By Matt Fisk: Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is reportedly furious that he’s been benched for the final three games of the season by Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan. RG3 was benched in order to protect him from being hurt in the final three games of the season, says Shanahan. That was his rationale for putting RG3 on the bench and letting backup Kirk Cousins start for the final games of the season.
NFL.com writer Ian Rapoport said that RG3 is “extremely angry” at being benched for the reasons that Shanahan stated. RG3 doesn’t seem to buy the excuse that Shanahan gave for putting him on the shelf for the remainder of the season.
Mike Silver of the NFL Network is reporting that it was Redskins owner Daniel Snyder who was the one that wanted to draft RG3 last year. He was the one that decided to give up three 1st round draft picks and a 2nd rounder in order to get him. In other words, RG3 was his baby, his guy and the one that he wanted rather than who Shanahan wanted to draft. This might help explain why Shanahan isn’t shy about wanting to replace RG3 as the starting quarterback after his poor play this season in leading the Redskins to a 3-10 record.
By replacing RG3, it would also give Shanahan a convenient scapegoat to blame for the Redskins being so bad this season. If Cousins can come in and look good while taking the Redskins to wins in their final three games, then Shanahan comes out looking like the smart one for his lack of interest in drafting RG3 in the first place.
Silver’s sources are saying that Shanahan is switching quarterbacks not because of his desire to protect RG3 from injury in the final games, but rather because of his poor play. I think it’s pretty much academic at this point that’s the reason why Shanahan is making this move. If it’s true that he was never in favor or picking RG3 in the first place, then his performance issues this season was enough for him to give him the boot from the starting job.
Historically, if you look at the teams that Shanahan has coached over the years, he seems to have mostly had pocket passers as his quarterbacks rather than mobile quarterbacks like RG3. It could be that he favors the pocket passers more than the guys that run around.