RGIII Takes A Knee

Communication in our Nation’s capitol hasn’t been the greatest lately.  “Fiscal Cliff” being Exhibit A.

We have had trouble believing in our country’s leadership in recent years as it is.

Perhaps it was inevitable some misguided leadership and miscommunication would eventually infect the region’s pro football team.

Remember at mid-season when Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan indicated his team would look to the future, essentially giving up on 2012?

He has been answering questions ever since indicating that indication what not what he was indicating at all.  I think there is a universal agreement in the deep depression of a tough loss that’s exactly what Shanahan meant.  But he says it must be us.  Our miscommunication issue.

Well Mike, that now pales in comparison to what is going on now with your star QB…RGIII.

As Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to communicate how very concerned the NFL is for player safety – while looking to add even more games – he has to have at least one eyebrow raised in the direction of the District of Columbia about the leadership and communication between Shanahan and his team’s orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews…as Robert Griffin III now faces surgery today on his ravaged right knee.

Griffin’s right knee never looked right when he first came back.  He looked worse early on Sunday in the Redskins’ playoff game against Seattle.  It was downright horrifying how he looked when his knee finally buckled for good in the latter moments of Washington’s eventual 24-14 loss to the Seahawks.

A playoff loss is one thing.  A potential loss of a rising superstar for a significant period of time, with no guarantee he will ever be the same again, is quite another.

Dr. Andrews contradicts the stories Shanahan has been spinning regarding whether he was fully examined, cleared to play medically, etc. when the injury first occurred.  And, it appears Shanahan is quite comfortable hiding behind the fact Griffin has been consistently communicating he wanted to be out there ever since it happened…even after injuring it further during Sunday’s contest.  He simply didn’t want to come out.

Shanahan and the Redskins were criticized and fined earlier this season for the handling of another Griffin injury. The team described RGIII as being “shaken up” after he suffered a concussion in Week 5 against Atlanta.  The NFL fined Washington $20K for not properly communicating the injury to the news media (and everyone else of course).

It seems the Redskins coaching staff and medical staff may have a leadership and communication problem similar to the one the team displayed in that instance.  And ultimately, this instance could cost the franchise way, way more than $20K.

We now await the results of the surgery to determine how many acronyms RGIII has sprained and/or ruptured.

If the leader of the NFL is to be taken seriously on the issue of player safety he might want to advise the leadership in Washington the way the NFL rolls now is medical personnel first decides who can play and who can’t.

Not the Head Coach.

And most certainly…not the player.

Lord knows there are enough former ones already lined up for kickoff in court against the NFL and their alleged history with poor leadership and miscommunication regarding injuries.


About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
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10 Responses to RGIII Takes A Knee

  1. J-Dub says:

    So, Jay Cutler takes himself out of a game with what turns out to be a legit knee injury, and gets crucified. RG III “guts it out” and may very well have messed up his career. Which way are we going here?


  2. Excellent question. Which way indeed?


  3. You are right – that knee didn’t look right when the game started. It was obvious he was injured. Coach? Hey – player: any common sense concerning pain? And that recent Nightline report about colleges using pain killers to keep players in the game despite the danger…like cardiac arrest?
    Not a game anymore.


    • I did not see the Nightline report but I read of it. Seems some colleges were reluctant to comment on the situation at all. Some “hiding” behing medical and student privacy laws…some hoping not to be found out about.


  4. Troy Beckman says:

    Somewhere, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo is beaming about his decision to hold Stephen Strasburg out of the playoffs. Different situation, and I actually love watching RGIII play, but I find myself hoping for information to surface about a conspiracy between Mike Shanahan and Daniel Snyder to usurp medical opinion and ride their horse all the way….further running the franchise into the ground.


  5. Ironic indeed DC had one franchise looking out for its long-term health while the other risked it all right out of the gate. Troy, there certainly will be more coming on this in the weeks ahead. Will be a “trending topic” for quite awhile.


  6. SA…

    Having a similar debate in the comments section over at the Chump, what with all the people now bashing Shanny for leaving RGIII in a little too long.

    Here was my argument and bear with me.

    Remember last year, when USC was making a run and people were raving about how great a coach Lane Kiffin was, as if they had forgotten anywhere he had ever coached before?

    This year, same thing with Shanahan. Yes, he got his two rings with Elway and no one can ever take that away from him but it wasn’t long ago that we were blasting him for sucking as a coach. Then what happens? This year, RGIII makes him look like a genius and we’re showering him with praise, until of course, RGIII goes down and Shanny’s a dumb bastard once again.


    • Chris…I will admit I’ve never thought Shanahan was worth a darn in DC. And indeed, I was always suspicious of his true talent in Denver. I didn’t give him any genius status while RGIII was running wild for sure. I do think he and that organization were desperate to deliberately cover up the QB’s actual condtion on more than one occasion and eventually took advantage of Griffin’s extreme hunger to play no matter what happened to himself in the long-term (and you have to wonder about Robert’s thought process in this instance also). Mike Shanahan is the point man at the press conferences but I hold the whole Redskins organization responsible for this debacle. I watched all of his first game back from the injury and you could see the guy was not right then. Then. Why push it so very hard in Year One of RGIII…especially with the NFL trying to sell us all on the concern for a player’s well-being? Did Shanahan think this was his last shot to win something with the guy?


  7. It was interesting being back in DC and watching that game at a Redskins bar. By the three quarter everyone in there knew RGIII needed to come out of the game and when he blew out the knee they we’re all reminded that Shanahan arguably not the right coach. Amazing that people forget how poorly Shanahan mismanaged the position during the first two seasons in Washington and that all of this shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.


    • Indeed, sports fans can sometimes have short memories…especially when winning is involved. “Who cares how we got here…” I can’t imagine the reactions of Redskins fans watching the end-is-near torture of RGIII’s play.


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