The sensational rookie season of Robert Griffin III was five years ago, but neither he nor his old coach Mike Shanahan is done talking about why everything went wrong after that great season.
Griffin complained recently that he was in an impossible situation because Shanahan didn’t want him, and Shanahan said Friday on FOX Sports 1 that the real problem was Griffin wouldn’t listen to him.
“I was really disappointed myself, because I knew where Robert was going,” Shanahan said, via the Washington Post. “I knew where his dad was going. I knew where [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder was going. It was up to me to convince this guy that, ‘Hey, if you don’t run, your drop-back game . . . it’s not there now, but you can get there.’ I blame myself for not getting to the kid. He really believes he was Aaron Rodgers. In his mind, he believed he was Aaron Rodgers. I said, ‘You know what? You’re not Aaron Rodgers, and Aaron Rodgers is not you.’ ”
Shanahan says he warned Griffin after his knee injury following his rookie year that he needed to improve as a pocket passer or else he wouldn’t last long.
“You can come back from that knee [injury], but what you have to do is get better at the drop-back game, doing some of the things we’ve been doing,” Shanahan said. “With that, I said, ‘You got a chance. If not, you’ll be out of the game in four to five years.’ ”
At this time five years ago, Shanahan and Griffin both thought they had a big future together. Instead they’re both out of the NFL, with each seeming to place plenty of blame on the other.