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Shanahan says Griffin is the starting quarterback

Washington Redskins owner Snyder and coach Shanahan watch quarterback Griffin III during a rookie minicamp in Ashburn Reuters

In the days preceding the draft, Robert Griffin III (i.e., RG3) said he’d have to beat out Rex Grossman (i.e., RG3-and-out) to become the starting quarterback in Washington.

Griffin already has.

He’s the starter.  Period,” coach Mike Shanahan said Sunday, at the conclusion of a rookie minicamp.

The far bigger surprise is that Shanahan acknowledged that he and son Kyle, the team’s offensive coordinator, won’t insist on Griffin running the existing offense exactly the way they want him to run it.

“We’re going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with,” Shanahan said, “and we’ll watch him grow and we’ll do what we feel like he can do and what he does the best. . . .  One thing the NFL is not used to is a quarterback with his type of speed and his type of throwing ability, so I think we can do some things that people haven’t done.”

It’s the smart approach, especially since they gave up so much to get Griffin.  Expecting a quarterback to play like a drone makes sense when the quarterback possesses run-of-the-mill skills.  Griffin has the potential to operate at a much higher level — and Shanahan realizes that it makes sense to let Griffin do the things that made the Redskins willing to give up the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft, two future first-round picks, and a second-round pick.

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73 Responses to “Shanahan says Griffin is the starting quarterback”
  1. jaggedmark says: May 6, 2012 8:19 PM

    Is this the same Shanahan that alienated Haynesworth and McNabb?

  2. warrenmoon says: May 6, 2012 8:20 PM

    Rex probably threw an interception when they were going on air.

  3. altoon88 says: May 6, 2012 8:20 PM

    I don’t usually say lol, but when I do, it is usually in regards to RG3 having to “beat out” Rex Grossman.

  4. bigks77 says: May 6, 2012 8:21 PM

    Worked for JaMarcus!

  5. sledgehorn says: May 6, 2012 8:22 PM

    This is the most shocking news since the Colts announced they were taking Andrew Luck.

  6. cannonballdookie says: May 6, 2012 8:23 PM

    Wow, I would have never guessed. Thanks Mike (Shanahan).

  7. killerron says: May 6, 2012 8:23 PM

    Gee, I thought that drama might carry until the last preseason game. Good! RG3 needs to be on the field. The ‘skins have a mountain to climb in the NFC East.

  8. nflovercollegefb says: May 6, 2012 8:24 PM

    Donovan McNabb is jealous.

  9. lostsok says: May 6, 2012 8:27 PM

    What is the upside of declaring him the starter now? Don’t get it? Confidence? You’d think you’d rather have him feeling less… entitled. What happens if he struggles and isn’t ready…doesn’t it then look like a setback if he loses the starting job…rather than just part of the growth process? I don’t see the upside of doing it this way.

  10. cali49er707 says: May 6, 2012 8:27 PM

    who would of thought their could be a qb controversy in the first week of may?? all this drama over two unproven rookies is actually kind of funny!!!

  11. khmer379 says: May 6, 2012 8:29 PM

    No way!!!

  12. jwreck says: May 6, 2012 8:35 PM

    jaggedmark- are those the same haynesworth and mcnabb who will be watching football from their couches in September ?

  13. xx4zu1 says: May 6, 2012 8:35 PM

    Sure that’s what Shanny says now until the kid starts to pull it down and take off when there are open receivers.

  14. bchapman2011 says: May 6, 2012 8:37 PM

    lostsok says:
    May 6, 2012 8:27 PM
    What is the upside of declaring him the starter now? Don’t get it? Confidence? You’d think you’d rather have him feeling less… entitled. What happens if he struggles and isn’t ready…doesn’t it then look like a setback if he loses the starting job…rather than just part of the growth process? I don’t see the upside of doing it this way.
    ————————————————
    Normaly a coach would not have to do this but when you puzzle everybody by taking a second rookie QB with numerous other holes on your team you kind of have to declare this early. Washington is trying to avoid a QB controversy even though they initiated it by drafting Cousins.

