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Mike Shanahan: A coach who overrules the doctors should be fired


Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is adamant that he did not overrule team doctors in the decision to play quarterback Robert Griffin III after Griffin suffered a knee injury — so adamant that he says if he did that, he would deserve to be fired.

In a conversation with NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer, Shanahan said that it’s absurd that he would put the franchise player at risk if the doctors told him not to, and that he believes it’s a firing offense for a coach to disregard a doctor’s medical instructions.

“You’d have to be a complete idiot to think I would overrule our doctors. That’s ludicrous. If someone were to do that, they should be fired,” Shanahan said.

Controversy has swirled over the last 72 hours regarding the Redskins’ handling of Griffin’s knee. First, Dr. James Andrews was quoted as saying Shanahan put Griffin back in the Week 15 game against the Ravens without allowing Andrews to inspect Griffin. Then, Griffin stayed in the game on Sunday against the Seahawks despite clearly being hobbled by his injured knee. Then Griffin ultimately exited the game after injuring the knee again. And then this week Dr. Andrews said his previous comments about Shanahan were misconstrued.

Now Shanahan is doubling down on his claims, insisting in no uncertain terms that he has made Griffin’s health his top priority.

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57 Responses to “Mike Shanahan: A coach who overrules the doctors should be fired”
  1. fordmandalay says: Jan 8, 2013 7:17 PM

    It’s really time to take the car keys away from Grampa.

  2. ronaldjones says: Jan 8, 2013 7:18 PM

    “I should be fired” -Mike Shanahan

  3. nnagi says: Jan 8, 2013 7:18 PM

    well then shanny, you deserve to be fired…but it probably ain’t gonna happen

  4. redskinsroost says: Jan 8, 2013 7:18 PM

    I agree Coach, you should be fired. This kid will never be the same.

  5. gettingseattled says: Jan 8, 2013 7:18 PM

    Interesting take from someone who seems to have done just that.

  6. skeeeiins says: Jan 8, 2013 7:19 PM

    You tell em Mike! By the way, thanks for the division title/playoff berth

  7. boyshole25 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:21 PM

    Let him rest all of next season don’t trade 10 good years for that risk

  8. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 8, 2013 7:22 PM

    As we all know, or should know, head coaches in the NFL are almost allergic to the truth. Regardless of what the doctor’s told Shanahan it was brutally obvious that RGIII should have been pulled at the half. He could barely function, had lost his accuracy and couldn’t “defend himself”. I have a 6 year old boy who literally asked me why RGIII was still playing in the second half since “he couldn’t walk right”. Shanahan can make excuses all day, but it rests with him and he screwed the pooch badly.

  9. randolph32 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:23 PM

    Non-issue folks, long forgotten come Training Camp…

  10. insertcrypticnameher says: Jan 8, 2013 7:25 PM

    which doctors ok the sending in of blind players suffering from a migraine?

  11. 1standinches says: Jan 8, 2013 7:27 PM

    Griffin is going to comeback strong regardless the results. Hes a tough QB

  12. dennisatunity says: Jan 8, 2013 7:29 PM

    This is not a comment about the outcome of the playoff game, but as a Seahawks fan, I hated the fact that the Redskins gave all those draft choices to St. Louis for RGIII. It builds up St. Louis’ strength for many years to come. And then to risk the health of the player for whom you traded away all those draft picks–unimaginable.

  13. 1rockyracoon says: Jan 8, 2013 7:30 PM

    There is a huge difference between playing hurt and playing injured. Watching Griffin walk on to the field you could see that he was not right. Then, after each run or after each hit it became painful to watch him struggle. Shanahan allowed him to stay in the game even after it was clear to everyone that his QB was injured. He ran Griffin into the ground. If his injuries are significant then I don’t see why Shanahan shouldn’t be fired.

  14. lippy4246 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:32 PM

    I can’t stand the Redskins or the RG3 hype, but Griffin is a good kid and Shanahan has abused this kid’s health his whole rookie season. He’s had a head and 2 knee injuries in his first season and that is unacceptable. While Skins fans may be annoying they shouldn’t accept this for their franchise QB. At this rate the kid will be out of the league in less than five years and any potential they may expect will vanish. Shanahan should be fired for the mismanagement of Griffin

  15. bennyb82 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:34 PM

    Well apparently your team doctor has no say in the matter because RG3 wouldnt have even started the game if it was up to the team doctor. So there was really no one to overrule, so you are safe!

