Mike Shanahan: We’re not changing quarterbacks


Anyone clamoring to see Kirk Cousins at quarterback for the Redskins is going to have to take a page from the book of Tim Tebow’s backers in Jacksonville and stage a rally because the team isn’t making a quarterback change.

Shanahan was asked at his Monday press conference if he had given any consideration to benching Robert Griffin III in favor of Cousins after watching the Redskins get handled fairly easily by the Eagles and Packers in the first two weekends of the season. Shanahan laughed in response to the question before saying no and reiterating that the team has a lot of confidence in Griffin.

Shanahan also shot down the notion that the team was running fewer read-option plays this season because Griffin was still hurting by saying that falling behind early in each game has forced them to alter the game plan away from those kinds of plays. The coach said the team is confident that Griffin is physically able to do anything they ask.

“If we didn’t feel that way, he wouldn’t be in there,” Shanahan said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

There’s understandable and obvious concern in Washington about the outcome of the first two games, although those who expected Griffin to be 100 percent in all facets of his game after not playing a single preseason down were misguided in the first place. Comparing players when it comes to recovery from injury is always dicey, but we’ll point out that Adrian Peterson topped 88 rushing yards once in the first six games last season and things turned out pretty well for him when all was said and done.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t vital that they get better outings from Griffin, but it’s hardly the only problem with the Redskins. It’s not even the biggest one. Griffin could be playing lights out and it wouldn’t matter with a defense that’s given up 1,023 yards in the first two games. It’s the first time a team has given up more than 1,000 yards in the first two games in almost half a century, which suggests that there are more pressing needs than getting Cousins playing time in the nation’s capital.

87 responses to “Mike Shanahan: We’re not changing quarterbacks

  1. Honestly anyone who watched that game knows the biggest problem on the Redskins is that defense. Aaron Rodgers is a phenomenal QB but there were times where it looked like he was in a 7 on 7 practice drill with the ease he moved down the field. So people need to stop blaming RG3 and the offense.

  2. Shanahan said from day one he wanted to bring RG3 back slowly, nobody listened! You had the Espn media machine hyping him up so much that it made it impossible for them not to get him on the field before he was ready, they even went and got the doctor to say he should play, now look, a total mess!

  3. Rest him till the buy week, he obviously isnt 100% yet and his timing needs some work. I know Logicalvoice is going to show his bias, and prrof that his family tree doesnt fork and how his closed mindedness babbling will prove he is related to Rush Limbaugh. #Denial

  4. not to say that RG3 shouldnt be the starter, but Shanahan just isn’t the right coach for this kid. He’s in the same category with John Fox and Tom Coughlin as the older outdated coaches who happen to have great QBs and do well because of that

  5. paulz624 says: Sep 16, 2013 4:27 PM

    Shanahan said from day one he wanted to bring RG3 back slowly, nobody listened! You had the Espn media machine hyping him up so much that it made it impossible for them not to get him on the field before he was ready, they even went and got the doctor to say he should play, now look, a total mess!


    Right, I’m sure “the media” held a gun to RG3’s head and told him to shoot all those “I’m ready!” Gatorade commercials.

  6. Shanahan is right. RG3 just needs time to adjust after having no OTAs, very little training camp, and no preseason. Give him a few more weeks to shake off the rust and gain some confidence and I think he will be fine. Also people need to ignore logicalvoice. He is a troll who’s sole purpose on this sight is to get a reaction out of us (and it’s working).

  7. Just from a fan’s perspective, it seems to me that he’s still getting over the injury. Maybe he’s 100% from a physical perspective or something, but if he’s tentative and not coming through his throws due to not being comfortable, it’s certainly affecting his mechanics. That said, at this point, they are just going to have to let him work through it.

    If you were going to play Cousins, the time to do it was game one through game 4, up to the bye. Now, after Griffin has started the first two games, I think you just have to let him keep progressing.

    I heard a statistic on the radio this morning. In the last 4 years, no team starting 0-2 has made the playoffs. That said, it’s a tough road forward for the Redskins. As a fan, I want them to make the playoffs but really I have two more humble desires for the season:

    1. By season’s end, I’d like to see Griffin ‘return to form’. There are many more years he can give the team if he can return to form. So this goal — and not the playoffs — is really much more fundamental.