  15. soundslikehail says: May 6, 2012 8:42 PM

    people new to this site, please ignore comments from peytonsneck18 and chadgoy, they are kids trying to start an argument. do not indulge them

  16. mungman69 says: May 6, 2012 8:42 PM

    RG111 a starter? We will see

  17. emptybackfield says: May 6, 2012 8:45 PM

    The upside of doing it this way is to give RG3 the lions share of first team snaps instead splitting them.

  18. patriots123456 says: May 6, 2012 8:45 PM

    You mean he isn’t going to be standing on the sidelines holding a clipboard?

    How could Denver have let Shanahan go? He must be a genius.

    A starter. OK

    Let’s see if he is a finisher.

  19. itsmammoth says: May 6, 2012 8:45 PM

    Welcome to the NFC East… RG 3 and out.

  20. dmq13 says: May 6, 2012 8:47 PM

    I dont know why Rex Grossman would be called RG3 and out…he throws far to many interceptions to make it to fourth down!

  21. jlhdcart says: May 6, 2012 8:54 PM

    Welcome to the 21st century! Shanahan’s

  22. starderup says: May 6, 2012 8:57 PM

    I am shocked that any QB could unseat the immortal Grossman!!! LOL!

  23. stunzeed5 says: May 6, 2012 8:57 PM

    RGIII is going to take this team to new heights…..you’ll be surprised just how much a confident, skilled QB can improve all units on offense.

    Shoot, even the defense because I’m thinking the Skin’s will have a lot less three-n-outs!

    Hail.

  24. pacodawg says: May 6, 2012 8:59 PM

    Weedon will be better it’s not track and field, it’s football

  25. patriots123456 says: May 6, 2012 9:00 PM

    I heard they are bringing in R2D2 to talk to RG3.

  26. andyb053 says: May 6, 2012 9:02 PM

    itsmammoth says:
    May 6, 2012 8:45 PM
    Welcome to the NFC East… RG 3 and out.

    ——————————————-

    Way to try to be clever, but as Florio points out, that title already belongs to somebody who has played in the NFC East for two years.

  27. jrfrom508 says: May 6, 2012 9:05 PM

    RG3-and-out is HILARIOUS

  28. msclemons67 says: May 6, 2012 9:06 PM

    Seriously, we have to give Florio a huge thumbs up for RG3-and-out. That’s classic. Mike unleashed the dragon on that one.

    Griffin is going to rock the NFL. He’s got it all – poise, mobility, accuracy and arm strength. Steve Young 2.0 I absolutely hate the Redskins but I’ll be watching their games to see RGIII.

  29. freedomispopular says: May 6, 2012 9:07 PM

    Will he stake his reputation on it?

  30. Randall Jenkins says: May 6, 2012 9:10 PM

    I think a.k.a would have been the optimal choice over i.e., but RG3 and out is hilarious.

  31. gweez76 says: May 6, 2012 9:10 PM

    Based on that picture RG3 is 7’7 and should have no prob throwing over his lineman

  32. gibbskins9 says: May 6, 2012 9:14 PM

    Do you really think the Skins drafted RGIII for Rex Grossman to start. Cmon, Can’t be any worse

  33. 8man says: May 6, 2012 9:15 PM

    The time is now. This kid is ready. Read his bio on wiki. Impressive stuff. Will he win right away? No. But neither did Aikmen who went 1-15 in his first year.

    Hope in Washington is alive.

