One day after Redskins coach Mike Shanahan conducted a memorable press conference regarding his controversial decision to shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III, Shanahan’s son made it clear that he was among the naysayers.
“You play your starting quarterback, that’s been Robert,” Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Thursday. “I’m pretty disappointed we don’t get to play with him. But it is what it is, and I’m gonna deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.”
Kyle Shanahan also said didn’t know that Griffin would be shelved for Kirk Cousins until Wednesday morning.
“I’ve got zero involvement in that,” Kyle Shanahan said. “I actually game-planned for both all Tuesday. It was a little frustrating to game plan for both. I was told the final decision Wednesday morning, then rolled with it.”
But Kyle wasn’t thrilled with the outcome.
“I definitely made it clear I was disappointed in that. . . . I think it would be good for Robert to get the reps,” Kyle Shanahan said.
If Kyle is telling the truth, Mike could be trying to protect Kyle from the potential fallout of whatever it is that Mike is trying to do.
And it could be that Mike’s broader goal is to protect Kyle’s career. By creating a triangle of dysfunction that focuses on quarterback, owner, and coach, Mike helps ensure that the offensive coordinator will survive the mess with his future prospects as an NFL head coach unaffected.
Thursday’s explanation from Kyle cuts against the perception that father and son are fused at the femur. On Wednesday, Mike seemed agitated and inconsistent. Kyle came off as credible and reasonable.
If Mike gets fired this year, it’s unlikely anyone will hire him to serve as head coach. Kyle, on the other hand, could surface in a place like St. Louis, where Mike’s friend Jeff Fisher could need a new offensive coordinator, given the so-so results generated by the son of former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer.