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Robert Griffin III: 'There is no conflict' with Mike Shanahan

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Robert Griffin III says there's 'no conflict' between he and Mike Shanahan.
Robert Griffin III says there's 'no conflict' between he and Mike Shanahan. (USATSI)

Robert Griffin III, the Redskins let it be known, would only talk to the media once a week. So it was quite a surprise when he altered his press schedule and popped into the media room in Richmond on Tuesday to issue a statement on his comments just 24 hours earlier.

Griffin pointed out Monday that he didn't like -- or really understand -- the "predetermined" plan Mike Shanahan had for his rehab. That led to all kinds of speculation, with Griffin clarifying Tuesday that "there is no conflict" between himself and Shanahan.

"I just needed to address something was said, or something that's been going along in the media since I had my press conference [Monday]. I just want everybody to know if there's any questions about if there's a rift between me and Coach [Mike Shanahan] or if there's a conflict, there is no conflict," Griffin said. "Coach is 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.

"[Monday], I voiced my opinion about it because I was asked about it. That's been twisted and turned and tried to put against this team and that's not what we want. Like I said, Coach is Coach. Kirk [Cousins], Rex [Grossman] and Pat [White] have done a great job all offseason with the team getting in and out of the huddle and making plays, and it's an honor for me to be in the quarterback room with those guys.

"That being said, I'm excited about tomorrow."

You won't believe this, but Shanahan apparently didn't know Griffin was going to pop into the media room and issue a statement.

"I was just told that Robert just spoke to you," Shanahan said. "I had no idea that that was going to happen."

I'm kidding. Of course you'll believe that -- the two haven't been on the same page when it comes to communicating with the media. But Shanahan knows what he's doing when it comes to quarterbacks. He cited the way he and John Elway battled constantly when he was coaching the Denver Broncos as an example of how the quarterback-coach relationship works.

"Me and John Elway use to have knockdown, drag-out fights all the time," Shanahan said. "That is a part of being a competitor and that is another reason you have great relationships with your quarterbacks. That's part of the process. You want that strong mindset, but at the same time, when I look back at my experience dealing with all these injuries, I think I have got a good feel what a guy can do and what a guy can't do and what it takes to get him ready for his first game. That is what I hope to do."

Sometimes it's easy to rip the would-be rift between Griffin and Shanahan. That Elway line is a good reminder that the Redskins coach knows what he's doing when it comes to quarterbacks. He has a very good one in Griffin and Shanahan understands RG3 wants to be on the field, especially since he's ahead of pace on his rehab.

Even if that's not going to end up happening.

"I think the main thing is that it's always tough when you have a great competitor like Robert," Shanahan said. "He wants to play. I think you can see his body language; he wants to be out there. That's a positive I shared with you all yesterday. So I love that. I love the mindset. But we do have a plan for Robert. Hopefully that plan will work. I'm hoping that there's no setback. He has looked good and hopefully we can keep on getting ready for the first game. Hopefully there's no setback where we can do that."

Does everyone hear that? The plan is to get RG3 ready for the first game. It's that simple, folks. It might not be pretty getting there, and the media (hi, guilty) might blow up the day-to-day interaction between the two. But if RG3 is ready to go in prime time against the Eagles in Week 1 that's all that matters in the end.

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