  34. jwreck says: May 6, 2012 9:27 PM

    bchapman2011 says: May 6, 2012 8:37 PM
    Normaly a coach would not have to do this but when you puzzle everybody by taking a second rookie QB with numerous other holes on your team you kind of have to declare this early. Washington is trying to avoid a QB controversy even though they initiated it by drafting Cousins.
    ______
    cali49er707 says: May 6, 2012 8:27 PM

    who would of thought their could be a qb controversy in the first week of may?? all this drama over two unproven rookies is actually kind of funny!!!
    _________

    If either of these guys had bothered to read the article, they would have noticed that Cousins name does not come up once. Griffin was given the start over incumbent starter Rex Grossman. The only place a Washington quarterback controversy ever existed was in the headlines of ESPN and PFT. Washington was in sore need of a backup quarterback and Kirk Cousins was the highest rated player on DC’s draft board when their pick came up, so, after first calling Griff to let him know what they were doing, the Redskins picked Cousins. There has never been any doubt in anyone involved with the team’s mind as to who is the starter and who is the backup.

    No one forced Shanahan’s hand on the decision to make Griffin a starter. Nor is it putting undue pressure on Griffin, the coaching staff has watched him play against rookies for three days straight. Now, Shanahan and co. feel it’s in the team’s best interests to let RGIII take all the first team snaps once OTA’s begin so the coaches can get a better read on his strengths and weaknesses and how he will perform against NFL veterans.

  35. chibears5 says: May 6, 2012 9:37 PM

    Can we just rewind to this time last year when he declared Rex Grossman AND John Beck were starting caliber QB’s in the NFL. Shanahan and the Skins deserve each other. The Washington fans deserve better.

  36. illwillthemick says: May 6, 2012 9:42 PM

    “One thing the NFL is not used to is a quarterback with his type of speed and his type of throwing ability, so I think we can do some things that people haven’t done.” ummmmm hey shan just go back to that game where mike vick butt raped you guys!!!! hahahahaha we sure know u ant used to actually defending that… hahhahahahaha

  37. clw1906 says: May 6, 2012 9:43 PM

    warrenmoon says:
    May 6, 2012 8:20 PM
    Rex probably threw an interception when they were going on air.

     Yeah man would be funny if the vets were there but ummmm

  38. tommyribs says: May 6, 2012 9:55 PM

    Is it a surprise that RGIII is the Starter?

    I mean, people are act like Shannahan is an idiot. The guy won Two Super Bowls.

  39. starderup says: May 6, 2012 10:03 PM

    @tommyribs: At least, he was there. Not sure if he can or will ever see a playoff game again. Personally, I think he is a 1st class sphincter.

  40. humpofdc says: May 6, 2012 10:06 PM

    That’s RIGHT! Skinz to the Superbowl SUCKERS!!!! HTTR!!!!!!

  41. baddegg says: May 6, 2012 10:07 PM

    8man says: May 6, 2012 9:15 PM

    Will he win right away? No. But neither did Aikmen who went 1-15 in his first year.

    —————

    Yeah, but the difference is, the first time RGIII throws one incomplete pass, half of the posters will gleefully point out that he is a bust, RGLeaf, Cousins is breathing over his shoulder, Shanahan is a controlling devil, etc.

    Besides that, Tiki being flabbergasted and Drew Brees requiring an explanation…

  42. peytonsneck18 says: May 6, 2012 10:30 PM

    RG3 still blows as does the redskins

  43. tommyj20 says: May 6, 2012 10:38 PM

    This is the same guy that traded a 2nd round pick for a QB another division rival was willing to part with, declare him the savior, then bench him down 1 score with 2 minutes to go, only to give him a new contract the same week. He is also the guy who staked his career on Beck and Grossman’s abilities because despite the football world knowing the truth, he knew better. The guy is an egotistical jackass. He is proud of them giving up everthing they did to move up and get him, and now he is already saying “See, I was right, he’s already #1 on the depth chart.”

  44. k0mbucha says: May 6, 2012 10:45 PM

    jaggedmark says: May 6, 2012 8:19 PM

    Is this the same Shanahan that alienated Haynesworth and McNabb?
    —————————————–

    What an idiotic statement!!

    So what exactly are McNabb and Haynesworth doing now?

