At last week's owners meetings in Arizona, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan offered up some thoughts on how Robert Griffin III could avoid suffering further injury going forward. Few if any of those thoughts put any onus on Shanahan or his staff, even though many believe the longtime coach could have done a lot more to protect his quarterback during his rookie season.
And so it was interesting that in a statement via text message to ESPN's Trey Wingo, Griffin would only take a share of the responsibility for the crushing way in which his 2012 season came to a conclusion (emphasis added by me):
My knee is getting better every day. The doctors say I'm ahead of schedule. My goal is to return healthy in week one but if I'm not ready then i will wait until i am, however long that is. My first NFL season and my injury that ended it showed me a lot about the league, my team and myself. I know where my responsibility is within the dilemma that led to me having surgery to repair my knee and all parties involved know their responsibilities as well. I'm looking forward to playing the game we all love so much again and not behind at the negative. Thanks for the overwhelming level of support that I've received, sic 'em Bears and hail to the Redskins!!
The obvious takeaway here is that Griffin is suggesting someone other than himself bears partial responsibility for the circumstances that led to him suffering a major knee injury. And he's absolutely correct.
As Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith points out, both Pardon the Interruption hosts think that Griffin is taking a "direct" shot at Shanahan. And while the shot is actually far from direct, I have a hard time seeing it any other way.
I don't like that Shanahan has been stubborn about the way things went down. I think the Redskins could have done more to keep Griffin from taking hits, and I'd guess that the majority of fans believe he mishandled RG3 against the Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend.
If indeed Griffin is recovering at the "superhuman" speed Dr. James Andrews alluded to last week, then there's little reason to stress here. If RG3 is RG3 again in Week 1, nobody will feel guilty. But if this does drag on longer than expected, innocuous jabs like these could become more direct and destructive in the future.
Right now, Shanahan and Griffin appear to have a great relationship, and that's important. Hopefully the two firm egos won't begin to clash over something from the past that neither can change.
Hopefully this is the end. Shanahan obviously doesn't regret the way he dealt with Griffin last season and Griffin has said his piece. Time to move on.