Shanahan says he had to run decision by Snyder and Allen
The decision to bench Robert Griffin III for the final three games was made with the "blessing" of owner Dan Snyder, Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday.
“Dan thought about it, talked to [General Manager Bruce Allen] about it and at the end of the day, we felt that the best thing to do for Robert was to not play him,” Shanahan said Wednesday at Redskins Park. “Give Kirk [Cousins] an opportunity to play, so [Griffin] can go into an offseason healthy. Anytime you miss an offseason in the National Football League, it does set you back quite a bit.”
Asked to describe the decision making process, Shanahan said he told Snyder he would only bench Griffin if he had the owner's full support.
“I said, ‘Hey Dan, we’re not going to go in this direction unless you fully support it,” Shanahan said. “Same with thing with Bruce. You’ve got to tell me that you’re behind this and you’re in favor of it.’"
Shanahan also disputed the notion that he’s making the change in an attempt to anger Snyder, get fired and collect the $7 million he’s owned next season.
“If I’m trying to get fired, I’m not going to call up Dan Snyder and ask his opinion on something [if] I don’t have to,” he said.
Shanahan acknowledged that he isn’t compelled to discuss personnel decisions with the owner. But he made an exception for this one.
“In theory, I don’t,” he said. “But whenever you make a decision like that, with your future quarterback, that you gave up two No. 1s and a No. 2, without having the courtesy to talk to the owner and say, ‘Hey, would you make this move.’ …I would not make it unless I’ve got your blessing. That’s what you do, I think, when you have the communication and respect level between owner and head coach.”
Shanahan added: “He’s your franchise. That’s why you ask those questions. You don’t do it about the other positions. … But I do ask it about a quarterback because you’re going to have a circus atmosphere anytime you make a decision like that.”
Griffin was sacked 24 times in the past five games, including five times against the Chiefs. Shanahan said that there was some internal discussion about benching Griffin prior to facing Kansas City.
“There was talk; I brought it up,” Shanahan said. “It was in the back of my mind.”
Snyder declined to comment on the situation at the NFL meetings in Dallas. “I’m here for the league meeting,” he told NFL Network’s Albert Breer.