Don't Read Too Deeply into Dr. James Andrews' 'Concerns' Regarding RG3
There's a new dramatic development in the soap opera that is Robert Griffin III's recovery from early offseason knee surgery, but something doesn't smell right this time.
Sources telling me the "concerns" about @RGIII have less to do with health of the knee, much more on how the team plans to use him— trey wingo (@wingoz) August 30, 2013
I realize that Dr. James Andrews has a close connection to the Washington Redskins organization. Officially, he's the team doctor. But I believe something is being made out of nothing here simply because I refuse to believe that the doctor is privy to any of the details regarding the offensive strategies Mike Shanahan will be implementing this season.
What @wingoz also reports: Dr. Andrews does not want Redskins to expose RGIII's knee to punishment during games.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2013
This is speculative, but I believe, quite simply, that when Dr. Andrews gave his final green light to Griffin and the team on Thursday in Tampa, he smartly reminded all involved parties that Griffin can't continue to take the sorts of hits he did during his rookie season.
If Shanahan, the team or Griffin didn't already realize that, they'd have much bigger problems on their hands. It's common sense.
Everybody knows RG3 has to alter his game to a degree. He has to get out of bounds more, he has to slide more and Shanahan probably has to consider putting him in fewer situations that could lead to contact.
But by including that disclaimer in his final evaluation, it gave Shanahan an opportunity to play some final mind games, both with Griffin and with upcoming opponents. Of course, in the process, he's also playing games with our hearts, but that's collateral damage.
The point is that it gave Shanahan a chance to hit the brakes one last time, asserting his control while citing legitimate yet obvious "concerns" coming from Dr. Andrews. Here's what he told the media Thursday night, via Brian Tinsman of the team's official website:
Methinks Mike Shanahan is just trying to confuse everyone.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) August 30, 2013
I did talk to Dr. Andrews, and Dr. Andrews—after talking to him—he’s going to approve Robert to play. There’s a couple concerns [Dr. Andrews] has. ... I’ll talk to Robert over the weekend and let you guys know on Monday.
It seems now those "concerns" have been leaked a little earlier than expected, which has caused a Friday afternoon frenzy. The silly, but horrifying, assumption many will now make is that Dr. Andrews has looked at Griffin's knee, compared it to the Redskins' 2013 offensive playbook and decided that the two can't be friends. When in reality, his words of caution were very likely based merely on the past.
His warning would thus be no more relevant than the broad advice once given to all of us by philosopher George Santayana, who died 60 years ago and thus had a very limited feel for the 2013 Redskins playbook:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Simple enough, right?
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