Mike Shanahan talks Snyder and RG3 in epic press conference


Most NFL coaches’ press conferences are relatively dull affairs, with coaches keeping things close to the vest, trying to avoid making waves, and wrapping things up as quickly as possible.

And then there’s Mike Shanahan’s press conference in Washington today.

Shanahan went off on a wide variety of topics, focused almost exclusively on the odd relationship triangle among himself, team owner Dan Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III. Shanahan attempted to portray himself as a coach who simply cares about the health of Griffin and the health of the franchise, and he insisted that he likes coaching the team and has nothing against Snyder. And Shanahan said the decision to bench Griffin for the rest of the season was done only in consultation with Snyder.

Toward the end of the lengthy press conference, Shanahan said, “I’ve talked more right now than I have in the last six months.” Here’s some of what Shanahan said:

On whether he second-guesses any previous decisions about playing Griffin on a bad knee: “You can always go back and always question yourself,” Shanahan said. “The doctors said he was 100 percent. So you go with the doctors, who felt — and Robert felt — he was 100 percent.”

On his relationship with Griffin: “My job is not always to be somebody’s friend. My job is to coach him. My job is to get the best out of somebody. I’m not looking to Robert to be liked. I hope that the respect level is there, and that he does like me.”

On regretting his decision not to pull Griffin from last season’s playoff loss to the Seahawks: “I should have went with my gut. But I thought he earned the right to play because he convinced me he was OK. But I think, you’re talking about honestly right here, it cost us the game.”

On consulting with Snyder about shutting Griffin down: “I talked to Dan Snyder about a week ago, talked to him about the amount of hits Robert has had. Any time you’ve been hit as many times as he’s been hit, I thought it was in his best interests, and the organization, to talk about whether we should continue playing Robert if he’s been hit as much as he’s been hit.”

On why Griffin needs to be healthy heading into this offseason: “If he missed two offseasons in a row, that would be the hardest thing . . . that would be devastating to him.”

On why the franchise quarterback is the only player he consults with Snyder about: “Dan could care less about the other positions.”

On whether he’ll coach the team next year: “I can’t say that. I don’t know until I sit down with Dan. I’ll give him my opinions and he’ll give me opinions.”

On wanting to return next year: “You always want to finish something you started. Always want to.”

On who will make the decision about whether he coaches in 2014: “That’s Dan’s decision at the end of this year. My job is to do the right thing for the organization.”

On Griffin disagreeing with the decision to shut him down: “I would be disappointed if Robert did not want to be in there with his teammates. I would be the most disappointed guy. I’d be the most disappointed guy in myself if he played the last three weeks and he had an ACL or LCL and it sent him off for his second year in a row without an offseason.”

On Shanahan’s dealings today with the media, compared to the way he normally treats the press: “What I’m trying to do is be as honest as I can, and I don’t normally do that.”

91 responses to “Mike Shanahan talks Snyder and RG3 in epic press conference

  1. What a great communicator. You see that passion he displayed? THAT’S why I want that man to remain Headcoach. The media tried so hard to get him to crack, but Mr. Shanahan maintained his professionalism and calmness. It’s a 5 year plan folks and this is year 4. Next year, the entire NFL better watch out for the Shanahans and Robert Griffin the 3rd. A full offseason, cap space and re-freshed team = Superbowl Champions for the 4th time in Team History. #GodBlesstheRedskins

  2. Shame to see RG3 struggling in Washington. Washington and Dallas is where quarterbacks’ careers go to die. Once he escapes Washington he will have success.

  3. Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!
    Run or pass and score — we want a lot more!
    Beat ’em, Swamp ’em,
    Touchdown! — Let the points soar!
    Fight on, fight on ‘Til you have won
    Sons of Wash-ing-ton. Rah!, Rah!, Rah!
    Hail to the Redskins!
    Hail Victory!
    Braves on the Warpath!
    Fight for old D.C.!

  4. Meh. Little wishy washy from the Red Lobster which is to be expected. Sounds like a bit of damage control mixed in with a desire to up his stock as a HC in 2014. He knows things are a trainwreck, he’s just trying to keep the smoldering under control as best as he can.

  5. After that presser seems like some people are jumping off the Shanny wants to get fired band wagon. He seemed very emotional/heated/genuine. Great acting job or honesty – who knows, time will tell.