    2. By season’s end, they also need to learn how to make a tackle. That sounds crazy but until they can do that, they are toast. Much of their defensive problems lie in the fact that they don’t do the fundamentals of tackling effectively.

    I’m still rooting for the team every week. Folks can come on here and say the skins suck, but I’m not really bothered by that. I just want to see the team get back on the right track…

  8. blah blah blah blah…

    Excuses excuses for RG. He’s not a good QB in the pocket. His mechanics, his reads and his progressions simply aren’t adequate from there. He needs to be on the move to be effective. The majority of his yards in both weeks have come in the 2nd half when defenses have softened up and played off-man or zone. The stats are an illusion.

    Last year, Shanahan had the benefit of being able to design a scheme around RG’s legs/feet, that enabled the ‘Skins to mask his flaws as a pure QB.

    Long road ahead for ‘Skins fans.

  9. ESPN ? RGIII had his own commercial talking about how he would be back…he’s not ready…the defense is bad but the offense has had 8 first downs in the first half in 2 weeks ! That doesn’t help your offense..

  10. OH Mr. Logical come out and play. Talked that smack and now you disappear or changed your name. This Skins team is bad, no D, RB and QB look like a one year wonder. Looks like the basement for the Skins again. Last year is being proven it was a fluke year.

  11. Everyone who thinks RG3 is not a big contributor to this terrible start is just blind. I’m a diehard Skins fan but also don’t live with rosy colored glasses on…. The offense is RG3 and out all season so far. He is hamstrung in the fact that he’s not as mobile because he’s not 100% and his accuracy is failing due to it. Check the completion %’s.

    When your passing against the prevent defense, anyone will look decent. Put Cousins in and IR his ass. He is the future for years and what they are doing now is only hurting his long term capabilities.

    If Cousins does great, have a competition btwn the two and trade the other for much needed and wanted upper draft picks!!!!!

    Kurt Cousins it is until RG3 can compete. If this is the new RG3 we just wasted another couple years as this flat out is not cutting it!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. hanifmiller says:
    Sep 16, 2013 4:33 PM
    No need to panic–Unless the Skins lose to Detroit Sunday.

    With how DCs D has been playing and the offensive weapons in Detroit… its a real possibility.

  13. Skins are lucky that the NFCE has flopped out of the gate – if they can beat the Lions and Raiders, they could come out of a Week 5 bye with most of RGIII’s rust shaken off.

    I think the offense will be fine. The tackling has been atrocious and Rambo will need reps to adjust his angles on streaking NFL receivers . . .

    Skins fans should take a breath and remember the #1 concern is getting the QB back to playing comfortably. You can see that (while still hanging in chaotic pockets) he’s afraid to put all his weight on that knee, he’s not following through & his throws are off compared to last year’s dime-after-dime throws.

    It’s gonna take time, and sitting on the bench will not bring him up to speed. I love Cousins and think he could do the job, but if Shanahan and RGII says he’s healthy, then let the team take its lumps now and try to defend the division crown by being sharp at the end of the season.

  14. RG3 has nor played well but the degree to which this is true and to how much this is affecting the team’s overall performance is overstated. He was off target a LOT in the Philly game. Much less, although still not we expect, in the Packers game.

    But even if every other time the Skins got the ball they scored, they still would have lost with the current defense. They can’t even tackle opposing players much less stop opposing offenses. They were outscored a combined -7 in the first half and their opponents converted 16 third downs in 21 attempts. How can you win with a defense like that?

  15. Shanahan is such an awful coach it’s funny. Totally lucked into the stars aligning and having Elway and TD on his team at once or he’d be mopping floors somewhere.

    The read option is a FAD!! Harbaugh and Carroll both recognized that and have taught both of their QBs to be traditional drop back passes on the heels of letting them gain their confidence in a read option rookie year. Shanahan, however, kept that dopey offense and now RG’s development has been stopped at a standstill.

  16. I am a fan of Mike Shanahan and RG3…but it’s VERY clear he’s not 100% yet and should not be on the field. Mike is doing both the kid and the team a disservice. They have a very talented backup who should start….he can perform far better than RG3 at this point.

