Two nice benefits of GMail is 65 gigabytes of storage and top-notch searching. This allows me easily to search back and view all the transcripts from the Redskins pressers.
Nobody likes to be made a fool of, yet here we are again with Skins fans cursing themselves for believing the corner had finally been turned. Ken and I had the luxury to sit down with Dan Snyder the first offseason after the Mike Shanahan hiring. He was crystal clear that his meddling days were over, and I have been trumpeting that "Snyder is in the background" message for years all the way to this past Sunday at 11:35am (right before this bombshell ESPN article).
Sadly, although Dan Snyder kept his fingers out of the personnel decisions, he couldn't help but realize he was meddling in an indirect fashion by establishing a BFF relationship with his star player. How did Mike Shanahan allegedly react? Like any scorned, preteen would, indirectly ratting him out to the world.
But enough of that. I want to look back and learn from my mistakes. Why was I so
duped sure the Redskins would be a 10+ win team again this year? Here are some quotes that surely helped feed that notion. Exhibit A - RGIII was game ready without a preseason:
July 24th, 2013, Richmond, VA: On how not playing preseason snaps affects his overall development:
Robert Griffin III: "I don't think preseason actually matters that much when it comes to that. I think if you talk to a lot of the vets, they don't even like the preseason. I think that's a well-known fact. Even I know that and I've only been in the league one year. I think you can get that timing, those reps in practice and that's what I'm going to get later in the preseason. I look forward to that, but right now it's just about... Everybody is on the same page. We want to make sure that we continue growing as a team. Me and Mike Shanahan's relationship is paramount to this team being successful."
Since RGIII had a year of the NFL under his belt already, I understand why he would think this. Either way, I incorrectly ate that up with two dashes of salt especially when re-reading this article that Rich Tandler found: "Jordan Raanan of NJ.com looked at the returns of five other NFL starting quarterbacks from torn ACLs-Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, and Phillip Rivers. All of them saw two or three games of preseason action in their comeback seasons."
Sept 4, 2013 - Redskins Park - On how concerned he is with "rust" for Griffin III:
Mike Shanahan: "It's not a concern. He has been practicing for the last few weeks at a game-type speed. He's had more reps in this 2013 Training Camp than he did from the year before. He's had about 50 more passes, so he's ready to go."
August 21, 2013, Richmond, VA - On how to determine if Griffin III is ready to start Week 1 without seeing him in a preseason game:
Mike Shanahan: "Remember, the first time Robert has ever had a preseason game was last year. He's never had one in college. He's never had one in high school. You don't have preseason games. When I was in college - I coached there for 10 years - I never had a preseason game. I didn't know what they were. I kind of feel the same way now as I did back then. A lot of times you have games and you are always trying to protect your guys, at least the majority of the guys so they don't get hurt. So there's a fine balance in evaluating players, getting players ready. I really believe that if you can put guys in full-speed type practice, you can get them ready for the regular season. It happens a lot of times, mostly because of injuries."
Others of note:
July 25, 2013, Richmond, VA - On having a relationship/trust with the team:
Mike Shanahan: "I think it's part of any football team is relationships. And people have to trust each other. As I've asked Robert to do, is just be as honest with me as he possibly can. And I think Robert sees this year how important being honest with each other is and that's what we have to do. I told him I'll be as straight forward as I possibly can be with him and I'm hoping that he gives me the same. And if you have that within your organization then you have got a chance to do something special. If you don't, especially with the quarterback or really any position that demands perfection, if you don't have that type of relationship, the chances of being really good or winning the Super Bowl aren't very good."
The context of that conversation was relaying injuries to the head coach.
August 12, 2013, Richmond, VA - On if Shanahan has expressed any regret about the Seattle game:
"Yeah, I mean we ironed that out. There's definitely a trust there. He's expressed regret. Everybody had a little error in what happened in that situation. We've addressed it. We've moved on. This is part of the moving-on process. I have to be patient. That's why I call it ‘Operation Patience.' You don't always have to like it. You don't always have to know why it's going on. But at the end of the day, God's going to bring me out of this and get me back out there on the field with my teammates where I belong."
On what Shanahan specifically said to him about the Seattle game:
"That's got to stay private. I can't divulge that out of respect for the relationship between me and Coach."
The relationship with Shanahan seems impeccable at this point.
Sept 4, 2013 - Redskins Park - On how soon he will learn to slide and get out of bounds when he scrambles:
RGIII: "Monday night [laughter]. I mean, you guys have been talking to me about it for eight months. I think it's ingrained in my head now. I'll be getting down on Monday night."
So, what is are lessons learned from this season? Only make assumptions based on what you see on the field and nothing else. If that person has not played on the field, then assume nothing.