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Skins Quotes 8/13: M. Shanahan/RG3


The Commissioner
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August 13, 2013

Statement by Quarterback Robert Griffin III

“I just needed to address something was said, or something that’s been going along in the media since I had my press conference yesterday. I just want everybody to know if there’s any questions about if there’s a rift between me and Coach [Mike Shanahan] or if there’s a conflict, there is no conflict. Coach is Coach. I’m the player. Coach has a plan and I’m abiding by that plan. I’m doing everything the coaches are asking me to do. I trust those guys. They want me to have a long career and that’s what part of this plan is about.

“Yesterday, I voiced my opinion about it because I was asked about it. That’s been twisted and turned and tried to put against this team and that’s not what we want. Like I said, Coach is Coach. Kirk [Cousins], Rex [Grossman] and Pat [White] have done a great job all offseason with the team getting in and out of the huddle and making plays, and it’s an honor for me to be in the quarterback room with those guys.

“That being said, I’m excited about tomorrow.”

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On safety Phillip Thomas:

“We got some tough news. Phillip Thomas has a left foot Lisfranc ligament tear and it’ll be four or five months recovery. The X-rays first were negative. They took an MRI, saw a little light spot on the MRI. Dr. [Robert] Anderson wanted to take a look at it. When the swelling went down, they took another X-ray and they found that Lisfranc ligament needed an operation, so that’s what we’re going to have and it’ll be about four- or five-month recovery time.”

On his plan for the second preseason game:

“Normally, going into the second game, we double the reps of the first game. This might be a little bit more depending on how the game goes but in that 25-30 play range is what we normally do in the second game. We’ll just have to kind of get a feel as the game goes, but it’ll be somewhere in that area.”

On if he will place Thomas on the Reserve/Injured list:

“Yes. We’ll put him on IR.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III making a statement:

“I was just told that Robert just spoke to you. I had no idea that that was going to happen.”

On if he believed Griffin III needed to make a statement:

“Well, first of all, I’m not sure what he so I don’t know if he needed to clear anything up. But the one thing that is interesting about a relationship with the head coach and the quarterback is the constant communication. We’ll have lots of talks and that’s just part of a quarterback and a coach maturing their relationship as time goes on. But that happens all the time in the National Football League and I did not know that Robert was going to speak to you. Obviously [Senior Vice President] Tony [Wyllie] just told me that he did. So whatever he said, I hope it was good. Hopefully, you guys enjoyed it.”

On if he and Griffin III are on the same page with their approach to his recovery plan:

“I think the main thing is that it’s always tough when you have a great competitor like Robert. He wants to play. I think you can see his body language; he wants to be out there. That’s a positive I shared with you all yesterday. So I love that. I love the mindset. But we do have a plan for Robert. Hopefully that plan will work. I’m hoping that there’s no setback. He has looked good and hopefully we can keep on getting ready for the first game. Hopefully there’s no setback where we can do that.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:

“Ryan is the type of guy that you’re hoping that you can have for a long time because he can play the outside linebacker position – he can rush outside, he can rush inside. He hasn’t missed a rep. You can count on him. He’s very durable and very intelligent. You never have to worry about his work ethic or his weight. So he’s kind of like a coach’s dream, to be honest with you. You’d love to have a whole football team of Ryan Kerrigans. That’s what you’re looking for and I think you’ll see him get better and better as time goes on.”

On if he will announce the exact number of reps Griffin III will receive tomorrow:

“No. I’m going to try to keep this very exciting for everybody so you guys can count the reps. We’ve got a plan. We’ve got a plan for it. Each week it will be a little bit different and we’ll see how the plan goes. Once I share the plan with you, if I do change it, then all of the sudden, the world starts tumbling down. I don’t need it on SportsCenter every time he takes a rep, so we’ll just see how he practices tomorrow and we’ll definitely have a plan for him over the next three days and we’ll talk about it after each practice.”

