In his first press conference since Mike Wise of the Washington Post reported that tensions between Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan date back to the misuse of Griffin in January, Griffin addressed the level of trust that has developed between himself and the head coach.
“As much as it can develop in a year-and-a-half, two-year span,” Griffin said, via quotes distributed by the team. “I haven’t spent a lot of time here, obviously. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the league. It takes time to build that trust over time with a coach anytime.”
It’s hardly a ringing endorsement. Trust can develop quickly in an intense industry like pro football, if personalities mesh and behavior occurs that allows trust to arise. Given everything Shanahan and Griffin have been through together in less than two NFL seasons, if complete trust hasn’t become established yet, it may never.
That said, Griffin separately praised the team’s coaching staff.
“I think these guys have a great future,” Griffin said. “I love having them here and that’s all I can say. We’re focused on Kansas City, they’re focused on Kansas City and that’s all we can control.”
Griffin also was asked to identify the biggest misconception about the 2013 Redskins.
“Just the fragmented team,” Griffin said. “We’re not. We’re not a fragmented team. We’re all sticking together. Everybody understands what we’ve got to do these next four games and that’s the bottom line. You know, just all the false stories that keep coming out. It’s just one thing after another, day after day. Guys still have to continue to change the channel and not listen to any of that stuff and block it out.”
The comments come amid intensifying reports that Griffin and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan don’t see eye to eye. Which means that, once the season ends, owner Daniel Snyder likely faces a Griffin or Shanahan decision.
The good news for Griffin is that he won’t have to make a Magic Johnson-style power play. With a clear sense that the relationship between quarterback and coach isn’t ideal, Griffin can say all the right things while he waits for nature to take its course.