  16. skipvanmeter says: Jan 8, 2013 7:34 PM

    He’ll come back strong…until his next injury, where he tells Shanny that he’s fine and then goes and gets hurt a lot worse. If Shanny can’t overrule his QB then he deserves the hook.

  17. nagaswan says: Jan 8, 2013 7:34 PM

    I wonder if Dr. J is charging for all these new surgeries. Seems like a good racket if so.

  18. bossmanjunioriii says: Jan 8, 2013 7:37 PM

    Good God Florio why do you want Shanny fired so badly? Is this a site that reports news or a place for you to carry out personal grudges?

  19. football2011 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:37 PM

    The Vikings kept Christian Ponder out of thier playoff game because of an injury (Bruised Arm) that was nowhere near as severe ar RG3’s knee. They had to play a terrible backup Qb (Webb) and got creamed, but they still have thier strating QB for next year. So why did Shanahan play a player with a much more serious injury?

  20. bman69 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:37 PM

    This stinks…. now we all know where the money that should have been spent on the field went…. right into Dr.Andrews pocket. It’s amazing how all their stories are now lining up, first the doc’s, today and now, hours later Shanna…… You guys just ruined your future qb for life, just to get a playoff win……He won’t be running like that ever again……..

  21. censoredagain says: Jan 8, 2013 7:38 PM

    Couldn’t agree more, Mike. However, no one believes you, so step down while you still have a shred of diginity

    Oh wait…

  22. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 8, 2013 7:38 PM

    Andrews says “What the hell, send them out there. I could use the business.”.

  23. baywatchboy says: Jan 8, 2013 7:38 PM

    Shanatan mortgaged the franchise’s future to draft RGIII and then he and his boy genius of a son tried to get him killed every week. This is not the guy I want running my franchise. Mike was a terrible hire to begin with, he and Kyle showed their true colors during their first two years and I want them both as far away as possible from RGIII and my Redskins.

  24. bhester1906 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:45 PM

    Why does everyone want Mike Shanahan fired? I mean really. Do you really think he said screw what the doctors are telling me I’m putting RG3 out there? Some people have the dumbest perspective on things.

  25. yevrag3535 says: Jan 8, 2013 7:45 PM

    You are one goofy, strange old man.

  26. 666foles says: Jan 8, 2013 7:46 PM

    Then judging by what your saying do Snyder a favor and RESIGN NOW!!! Since Snydes probaly dont have the testies to fire you anyway. Until RG3 career is ended anyway

  27. packermama says: Jan 8, 2013 7:49 PM

    Sir, thou dost protest too much….

  28. thesmedman says: Jan 8, 2013 7:51 PM

    RGIII better have a good attorney. I’d sue for the condition of that field.

    And yes, I agree that a doctor should never be overruled by a coach. Which does beg the question of Shanahan’s competence.

    You know, before RGIII appeared they were yelling for Shanahan’s head. (it also makes you wonder why ppl are so enamored of Shanahan the younger, when clearly it was all about the skill of RGIII). So there needs to be context about the Redskins, especially since they were in a weak division.

    Have a feeling we haven’t heard the end of this, as we have yet to hear from Bruce Allen and Mr Snyder.

  29. razzlejag says: Jan 8, 2013 8:06 PM

    Fire the bum already. He probably ruined the career of one exciting kid in exchange for a potential playoff game win.

    Look what the Washington Nationals did with Steven Strasburg- set an inning limit and shut him down in the face of national criticism. Shanahan should’ve paid attention.

  30. cwwgk says: Jan 8, 2013 8:07 PM

    The media quotes an orthopaedic surgeon about something that may or may not have happened during a football game. The media chases after the football coach because of what the doctor said. The media then quotes the orthopaedic surgeon saying something completely different about what may or may not have happened during the game. In fact, orthopaedic surgeon confirms football coach’s version of events. So the media goes chasing back after the football coach.

    Perhaps the media is not searching for a but rather creating one.

  31. bartlettruss says: Jan 8, 2013 8:22 PM

    There has been no actual accusation that Shanahan overruled a doctor. Dr. Andrews never said that he recommended that Griffin not play, just that he didn’t get to examine him. He also didn’t say that a coach prevented that examination, just that Griffin ran back in the game.

  32. bmacwillconn says: Jan 8, 2013 8:38 PM

    Fire Shanahan. He’s a creep who put this kid’s entire career at risk by allowing him to continue playing when it was obvious Griffen could not.

