Many who follow the Redskins likely believe that cats and dogs would get along before Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan would have a phone conversation that was positive in nature. But apparently the two did just that in the last few weeks, at least according to the former Redskins head coach.
Shanahan’s issues in dealing with Griffin in 2013 were a major factor in the coach getting fired from his job with the Redskins. But when Griffin was a free agent Shanahan said that when he was talking to Rams coach Jeff Fisher about another matter, he recommended his former quarterback to Fisher.
“I said, ‘Hey. I know there’s a lot of things out there that come across negative, especially with my name on it, and I’d just like to tell you how I feel about them,’” Shanahan said Wednesday on ESPN 980. “’I think if he goes back and we do some of the things that we did as a rookie, not that he hasn’t grown in different areas, he’s got a chance to be successful.'”
Although Griffin did not visit with the Rams and Los Angeles never seemed to be a team that was highly interested in signing him he did hear about the conversation between the two coaches and, according to Shanahan, he called his former coach.
“Robert called me and unbeknownst to me -- Jeff never said anything to me -- he just wanted to thank me for you know, saying nice things about him,” Shanahan said. “I said, ‘Robert I believe this. We talked about this at the end of the season…. I’d be more than happy to talk to all the guys if you want me to talk to [Bengals head coach] Hue Jackson, [Jets head coach] Todd Bowles.”
Griffin visited with the Jets prior to visiting and eventually signing with the Browns.
While he had Griffin on the phone, Shanahan said that he advised Griffin to try to be open to running some of the Redskins’ 2012 offense that featured him as a mobile, read-option quarterback.
“’I was with you when we did some things no one else has ever done and you still have that opportunity if you want to go that direction,’” Shanahan said he told Griffin. “’If you don’t, then I think you’re going to struggle.’”
Of course, to what extent Griffin revives the 2012 playbook depends on what Hue Jackson wants to do, not what Shanahan and Griffin think is best. The picture in Cleveland is complicated by the possibility that the Browns will draft a quarterback with their top draft pick, No. 2 overall. Jackson may not be inclined to tailor an offense to the strengths of a quarterback who might be the backup by midseason, if not sooner.
But, in any case, if your dog is suddenly friendly with the neighborhood cat you know what’s going on.
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