  45. eknirb says: May 6, 2012 10:55 PM

    Snyder’s still there. Doesn’t matter who the QB is.

  46. baddegg says: May 6, 2012 10:55 PM

    peytonsneck18 says: May 6, 2012 10:30 PM

    RG3 still blows as does the redskins

    —————

    How does this kind of comment add to the dialogue of the site? Why are these posts allowed to persist. Where are the moderators?

    Pretty soon you are going to lose site members because they don’t want to be subjected to this.

  47. kungfubillysims says: May 6, 2012 10:56 PM

    RG3-and-out!!! That’s awesome!

  48. rcali says: May 6, 2012 10:59 PM

    What does this have to do with his socks?

    Thumbs down if you do not want world peace.

  49. commonsensedude says: May 6, 2012 11:01 PM

    Selfish move by Shanahan. If Rex is on the sidelines, how are those opposing cornerbacks supposed to pad their interception stats?

  50. peytonsneck18 says: May 6, 2012 11:07 PM

    And yal some Sensative momma boys snitches!!!!

  51. rushbacker says: May 6, 2012 11:13 PM

    It’s great that Shenanigans says he’s willing to adapt the system to fit Griffin’s strengths, but he’s really just being politically correct with an obvious eye towards the McNabb comments. The truth is, there won’t be much adjustment to make– Griffin fits that Shanahan/Kubiak offense like a glove. Yes, it’s always been said that QBs take three years to fully learn the West Coast offense, so it’s fair to assume that they certainly won’t be running the full playbook the first year– but that would be true of any QB.

    They never ran the full thing with Jake Plummer, and he was a seasoned vet. We’ll see where RGIII is in terms of pocket presence, decision-making and all that, but his raw physical skill set is basically a really rich man’s Plummer. Griffin is actually a hair bigger, much faster and more athletic, and he has a night and day stronger arm. He throws strikes downfield where Jake floated ducks. And I have a feeling Griffin will play with significantly greater poise once he adjusts to the speed of the game.

    If anything, they may do some more designed runs off the bootleg to utilize the fastest athlete any of them has ever had at QB in the scheme, going all the way back to Steve Young. Makes sense the first year or two– let him use his athleticism rather than forcing him to play from the pocket all the time. Any sensible coach would do the same to ease a rookie QB’s transition when the guy has RGIII’s ability. By his third or fourth year, though, I’d fully expect them to go with the same type of playbook you saw in Mike’s last year with Cutler– where the QB is a passer first, even if they still move the pocket and get him on the edge some.

  52. geo1113 says: May 6, 2012 11:14 PM

    @tommyj20,

    First, I am no fan of the Redskins or Shanahan.

    “This is the same guy that traded a 2nd round pick for a QB another division rival was willing to part with, declare him the savior, then bench him down 1 score with 2 minutes to go, only to give him a new contract the same week.”

    The big story when the trade was made was how could the eagles trade McNabb to a division rival. As for the new contract, it was basically $3 million to keep him quiet. There were no future obligations. Not a big deal.

    “He is also the guy who staked his career on Beck and Grossman’s abilities because despite the football world knowing the truth, he knew better.”

    How did he stake his career on Grossman and Beck? QB free agents were slim pickins in 2011. What would you have done? Drafted Blaine Gabbert? Or perhaps Andy Dalton who was better than anyone expected? (He wasn’t going to get Cam Newton.) Hey, we all thought he was full of BS when he played up Grossman and Beck. Buit is the coach really going to come out and say hey our starting QBs can’t get it done. And if he was staking his career on them, why did the Redskins make the trade to get RGIII.

    “He is proud of them giving up everthing they did to move up and get him, and now he is already saying ‘See, I was right, he’s already #1 on the depth chart.’”

    I didn’t take a poll but it seems to me that the move the Redskins made was generally well received. And once the move was made, did you expect anyone other than RGIII to start for the Redskins? What would you have done this year?