    I do buy this statement though: Ensuring a healthy offseason is more important than reps in 3 more games, especially when RG3 already missed one.

  6. Well, I’ve changed my opinion of Shanahan. he has convinced me that he is a standup, straightforward, honest, man with high character and integrity. I BELIEVE MIKE SHANAHAN. If I was one of his players I would run through a wall for him. I would put Mike Shanahan ahead of my family! None of this circus is Mike’s fault.

    Now, I have to go and renew my medication prescription.

  7. He mismanaged the QB situation in the Seahawks playoff game, and he is mismanaging the QB situation again at the end of this season. Goodbye, Mike.

  8. On regretting his decision not to pull Griffin from last season’s playoff loss to the Seahawks: “I should have went with my gut.”

    Your gut?? How about your eyes??
    Anyone watching that game could tell RGIII was clearly hobbled. It was painful to even watch, much less play. Yet Shanahan seemed to be the only one anywhere who couldn’t see it.

    Shanahan broke RGIII. Anyone who saw him playing last week could tell he’s still broken, either temporarily or permanently.

  9. Why does Dan not care about the other positions? He should have at least been asked to elaborate on that most curious answer.

    And finally we get an admission that not pulling him last year was a mistake, I have been screaming about that all this time and finally I get a confirmation from him on that. He said it was his responsibility to do the right thing for the organization, and that’s where he made his biggest mistake. At least he is able to figure that out.

  10. Snyder should stay out it,about how the team should be coached,look at Jerry Jones and what mess he has made,Snyder I hope is not dumb enough to fire Shannahan.

  11. He knows he tarnished his “legacy” and now he is trying to save face, by putting it on everyone but himself. The Red Lobster knows he is in the pot of boiling water and just trying to save himself before he gets cooked.

  12. I don’t understand what’s so epic about that press conference. I would have predicted every one of those answers.

    The only two interesting answers he gave was saying the owner could care less about the other positions and that his decision to leave RGIII in cost them the playoff game.

    Other than that (“I want to finish what I started, “I would expect Robert to want to play”, “that’s Dan’s decision) it was all pretty much cookie cutter stuff.

  13. Mike said he discussed the RGIII situation with Snyder and Snyder agreed……….more will be disclosed.

  14. On why the franchise quarterback is the only player he consults with Snyder about: “Dan could care less about the other positions.”


    That’s the one right there.

  15. It isn’t normal for him to tell the truth? There you have it folks, the man is telling us, not to believe him “most of the time”.

    His honesty is sooooo refreshing.

  16. Imagine in a strange twist of Redskins Fate, Cousins wins the last 3, and wins the heart of Danny Boy. RGMe gets traded in April to the Falcons for a 4th round pick (come on, Im just being honest, at this point its all he’s worth). The Vick/RGMe comparisons would go through the proverbial roof. There would be a mountain to talk about in Georgia.

  17. Shanny sounds like a complete mental case. Time to put him in a home.

    I still can’t get over how he threw Donavan McNabb under the bus after he traded for him!! And put in..Rex Grossman??

    And a 5 year old could see that RG3 needed to come out of that Seattle playoff game yet Shanny left him in, a decision that will be haunting the Skins for years, because I doubt RG3 will ever be the same.

    And why bench him now with the season lost? If he’s your long-term solution, then why are you going with Kirk Cousins? Are you trying to create a QB controversy? Are you trying to piss off RG3 and Daniel Snyder? So many questions, so few answers.

  18. The funniest part is what if Shanahan, Griffin and Snyder are all telling the truth and there really isn’t any animosity between the men. The media could have totally sabotaged this team on a weekly basis. Maybe it is revenge for the nickname that some of these outlets love to harp on when the majority of people show little interest.

  19. For those of you surprised or upset by the statement – Dan Snyder doesn’t care about the other positions – think about this.

    It is frequently stated that you need a franchise QB in order to win. You don’t hear that about any other position, you used to about RBs, however in a passing league – you need the QB to be successful. So that is really the only position most owners care about – when it comes to day to day operations like who will start or not.

    If he had said that he had to discuss every position with Snyder you can and should be worried. The fact that he doesn’t also shows that at least to some point Snyder has been backing off.

