hear a reporter approach RGIII with the question ‘Is your ego the reason this team is failing?’). So let us turn to the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan for counterargument.
From the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan, Tuesday morning:
“These are things that keep coming from outsiders, from like Sally, who is, by the way, basically a well-established leaker for Mike Shanahan. Isn’t that pretty much established?
“I don’t think it’s established, I think a lot of people speculate that,” JP said.
“So you’re saying she’s got a good tight relationship with Mike,” Lurch asked.
“Yes,” EB said.
“If you say so. I didn’t know that,” Lurch said.
“It’s not my opinion, I think that is the general perception,” EB said.
“It doesn’t mean he’s lying about it,” Lurch said.
“No, but it’s his perception,” EB said. “I think also that Mike has had his own sort of, there’s no question Mike has had his own agenda here in the last month or so. It’s been sort of a crash and burn, scorched earth policy.”
“It doesn’t mean that he’s not being truthful when it comes to those things,” EB said.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s accurate,” EB said. “I mean it could be his perception. I could see a scenario where, okay, guys fight in meeting rooms all the time. That’s for one. Number two, I could see a scenario where you’re joking around in a weight room, and you say ‘Hey, you don’t like the eggs? I’ll talk to Dan.’ That doesn’t mean he can actually get the eggs changed. So both of those allegations, they could be very innocuous and silly.”
Now having examined the situation from both sides, you can form a sensible, well-rounded opinion, rather than one made in blind haste, and rooted in magic fairy dust, or whatever it is that makes people believe other humans aren’t capable of both good and evil.
Hopefully, strictly for the sake of D.C. being a happy place to live next season, everything Jenkins wrote proves to be invalid and Griffin’s still in possession of a malleable young mind willing to learn from whoever takes over the Redskins.
Listen to the full argument in the clip below.