    I mean so what if Shanahan is an egotistical a-hole. Big deal. At this point, it is what it is and if I were a Redskins fan, I would be happy to see RGIII as my starting QB.

  53. serpentsage says: May 6, 2012 11:28 PM

    I read a lot of the comments about RG3 becoming a bust and I think its funny. I can’t wait til he demolishes all of doubters derisive comments.

    I am glad Shanahan came out and said this, because from what is implied by this article, there are things that RG3 can do that Rex couldn’t do. If that’s the case we might actually see some amazing play next season.

    We might also have a QB that can run a no huddle offense. We lost a several games b/c of wasted time on the clock and not being to throw defenses off balance with faster play.

  54. peytonsneck18 says: May 6, 2012 11:28 PM

    RG3 and OUT!!!!

  55. rabidskinsfan says: May 6, 2012 11:40 PM

    @peytonsneck18 is just salty because I made him look like a fool in a separate post! What a loser!!!

  56. dcbronco says: May 7, 2012 12:23 AM

    Jaggedmark I think Albert and McNubb were idiots that set themselves apart. They were far from team players. One had all the talent in the world but refused to use it. The other no longer had any talent but refused to acknowledge it.

    Now that Shanahan has a real QB, maybe two, he will run an offense like the one Elway and Jake Plummer used. Play-action roll-outs and big throws. Right in Griffins wheelhouse.

  57. jbcommonsense says: May 7, 2012 12:43 AM

    This is going to be so much much! I’m going to love watching the naysayers, doubters and haters eat their words, as RGIII eludes the rush, rolls out and hits the open WR 40 yards away in the end zone. He did that 4 times for almost 500 yards to beat then 5th-ranked Oklahoma.

  58. pizzaguy5186 says: May 7, 2012 1:16 AM

    here’s my mindset, the so called RG3 and out, our alleged 3rd string QB, has started a superbowl… who else can say that about their last string guy?

    So many noobs on here with no knowledge and fat lips. Eagles fans are the worst because their convict QB can run like RG3. Where are vicks rings and SB appearances? wake up folks, RG3 is the future, all aboard the train, sorry, we don’t accept bandwagoners

  59. searchingandsuffering says: May 7, 2012 2:39 AM

    I just hope Peytonsneck kid is ready to eat crow when we start winnin’ during the season.

  60. drgreenstreak says: May 7, 2012 6:26 AM

    Why does Shanahan feel a need to say this stuff?

    In fact, father AND son Shanahan will screw with this kid’s head until he becomes frustrated and we see Cousins stumbling around in the exact method he’s been told to perform. Neither will be happy and only pure luck (pun?) will help the mess and get the ‘skins 6 wins.

    The only coach that could do worse with a pro QB would be rah-rah Carroll.

  61. diablito0402 says: May 7, 2012 6:29 AM

    Well shanahan is like 12-33 with all the other quarterbacks except elway, soooo yeah give rg3 a shot, lol..

  62. jeziyo247 says: May 7, 2012 6:52 AM

    Really? Beat out Rex Grossman, I highly doubt it. He was the starter the day the redskins drafted him, they didn’t trade away a ton of picks for him to ride the bench.

  63. jeziyo247 says: May 7, 2012 7:02 AM

    Everybody doubted cam Newton, he lit it up his rookie season, I think RG3 is slightly better but in a more difficult division. He’s boons go into the season with confidence and that’s what gonna make him thrive.

  64. joeinoh says: May 7, 2012 7:35 AM

    7’7″, heck, he looks bigger than that in that pic. If he was in Titan’s gear you’d think he was an Avatar.

  65. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: May 7, 2012 8:05 AM

    i really hope that roberta turns out to be another jamarcus. that would be so sweet to watch the skins continue to struggle indefinitely.

    oh and by the way, pft, automatically checking the ‘notify via email’ is stupid. do you get money for every email sent out now?

