By JOSEPH WHITE
RICHMOND, Va. — Robert Griffin III took another shot at explaining his relationship with Mike Shanahan on Tuesday, making a surprise appearance in the Washington Redskins media room to proclaim that “there is no conflict” between quarterback and coach.
“Just want everybody to know if there’s any questions about if there’s a rift between me and Coach, or if there’s a conflict, there is no conflict,” Griffin said. “Coaches coach. I’m the player. Coach has a plan, and I’m abiding by that plan. I’m doing everything the coaches are asking me to do. I trust those guys. They want me to have a long career. And that’s what part of this plan is about.”
Griffin said comments he made during his weekly news conference on Monday have been misinterpreted. Griffin said Monday that he didn’t like his restrictive practice plan and didn’t completely understand Shanahan’s reasoning behind it.
“Yesterday I voiced my opinion about it because I was asked about it, and that’s been twisted and turned and tried to put against his team,” Griffin said. “And that’s not what we want.”
Griffin has been limited to 7-on-7 drills as he returns from reconstructive surgery on his right knee. He has been publicly lobbying to do more, saying on Monday that he’s “dang near close to 100 percent.” He also wants to play in a preseason game, an idea vetoed by Shanahan.
Griffin is scheduled to take his first 11-on-11 snaps Wednesday, albeit on a limited basis.
Griffin spoke for 66 seconds Tuesday and took no questions. He finished with a smile and said: “I’m excited about tomorrow.”
The to-and-fro between Griffin and Shanahan has become the weekly highlight of camp. Griffin makes his case in front of the microphones, then Shanahan appears a few hours later and reminds everyone that the coach is the one in charge.
Asked Tuesday about the dynamic of having a franchise player who publicly disagrees with him, Shanahan referenced his relationship with John Elway when both were with the Denver Broncos.
“Robert is an energetic guy who wants to play. He shared with you how bad he wants to play,” Shanahan said. “I do talk to Robert. I talk to him about different ways that I think that you can lead or different ways to handle different situations. I will throughout the year, but it doesn’t change a person’s personality.
“Me and John Elway used to have knock-down, drag-out fights all the time. And that’s part of being a competitor, and that’s another reason you have great relationships with your quarterbacks.”
The saga continues Wednesday. Asked how many 11-on-11 snaps Griffin will get, Shanahan smiled.
“I’m going to try to keep this very exciting for everybody so you guys can count the reps,” Shanahan said. “We’ve got a plan. Each week will be a little bit different, and we’ll see how the plan goes. Once I share the plan with you, if I do change it, then all of a sudden the world starts tumbling down. I don’t need it on SportsCenter every time he takes a rep.”