  33. allergictobeenbroke says: Jan 8, 2013 8:38 PM

    Donovan try to worn the deadskins, he called it; he said Shanahan will not be good for young

  34. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 8, 2013 8:58 PM

    Shanahan didn’t over rule the doctors with RG3, he just didn’t let them look at him at all. That’s different.

  35. nygdriveforfive says: Jan 8, 2013 9:03 PM

    The further injury to rg3 was prob preventable. Having said that, the injury is on rg3 not shanny in my opinion. Rg3 was selfish, cost his team the win, and re injured himself . He said it after the game. Even injured he thinks he gave his team a better chance to win then a healthy Cousins. Having confidence is one thing, but come on. Lying there while the ball is loose and allowing Sea to grab it basically to win the game is Bad. I think he just let his ego get in the way of making the right decision. He is still a rookie after all.

  36. bigbluecrew420 says: Jan 8, 2013 9:11 PM

    Not a skins fan obviously but this ain’t coach’s fault. On a side note, where did logical go all of a sudden???
    Maybe the skins should look to drafting another QB with their 1st round picks this year or maybe next year….. Oh wait a minute

  37. skinsgal4life says: Jan 8, 2013 9:17 PM

    In my opinion, Shanahan should be fired. Every committed player wants to play. Although RG3 should have taken himself out, he is not a crybaby like Cutler, and he’s a true competitor–so he said he could keep playing. Once it became clear he couldn’t play, the coach should have stepped in and taken RG3 out. That was best for the team. RG3 couldn’t play like himself after the second quarter, and that’s when the head coach should make the right decision. Who knows if Cousins could’ve held on for the win–we will never know. But Shanahan clearly was in charge and didn’t do his job.

  38. ceschatz says: Jan 8, 2013 9:39 PM

    So is he gonna step down? If he truly believes the garbage spewing from his rat face, then yes he should step down.

  39. annes22 says: Jan 8, 2013 9:42 PM

    It doesn’t really matter any more who said what, RG111 has to have surgery, and someone is to blame. He was stumbling around the place in the game, whose fault was that??? Certainly wasn’t helping the team.

  40. dikhurtz says: Jan 8, 2013 9:46 PM

    Maybe Adrian Peterson could give RG some advice on post surgery rehab

  41. swu32733 says: Jan 8, 2013 9:54 PM

    With all due respect to RGIII there was a pretty damn good Seahawk lost to that sorry excuse for a football field as well.

  42. getyourownname says: Jan 8, 2013 10:02 PM

    Here’s what people outside DC may not realize:

    The midget owner is an insecure control freak who was desperate for a playoff win and football success after years of failure and being mocked mercilessly by the local press for his misguided efforts to run the show with nothing to show for it.

    The coach, unaccustomed to a critical press in DC as compared to what he had experienced in Denver and stumbing badly in the PR arena, was under heavy fire 9 weeks into the season (at 3-6) and desperate to prove he could still coach, amid widespread local speculation he was yet another in a seemingly unending series of hiring failures by the midget, and in fact he even tried to forestall such speculation by announcing they were now going to evaluate players for next year (assuming he returned) and implicitly stating the sesaon had ended, much to his players’ surprise and dismay. Meanwhile his OC was being lambasted as having gotten his job only through nepotism and his DC was about to be run out of town.

    Lo and behold, his QB uses the bye week to rally the team to an improbable series of wins and a playoff spot combining sterling play with a little good fortune, but gradually subjecting himself to more and more wear and tear. Coach is no dummy, realizes this fortuitous series of events could save his job and reputation, but also that his QB is the magic wand that makes it all work.

    Not suprisingly, neither the owner, who craves national spotlight showing him dancing in the owner’s suite as a “winner”, nor the coach who knows he is safe as long as his shortsighted owner is happy, is going to ask painful but necessary questions like – what is in our long-term interest? Result – keep sending that QB out there.

    It will be a typical Snyderian result if his QB can’t play effectively next season and they watch St. Louis draft studs for several years with their draft choices. Worthy of a Cerrato award.

  43. charliereno says: Jan 8, 2013 10:40 PM

    It’s painfully obvious to see how backwards this program is. God knows it’s RGIII and only RGIII that brought them success this year…way to throw that away, ‘Skins.

  44. The Shoeman says: Jan 8, 2013 10:41 PM

    You have just been . . ” Shanahan’ed ” again!

  45. shutupbrees says: Jan 8, 2013 10:56 PM

    I don’t know if Shanny should be fired, but he had to realize a kid as competitive as RGIII would be willing to go all in for his team in the ultimately meaningless Wild Card Round of his rookie year. He pushed in the chips and lost. Shanny’s job is to put his players and team in the best position, and he didn’t do that for the short or long term.