  17. Those who want Griffin to be benched in favor of Cousins are not looking at the big picture. For one it completely destroys a young player’s confidence, and you do not draft a QB 2 overall and mortgage your future for the next 3 drafts to just bench him in order to ‘shake off the rust’. It’s growing pains and he is coming back from a serious injury. Cousins is not an upgrade either; there’s a reason he’s a back up. They have a bye early this season, so he can get his rest, but also the NFC east is up for grabs. The Giants don’t look good, the Eagles’ defense is suspect, and the Cowboys are inconsistent as long as Romo is there. An 0-2 hole is not good, but they can climb out of it. Washington’s defense is the concern, they look like the 2012 saints on that side of the ball.

  18. Considering just how filthy bad the entire NFC East clearly is, it seems like there is no harm in keeping the over-hyped, under-performing QB in the game.

    This may very well be a division where 7-9 or 6-10 is good enough to lock-down a playoff spot.

  19. They let it become a huge race to get RG3 back by the start of the year, no matter what, so they could absolve themselves of responsibility for letting him play during the playoffs. Now they have themselves stuck where they feel like they can’t even pull him out of a blowout early (let alone change QBs) without making it look like they rushed him back.

  20. Understandable, because he doesn’t want to risk any kink of QB controversy, but the truth is RG3 will Never make it in the NFL. He’s just too fragile.

  21. WOW! Am I missing something here? Just 2 weeks ago I thought RG# was GOD, the way everyone was talking about him! Now people want to see him get benched? Crazy! Man you really have a short window to do well in the NFL these days! lol What did they think, that the guy who didn’t play a single snap in the preseason or practice all summer was going to come out and just light people up? Of course he is going to struggle for a couple weeks until he gets his confidence back and gets back into NFL form! Cut the guy some slack! He isn’t going to get better sitting on the bench! And this is coming from a person who doesn’t even like the guy!

  22. Operation Patience!!! Sideshow Bob may want to look up Donovan’s number again. I mean the defense gave up 1025 yards in two games, most since like 1970 and moronic Skins fans are asking to change the QB… Lose at home this week to Detroit and the trade rumors will be coming!

  23. For all his mega-hype, RGIII wasn’t even the best run-option QB last year and overall, was the fourth best first year QB behind Kapernick, Wilson and Luck.

    A logical voice would say the hype is fading…

  24. As far as I know, RG3 has NOTHING to do with the defense.

    When you cough up 50+ points in the first halfs of the first 2 games, you got problems other than QB.

    I cant believe the local sports guys are yapping about how much better he looked in the second half in both games. Duh???? Whenever youre getting a$$ handed to you, and the other D backs off, you always get pro bowl meaningless stats.

  25. Poster above nailed it:

    He hasn’t taken live snaps until week 1. He’s rusty, but physically he looks quick when he leaves the pocket. Sitting on the bench until the bye week would make this worse, not fix it.

    Also, getting 30 points scored on your team during the first half of every game doesn’t fall on the QBs shoulders…

  26. Another reminder for those who forgot: Mikey is an average coach and was only a genius in his own bloated mind.

  27. This is all very comical. Last week RGIII struggled in the 1st half, only to come out in the 2nd half and play fairly well. “Experts” attributed the tale of two halfs as the QB being rusty, and therefore Mike Shanahan was an idiot for NOT playing RGIII in the preseason, since he is clearly just rusty. Now that Griffin has struggled for two games in a row, “experts” are calling Mike Shanahan is an idiot for bringing RGIII back too early, because he is clearly not 100%.

    I have an idea, why don’t we change “experts”.

  28. When all is said and done, the Skins and the QB are going to realize they rushed RG3 back to soon. It’s clear he’s not comfortable, had almost no training camp. He’s not a veteran who doesn’t really need much camp time. Shanny gave in to the campaigning by RG3 and the outside pressure. It was a huge mistake to let him start from Day 1. I like his competitiveness, but you need to protect him from himself.

  29. RG will ever return to form, get it in your head. He is a different player now and its in his head.

    I don’t see him limping so we can assume his knee feels fine. But his mechanics have changed because that next injury is in his head, and he’s not getting over that. He’s not a good pocket passer at all and that’s what he is now a bad pocket passer with bad mechanics.

    Shanahan is just stubborn and wants RG to be his legacy.