On speaking to the team after an on-field skirmish:

“I talked to them after the little scrape we had out there and after practice. What I did share with them is emotions happen all the time in a football game, just like it happened today. But when you have a confrontation like that – and what I saw is our receiver push the defensive back – well, that’s a 15-yard penalty. And then we had a retaliation. Well, that retaliation would have cost us another 15 yards. We had a 15-yard penalty. Why push a guy after we know that that guy lost his poise and made a mistake? Those things transfer over to game day. So the way you practice is the way you play. So if somebody loses their poise, we’ve got to have enough poise or we don’t lose our cool, we can take advantage of the 15-yard penalty, because nobody’s going to get hurt with a push. All you do is hurt your football team.”

On if he liked to see the skirmish:

“That happens all the time. But if you lose your poise, that’s why they run after practice. That’s why they got a quarter of a mile after practice once you lose your poise, just to remind them that in a game you can’t have that happen. There’s nobody that’s worth that 15-yard penalty. You’ve got to keep your composure. It’s the difference in winning and losing, and if they don’t do it here, they won’t do it obviously during the game.”

On defensive end Phillip Merling not practicing:

“Just a rest day for him.”

On tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi not practicing:

“Ankle. Just sore.”

On wide receiver Donté Stallworth not practicing:

“Donté, hamstring. Same thing. We don’t want to overwork him.”

On safety Brandon Meriweather and the status of other various players:

“Yeah, he [Meriweather] didn’t have very many reps today. [Ryan] Mouton, obviously we kept out with the hamstring. No difference with [Jeremy] Kimbrough. I guess that’s about it… Devery [Henderson] is still not back from the funeral. Should be back here, I believe, tomorrow. That’s my understanding.”

On how the relationship between he and Griffin III impacts the locker room:

“When you take a look at the coach’s responsibility and the quarterback’s responsibility, each person, they’re in a leadership role. Robert is an energetic guy that wants to play. He shared that with you how bad he wants to play. I do talk to Robert. I talk to him different ways that I think that you can lead or different ways to handle different situations. I will throughout the year but it doesn’t change a person’s personality. Me and John Elway use to have knockdown, drag-out fights all the time. That is a part of being a competitor and that is another reason you have great relationships with your quarterbacks. That’s part of the process. You want that strong mindset, but at the same time, when I look back at my experience dealing with all these injuries, I think I have got a good feel what a guy can do and what a guy can’t do and what it takes to get him ready for his first game. That is what I hope to do.”

On how Thomas’ reps will be divided:

“We will just wait and see. We got 90 players in camp. You lose a guy, competition still goes on. These guys are one play away from being the starter. We’ve got a lot of quality players out there. It will be interesting to see who makes the final 53 and also the eight on the practice squad.”

On who monitors dehydration:

“It surely is not me. I can see when somebody is limping or somebody is very tired, but [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] usually keeps an eye on keeping the guys hydrated, drinking plenty of fluids before practice and afterwards. They weigh them before, they weigh them afterwards. Sometimes they will have an IV. Our training staff usually does a great job of taking care of those players. But every once in a while, a guy will sneak off and probably do an interview and all of the sudden they get caught up with dehydration and a few cramps. Hopefully we take care of it very quickly.”

On the addition of Special Teams Coordinator Keith Burns:

“It’s been good. I’ve known Keith Burns for a long time. Not only was he a great player, he’s a great motivator. He’s done a fantastic job when he was at Denver. I like what he’s doing here. He’s very well-organized. It’s still a process, though. Anytime you learn a new system, just like offense or defense, it doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve made some strides and hopefully over the next three preseason games we can keep on getting better and be ready for our first game the way we like to prepare.”

On the difference in wide receiver Joshua Morgan’s cutting ability since having screws removed from his ankle this offseason:

“Last year, he could hardly cut. You could see that. He wanted to play. He wanted to compete, but he really had a hard time getting in and out of breaks. You could see that. We kept on waiting for him to improve and it didn’t. It didn’t improve, but he played through it and he played hurt and he played tough. Now you can see much improvement in his ability to cut, and I think he’s just getting better and better.”
You want that strong mindset, but at the same time, when I look back at my experience dealing with all these injuries, I think I have got a good feel what a guy can do and what a guy can’t do and what it takes to get him ready for his first game. That is what I hope to do.”

This says it all for me. Shanahan knows what he is doing. Hope it works out and I'm on board all the way. Griffin needs to be managed, and Shanahan knows he can't just "cut him loose". I like the approach. Fits with the "play within the scheme" mentality and it appears Robert is on board as well, he knows his role.

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