    I think he’s a good coach, but he probably made the worst decision a coach has made in recent memory.

  46. shutupbrees says: Jan 8, 2013 11:01 PM

    I do know this, someone isn’t telling the truth though. Andrews went from saying he didn’t clear RGIII, to he never had a chance to evaluate him. He’s covering both his and Shanny’s a$$ with that statement because if he did clear him, he blew it. If he didn’t clear him, Shanny should be fired. So he’s taking the path of least resistance, but oddly is employed by the team.

    The immortal James Andrews stock plummets in my book. He either failed the young RGIII, or Shanny overruled him. I want to know if Shanny ordered the code red!!!

  47. thefiesty1 says: Jan 8, 2013 11:07 PM

    Promising career maybe be ended by an idiot coach. Shanny should resign immediately and RG3 should sue the coach, the Redskins, Snyder and the NFL.

  48. Rick Gershman says: Jan 8, 2013 11:08 PM

    This whole “there’s a difference between playing hurt and playing injured” is just as big a load of crap as the “mild concussion.” (“Don’t worry, honey: I only have a mild gunshot wound.”) It’s all B.S. speak that’s been toted down the line by coaches for decades — coaches who sure as hell aren’t doctors. Playing hurt IS playing injured. That’s what hurt MEANS. The only difference is one of degree.

    Players play hurt all the time, which means that they’re injured, but their injuries aren’t necessarily severe enough to keep them from playing (or likely to get worse.) It’s 2013: time to retire these games of semantics. I love football and love big hits, but we all need to lift the blinders and stop lying to ourselves about serious injuries and the toll they take.

  49. shnakeriver says: Jan 8, 2013 11:09 PM

    For all those claiming Griffin will ” never be the same ” and that his career is ruined, you ever hear of Adrian Peterson? How about the fact that Griffin himself previously tore (a complete tear no less) an ACLU in college, and somehow his career went on….some might say, progressed a bit?

  50. bigdingyguy says: Jan 8, 2013 11:11 PM

    I don’t know about Dr Andrews, and what he may or may not have said. At best, the Shan stood on the sideline and watched without comment as RG3 turned into Dante Culpepper

  51. deshackle says: Jan 8, 2013 11:16 PM

    An NFL coach that invest three first round draft picks on a quarterback then comes out in the pistol offense should also be fired.

  52. shnakeriver says: Jan 8, 2013 11:27 PM

    For all those claiming Griffin will ” never be the same ” and that his career is ruined, you ever hear of Adrian Peterson? How about the fact that Griffin himself previously tore (a complete tear no less) an ACLU in college, and somehow his career went on….some might say, progressed a bit?
    …or an ACL…

  53. olympiacham says: Jan 9, 2013 12:41 AM

    I remember Byron Leftwich being carried by his lineman play after play in a heroic effort.
    What RG3 attempted to do was similar. He was wearing a knee brace which should have prevented further injury. Blame the shotty brace more than anything else.

  54. asublimeday says: Jan 9, 2013 1:57 AM

    Well, at least skins fans handled this season with a ton of class, and weren’t pompous windbags for the last 10 weeks at all. They sure don’t deserve this!

    Oh, wait…

  55. patsfan13 says: Jan 9, 2013 7:23 AM

    No matter what RG3 told Shanahan, how could a head coach with his experience not see how ineffective his QB was after the 2nd TD? He could hardly move, or throw the ball accurately.Screw RG3’s ego, putting Cousins in was the best move to make.

  56. ham1 says: Jan 9, 2013 7:56 AM

    I will never forgive the coaches for this. If ever there was a time to step up and COACH, they failed.

  57. getyourownname says: Jan 9, 2013 9:44 AM

    shnakeriver says:
    Jan 8, 2013 11:09 PM
    For all those claiming Griffin will ” never be the same ” and that his career is ruined, you ever hear of Adrian Peterson? How about the fact that Griffin himself previously tore (a complete tear no less) an ACLU in college, and somehow his career went on….some might say, progressed a bit?

    This is absurd argument.

    AP was/is a freak of nature, the rarest of exceptions that stands in contrast to virtually all other cases. Don’t believe me, go ask doctors. In fact Mike and Mike had an orthopedic surgeon on this monring who made this exact point.

    Only stupid managers, or those who don’t care about long-term prospects because they aren’t planning to be around to deal with consequences, base decisions on a long-shot outcome.

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