    Which he will be but not in the way Shamahan wants. Sins win 4 games tops and shammy is gone.

  30. I think he’s healthy enough to play. He’s just needs to struggle through learning how to be a pocket passer and then next year he’ll come back and be way better at being a pocket QB but he’ll also be truly 100% and ready to kick a**.

  31. So as the pressure mounts, I’d expect to see an increased emphasis on read option plays, followed by a re-injury to RGIII’s knee, followed by complaints that they asked him to do too much too soon.

  32. I feel bad for this kid. He is no where close to 100% yet. For this team to be effective he needs to be able to run and he still looks like he’s running quite gingerly on that knee. Unfortuantly I don’t think he’ll be %100 on this injury until a playoff spot is to far gone. Mid as well take this year and develope his passing game from the pocket, which will serve him well in his later years of his career.

  33. Lots of things are to blame. But going three and out numerous times and not converting a third down until 5 minutes left in the third quarter isn’t going to help your defense. Then we have 2 rookies starting in our secondary plus a lack of talent over all. That isn’t going to help your defense. The pass rash hasn’t been bad, but that tackling has been atrocious. And I love it, people think that after the bye week is just the magic number. Yeah, give him more time without live reps, that’ll help.

  34. @justintuckrule:

    Have you looked in the mirror? The Giants are 0-2 as well and look just as pitiful as the Redskins.

    Maybe more pitiful. 6 turnover in game 1. 4 turnovers in game 2.

    The NFC East is completely up for grabs right now and based upon what I have seen thus far from all four teams, whoever wins it will be swept aside in the first round of the playoffs.

    Unless something changes for somebody.

  35. @newjerseygiants:

    “Have no fear….after a few more losses RG 3 Stooges will be handling the clipboard.”

    Yeah, but if they made Eli hold the clipboard, he’d throw it to the other team.

  36. The Lions are going to crush the Redskins. I watched that Packers/Redskins game and if McCarthy was Payton or Bilechick that games score would of read 70-0. Offense and defense is mediocre. You skins fans best hope Suh doesn’t bend your franchise in half.

  37. The Redskins may be 0-4 by time their bye week rolls around. Detroit should beat them handily (Ndamukong Suh, meet RGIII’s knee) and they’re playing in Oakland in week 4. Just like Shanahan shouldn’t have played RGIII in the playoff game against Seattle, he should have sat him until the bye week and let Cousins play. After all, wasn’t that the rationale the Skins gave for selecting Cousins in the 4th round, that he would play if RGIII got hurt? Well, he’s hurt and he shouldn’t be playing. But it’s too late now. For better or worse, the Redskins hopes lie with a player who has lost what made him so dangerous in 2012, his ability to run. By the time RGIII gets his speed and agility back (if he ever gets it back), the Redskins 2013 season will be over.

  38. He and the Redskins will be fine… They are a team good enough to win 8-10 games this season, and they will…. They weren’t good enough to win 14, so relax, they’ll pick it up and end up where they were supposed to….9-7 NFC East champs

  39. I am very worried about RG3 facing that N. Suh guy this coming weekend especially with the mediocre play of the O Line. I am afraid that black brace will be like a bullseye target for Suh. I hate to see Griffin humiliated by getting benched, but I would prefer that to cringing just thinking about what Suh could do to that knee. This would be a good week for Dr. Andrews to get more “concerns.” I feel sorry for RG3’s poor mom and wife having to watch, if they even can.

    I think Logical Voice is probably on a suicide watch.

  40. weepingjebus says: Sep 16, 2013 6:17 PM

    You know, I’m starting to think this Shanahan fellow may not be that great a football coach.

    – – – –

    I’m an AFC West person. So, I spent years watching him on the sidelines in Denver. If you want an answer to your rhetorical statement, just look at his success, minus Elway. It wasn’t pretty, and it led to his getting fired.

  41. iheartharvin says: Sep 16, 2013 6:03 PM

    The Lions are going to crush the Redskins. I watched that Packers/Redskins game and if McCarthy was Payton or Bilechick that games score would of read 70-0. Offense and defense is mediocre. You skins fans best hope Suh doesn’t bend your franchise in half.


    Well said.