  20. Well, you certainly wouldn’t hear Jason Garrett talk like this.
    Come to think of it I can’t remember anything that Garrett said, ever.

    but I think Shanahan is toast. Time to start over for the skins. Last year was a fluke.

  21. Coach is 100% right. Offseason practice in developing chemistry with your team before the season is crucial to having a successful season.

    Letting RG3 go out there in week1 when he was not ready only instills a confidence in RG3 that he does not need off season training in order to be ready. This more than anything undermines a coaches ability to coach his players.

    Coach called the owners bluff, now it’s time to see if ownership is ready to let the people he put in place do their job, or step in once again and make a bigger mess of an existing mess.

  22. So how do Brian Orakpo, Pete Garson and the running backs feel having heard that the owner couldn’t care less about them?

    Just when he got his left shoe out of his throat, he shoves the right shoe in. Way to go, Mikey!

  23. I was really skeptical about this decision at first but with the Redskins out of contention I don’t see an issue letting RGIII rest and get a chance to see what Cousins can do over a three game span.

  24. Shanahan has accomplished nothing as an NFL HC without Elway as his QB, but the Rat has all the qualifications (duplicity, lying with a straight face, etc.) to run for public office.

  25. It’s very simple. Redskins are going nowhere. There will be a great market for QBs this offseason. Redskins have a 2nd stringer in Cousins who may well have the talent to start elsewhere, be a hot commodity on the trade market.

    Showcase Cousins. If he performs well, could get you a #1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

    Easy peasie lemon squeasie.

  26. Boy this is exciting and/or comical. I enjoy the likening of Shannahan to George Costanza trying to get run out of the Yankees by dragging trophies through the parking lot and spilling food all over the Babe’s uniform.

    It’s also funny to liken the current state of the Redskins franchise to a dumpster fire and/or a train wreck.

    I wonder what happens next? Will he throw a giant ball of oil out the window? Will he hand out Christmas gifts in the form of a donation to the Human Fund? I can’t wait!

  27. He has 7 million reasons to (try to) do/say the right thing. I’m sure he’d be happy to watch RGIII get killed just as a F-U to Snyder on his way out otherwise.

  28. The St. Louis Rams do not support the decision to bench RGIII! Kirk Cousins may actually win a game.


  29. On whether he’ll coach the team next year: “I can’t say that. I don’t know until I sit down with Dan. I’ll give him my opinions and he’ll give me opinions.”

    Translation: “Fire me. I dare you.”

  30. Wow how al the clown skin fans change their opinion on Shanny by a staged Interview. The game has passed him by people open your eyes, just like you continue to believe RGsorry is a good QB he’s not. So go back to asking for Shannys job you will see

  31. All this drama to avoid stating the obvious- He’s benching RG3 due to performance…Therre’s no infighting, there’s no conflict between Kyle and Bobby or Mike and Danny…..He’s just benching him for poor performance and doesn’t want to say so because of politics and marketing in Washington DC…..

    Boy, wouldn’t THAT be something? If it was the case, then you’ll know when Shanahan doesn’t get replaced. I don’t believe it, but that’s how we’ll know.

  32. Should not be a shock. His dealings with QB’s has always been odd. People forget about him benching Plumber at 8-3 (or something like that) for Cutler Throw in the McScabb fiasco, the playoff game, and now this….who would want to play the position for this guy?

    However, NFL front offices love retreds that have had success, no matter how long ago. He will be a HC of some franchise before the SuperBowl if wants to…but I would guess he would rather sit out and have Dan pay him to further turn the knife.

  33. So he plays him in the 4th qtr up by 1 point on a bad knee in a playoff game and he’s irresponsible. Then he benches him with. 3-9 record and a questionable knee when there’s nothing to play for and people have a problem with that too?

    Proof that everyone is a critic and whatever you decide to do, you shoulda done the opposite in many peoples eyes. Sometimes you just cant win.

  34. Great press conference but I had two thoughts
    1. He really avoided the question why the QB is getting hit so much
    2. Dan Snyder doesn’t care about the other player? How will that play in the locker room?

  35. Having watched, “A Football Life: 1993 Houston Oilers” last night on NFLN, I would venture to say the dysfunction on this team is a pittance compared to that monster of a team-wide train wreck.

    I’ve also witnessed the tomfoolery that has plagued my Browns since Marty Schottenheimer was fired…

    Suck it up, ‘skins fans. It could be worse.

