In a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden explained why he doesn’t like the benching of Robert Griffin III, he called Mike Shanahan’s actions “baloney.”
I mean, you know it’s baloney…I like Mike Shanahan, and I’m not talking behind his back, but when you say something like that, you know that’s not right. You’re not going to sacrifice regular season games. There’s only 16 of them a year. You’re not going to sacrifice regular season games for an offseason program.
I don’t understand what they’re doing. It’s hard to take, ‘Well, we’re watching out for RGIII’s health and his welfare.’ You know, if you felt (that way) about his health and welfare, you probably would have done something about it a year ago, or maybe even earlier in the season, when he started the regular season without any preseason practice.
Madden has a valid point. In a contact sport such as football, if Shanahan was looking to preserve the health of Griffin then why not bench him the moment the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs? Several times the last few weeks Mike Shanahan used the words “game experience” and drove home the fact that RG3 needed the on-field reps to further develop into a pocket passer.
His playing is going to to help him. He needs experience, he needs snaps, he needs reps, he needs to get his confidence back. And if it’s a problem of taking too many sacks and too many hits then BLOCK BETTER for him. Get some better blockers, get a better scheme, go an extra lineman sometimes, go an extra tight end, chip a good pass rusher, do SOMETHING to help him other than to shut him down. Where did ‘shut him down’ ever come up in football? I never heard ‘shut him down.’ I mean, that was a baseball thing — a pitch count, (as in), ‘He’s thrown so many; now we’re going to shut him down.’ I’ve never heard of a football player ever being shut down. Now if he’s hurt, that’s a different story. If he’s hurt and can’t play, then we’re talking about a different ballgame here.”
What has Madden particularly confused is that he believes Shanahan has put the integrity of the game in jeopardy.
This is still regular-season football, draft order, that’s one small thing, but you still owe it to the people that are playing, that are still in the playoff picture. And when you can affect that and you don’t affect it with an all-out performance, then I think that affects the integrity of the game … If you’re in the regular season, there’s only one way to play, and that’s to play your best people to win the game, every regular season game.