  42. Why put Kirk in when the defense is still going to give up 30 pts. No matter who the Skins put in, they are going to lose with that defense. The only thing worth considering is how much money the Skins put on the table to nab RG3.
    Take a page from Derrick Rose and sit out the year. No-one, and absolutely no-one knows how AP can heal so quickly from his injury. The guy is apparently not human, just like Calvin.

  43. Logical voice come out and play. Internet tough guys who dish it out but can’t take it are as soft as rg3s knee. All the read option quarterbacks are looking sad compared to last year. It’s amazing what defenses can do with an offseason and film.

  44. captainphintastic says:
    Sep 16, 2013 6:27 PM
    Suh is probably going to tear off RG3′s leg and throw it into the stands this weekend.
    He will be fined. He won’t care.
    Actually I hope someone chopblocked that loser SUH…

  45. The defense isn’t totally to blame its really the offense, they cant sustain a drive, 3 and outs just keeps the defense on the field too long.
    the play calling is terrible, cant stand kyle.
    What have the shannahans done besides tank a season to get a good draft pick, might be time to move on. the 18 mil penalty has really hurt, its like we have to wait one more year watching this crap.

  46. So idiotic. RG3 forced his own early return to the game. Pretty obvious that Cousins should have started the 1st four games this year, at least. Not sure what’s up with RG3. Too much time in front of the microphone and on his commercials. Really thought he was the real deal. Don’t think so anymore.
    He looks to be a bit too full of himself, partly his fault and partly the media’s fault. He needs a timeout.

  47. that’s fine right now I don’t think we should sit him after 2 weeks, but if we continue to be as ineffective we’ve been and we go 0-3 the skins gotta start thinking about Cousins. The defense has been horrible but going 3 and out every series and turning the ball over isn’t helping anything as far as defense is concerned.

  48. The playcalling is noticeably different from last year… They need to play 35-40 runs and 20 passes per game and the passing needs to be dink-and-dunk, mostly… That’s what this group can do successfully, like last year. Kyle’s simply not calling that kind of game. Why not?

  49. Funny how people say that Washington getting scored on a ton isn’t any fault of the offense. Going three and out and not moving the ball doesn’t do your defense any favors. Just like people blaming the Vikings defense for the loss to the Bears. Their defense got four turnovers and scored a TD while the Vikes offense managed to score 16 and gave up a pick six. If your offense doesn’t move the ball then it affects the defense! RGIII is great but is obviously rusty. Teams are getting to play against a defense that is gassed because the offense isn’t doing anything. Chicken or the egg, right?

  50. @adenaguy – glad to see that Washington has common sense fans remaining. I couldn’t have said it better myself and I agree with your RG3 assessment 100%. He’s too much of a diva.

  51. And to think Washington only had to give up THREE NUMBER ONE PICKS to draft RG-ME. Looks like they’ll be pretty high picks. GO RAMS!

  52. What RGIII needs is a COACH with a system for a moble QB not just a read option play. Mike dont like RGIII no more than he did McNabb.
    this time McNabb called it right. and I think RGIII knows it. IF Im wrong (and truthfully I hope I am wrong) I will take back everything I just said ..but I dont think so.

  53. Time to correct the record.

    The problem IS the rusty prima donna – RPD.

    How many points has his wonderful QB play directed on the scoreboard during the first half?


    The defense has scored more than he has in the first half.

    When you have a quarterback so mediocre that he cannot sustain any drives, cannot complete ANY passes in the air over 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, when he is as lethargic and lazy and lacks any urgency, shows no leadership, and seems just as happy-go-lucky down 30 points as he is when the Redskins once upon a time were up by 7 points, you know the issue is entirely the starting quarterback.

    Idiots who pin the blame on the defense forget – we have several starters out because of NFL bans – we have rookies starting on defense – and not one of these players is one-legged.

    You ignorant fools ignore that RPD is easily sacked – is so immobile that he doesn’t dare execute a simple play of rollout. He shows how precious little talent he has as a quarterback – take his legs away from him and he is nothing -absolutely nothing.

    I hope the Redskins stick with this RPD mess – I loathe him and have always despised the ground he walks on – he has always been a fraud and all the smoke and mirrors can not hide his ineptness now. I hope the Redskins, my team of choice btw, sink to the levels of the Lions of a few years ago – I will rub every RPD lovers’ nose in the mess that he is.

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