  36. “Dan could care less about the other positions,” LOL. That is the equivalent of Shanahan sticking his thumbs in his ears and sticking his tongue out at Snyder. I’m surprised he didn’t also say, “And furthermore, we should have changed that offensive ‘Redskins’ moniker long ago.”

  37. Snyder gave the OK because playing Cousins reignites the flames in order to finagle a pick out of some team starved for a QB (Minnesota). Snyder has not fired Shanahan because he would have to name someone on his staff (Kyle? Haslett?) as interim. May as well play out the string and dump the whole regime after the loss in East Rutherford. And that’s probably what he will do.

  38. What you will never hear is that this whole thing is manufactured by the media. RG3 played hard this year, and in my league was still top 20 talent, over 3,000 yards passing and 500 yards rushing.

    The real problem is that Washington field, they need to get him to play on turf and indoors.

  39. Here’s what Deep Throat in the basement of the Watergate Towers told me ” Snyder, not Shanahan, wants to preserve G3 for the new incoming HC.” And I thought “Hey makes sense when G3 is the only player Snyder cares about.
    See ya, Shan. Maybe Elway will get ya job as a road scout.

  40. Dear Mr Snyder,

    Please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar on it, retain Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle as your head coach and OC for the next season.

    Signed –

    Rest of the NFL

  41. Wow! If you would have told me in preseason that the Jets would not be the laughing stock by this time, I would have called you a liar. Now the REDskins and Texans have easily taken the clown car to the top of the circus.

  42. The only reason Kirk Cousins is starting there hoping his trade value goes up maybe get them back a first round pick. If Cousins looks good these last 3 games somebody will throw a 1st rd or 2nd rd pick at them for Cousins

  43. I was at the Bronco game when the skins came to town and when they benched rg3 Cousins looked pretty darn good… minus the pick he threw… what I’m saying is he looked better than rg3 did. Not sure if that was coaching or not but rg3 doesn’t look like the same guy he was last year. He needs time to rest, get his head back in the game and get ready for next year… probably without Mike.

  44. logicalvoicesays says:


    RG3 doesn’t do the NFL franchise QB play style, and he’s got one knee racked up and the other with a couple of hard hits this year, so he can’t scramble like he’s always done…..

    and you think it’s Superbowl time next year?

    RG3 will never go to a Superbowl, much less in 2014

  45. 1) The job of a head coach involves ALOT of not telling the truth if you want to keep your job.

    2) There are protocals when dealing with owners, “face of the franchise” is when phone calls are mandatory.

    3) John Madden came from an era when you sent guys back out with disregard for their health. The NFL paid the price. (lawsuit)

    I thought Shanny was fantastic, before this I was a critic, not anymore.

  46. I love the negativity surrounding the redskins. But I don’t like people suggesting he’s done nothing with Elway. Pretty sure Griese, Plummer, and Cutler all went to pro bowls under his coaching. Pretty sure there were a couple more appearances in the AFC Championship, one with Plummer for sure in the beard bowl against Roethlisberger.

  47. Most of Washington’s problems do point back to Shannahan’s decision not to pull RG when the Redskins played to Ravens. He was initially hurt in that game. He went out for a quarter or so. Then he was back in. However, he limped so bad and it was clear to all that RG was in a lot of pain. Then Shannahan pull him and sit him down for the rest of the game. Next week, back was RG still hoppling around but a little more mobile. So Shannahan went with RG till the guy literally could not take another snap. My guess is Shannahan does not want to go on record as the guy that destroyed RG’s career. Trouble is that he already has.

  48. He realizes after Snyder disagreed with him about RG3, that he’s as good as gone, so time to start explaining himself and building up his momentum for the next job. For him to call Snyder only caring about the QB position is about as bad as it can get.

    And he likely heard Texas was hiring and looking to park a dump truck of money in front of that person’s house.

  49. “Dan could care less about the other positions.”

    Ladies, gentlemen, and logicalvoice: This is your quote of the year!

  50. Snyder is the worst owner in all of sports. Its depressing when a guy like him owns my favorite team. They will never be good as long as he is around.

  51. Shanahan seems to be working awfully hard to be fired ‘for cause’. He agent needs to tell him that will cost him the money he wants, because you can be damn sure Snyder is having/has had his lawyers looking at exactly how to get it done.

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