  66. awdlmd says: May 7, 2012 8:52 AM

    Sad, sad day for the Grossmaniacs

  67. randomguy9999 says: May 7, 2012 8:58 AM

    RG3 already has an overblown ego… is it really a good idea to encourage it?

    that idea has worked very badly with a LOT of 1st round draft picks…

    about mid season, the judgements will start coming out, and Shanahan has just signed himself up to be responsible for mismanaging RG3….

  68. gjdodger2 says: May 7, 2012 9:56 AM

    This is “Shanny in the off season making Snyder happy.” We haven’t yet gotten to “Shanny punishing and demeaning RGIII because he doesn’t pass muster,” and eventually we’ll get to “Shanny, RGIII and Snyder holding furtive meetings while proclaiming everything to be OK.”

  69. jwreck says: May 7, 2012 10:58 AM

    Well shanahan is like 12-33 with all the other quarterbacks except elway, soooo yeah give rg3 a shot, lol..
    ________

    It’s not exactly clear how, but in recent months, solely in the comments section of PFT, the Shanahans have morphed from respected coaches with largely successful track records to the two worst things that have ever happened to professional football.

    So, in the interest of not convicting the Shanahans of crimes against humanity before the 2012 season starts, let’s take a look at their realistic track records with quarterbacks.

    First off, Steve Young credits Mike with being the coach who most helped him realize his potential and succeed in the NFL. After that, John Elway was in serious danger of going the Marino/Kelly/Tarkenton route of a Hall of Fame caliber career with no rings to show for it until Mike Shanahan arrived in Denver and utilized the aging Elway to the best of his remaining ability: to the tune of two championships. So there’s two ruined careers.

    Next up, the only reason anyone even remembers Jake Plummer’s name is because of what Mike Shanahan did for the guy. In March of 2003, Plummer was a free agent, considered a washed-out bust by the NFL, the media, and the public. Under Mike’s tutelage, and in Mike’s system, Plummer was playing for the AFC championship within three years. Next in his string of complete failures and ruined careers is Jay Cutler. This young man only spent two full years with Mike, but it was enough to convince the Bears to cough up two first rounders for the guy when a disagreement with ultra-successful head coach Josh McDaniels resulted in Cutler packing his bags.

    The even more loathed Kyle Shanahan was responsible for turning Matt Schaub from a little-known backup into the Pro-Bowl quarterback we know today. Kyle, with help from Gary Kubiak (who is by the way, a Shanahan clone), nearly single-handedly molded the Texans into the offensive powerhouse they are today. Yeah, it’s easy to scream nepotism, when a dad hires a son, but nepotism usually implies that the relation did not deserve the job he was hired for. In this case, the son was the offensive coordinator of the number one offense in the country when he was hired, not to mention he runs the exact offense the head coach wants.

    I’m not saying the Shanahans are infallible or that they should never be questioned, just that it’s important to have an accurate understanding of the Shanahans’ coaching careers, and the state of the Washington franchise before you regurgitate the baseless, anti-Shanahan rhetoric flooding PFT these days. Shanny and son are doing their best, and the Redskins are showing more vitality and promise than they have at any point in the last twenty years.

  70. peytonsneck18 says: May 7, 2012 11:44 AM

    Redskins are frauds and RG3 and out will FAIL!!!

  71. rogergoodellmanhug says: May 7, 2012 1:15 PM

    @ peytonsneck18

    Back away from the keyboard son, your obsession with RG3 and the Redskins is both unhealthy and frightening.

  72. gweez76 says: May 7, 2012 1:44 PM

    For real Peytonsneck. It’s sad really.

    Also you should go after teams in your division, conference or near your station. There are plenty of 1 sb winning teams like the Ravens. Why beef with a much bigger and more stories franchise? Makes no sense.

  73. thacloser86 says: May 7, 2012 3:56 PM

    This is the biggest muthaf**** mistake in this franchise history POINT BLANK PERIOD

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