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Report: ‘Little question mark’ about RG3’s work ethic

Jan 11, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT


Hey, it’s been several days since we’ve had unsubstantiated questions about the character of Robert Griffin III floated out there. We were due for some more, right?

Well, whether we needed it or not, we got it.

On Friday, Chris Mortensen was on ESPN’s NFL Insiders show and he was talking about how Jay Gruden will work with his new quarterback.

“He said he expects him to come in and prepare and do the work — that’s the one little question mark you heard behind the scenes. That’s something Gruden’s going to try to demand out of RG3,” Mortensen said (via Pro Football Talk).

Much has been questioned about Griffin, some of it legitimate, much of it not. But his work ethic has never been questioned. In 2012 he came to the came to Redskins Park in April after being drafted and by September he had mastered a complex offense that was a combination of some elements from the college game with which he was familiar and a lot of other elements that were new to him. Griffin managed to learn it well enough to have one of the best seasons a rookie QB has ever had.

Here’s what Kyle Shanahan had to say about him in December (at a point where he knew he would be fired):

“He came out of a system that wasn’t really similar to ones in the NFL. He’s been awesome to work with since we’ve gotten him. He’s tried everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s gotten better in a lot of areas. We’ve asked him to do things that he hadn’t done before until he got here. I think he did a hell of a job with that stuff last year. He’s continued to grow this year.”

And while some might question Griffin’s motivation for wanting to return from his January knee injury in time to play in the season opener you can’t deny that he worked long and hard to get it done.

His teammates and other staff at Redskins Park have always talked positively about Griffin’s work ethic both on and off the record. I can’t prove a negative and say that nobody has ever question how hard Griffin works but no instance comes to mind. I have reasons to go to Redskins Park once or twice a week during the offseason and it was very rare not to see Griffin’s car in the lot on any day of the week.

But Mort says there are “little questions”. Who is raising these questions? We don’t know, but one has to think that a certain former head coach has Mortensen’s cell number.

  1. mshannon88 - Jan 11, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    I have a feeling shanahan has been the “source” behind a lot of these reports coming out about RG3. I think shanahan is just tryin to save face after an abysmal season, and by putting out all these so called question marks about his work ethic, it makes shanahan look like he had it bad. Yea recovering from 3 torn ligaments in your knee 7 months after you should have pulled him from the game is bad work ethic. Thanks mike for setting RG3 back a year

  2. HaromdTaint - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    WTF does Mort know? So sick of the manufactured BS.

  3. hailyeah1 - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    well Rich i guess all these reports will keep coming out until its put to rest on the field when RG3 returns to form and we are winning again.the haters in the media love a good controversy to stir things up!!!.
    thanks to you for being one of the good guys !!!!

  4. internetcareer - Jan 11, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    It has become apparent that Mike Shanahan is a CANCER. He sent a “cancer virus” throughout the Redskins system starting early last year….and it appears to continue.That guy said it all in his press conference with the statement: “hey..I’m trying to be honest with you guys….which is something I don’t normally do”. HE IS A CANCER.

  5. zatoichi7 - Jan 11, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    really, rich, you’re going to blame shanahan for this. shanahan is on record praising griffin’s work ethic. irresponsible remark to end your article.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:37 AM

      Doesn’t mean he can’t send out a jab after he’s already out the door. Look I’m not going to get into back and forth about whether or not Shanahan went on a smear campaign against Griffin starting in early December. It’s so obvious, if you can’t see it I can’t help you.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2014 at 5:39 AM

      Oh, and please find me Shanahan quotes about RG’s work ethic in the last month or so if his tenure. In one presser he had two chances to say that RG is coachable. Refused to say it either time.

  6. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Blaming Shannahan makes no sense he drafted RG3 bashing his work ethic and skills would make Shannahan look bad for drafting him. I would look at people with something to gain. It could have bin one of the O-Linemen to distract away from there bad O-Line play or it could be Hasslett to distract away from his bad play calling. It could be Cousins or Grossmen trying to move up in position. It just doesn’t make sense to me for Shannahan to do this and I truely believe that he benched RG3 because he knew the O-LINE was playing bad and since we were out of it there was no use in risking his health

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Believe whatever you’d like. I hope Santa was good to you and I’m sure you’re looking forward to the Easter Bunny coming.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 12, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Rich if Shannahan wanted an excuse for the 3-13 he could have easily pointed to the O-LINE, FIRED HASSLET, and FIRED SPECIAL TEAMS COACH. That would have easily gotten him off the hook. Blaming a QB he hand picked makes him look worst and he was hand picked because Shannahan had say on all Roster moves like you pointed out to me when he signed the O-lineman off wavers at end of season

        • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2014 at 9:32 PM

          Believe whatever you would like to.

  7. aprilwalker2013 - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I really like you Rich and always respect your opinion on all Redskins matters!! I’ve read all comments here, I do remember during the last month of season, Mike talked on a day he never does or so was reported, on the reports out about QB not wanting his bad plays shown. I just think, with all due respect, blaming MS for all reports being said about QB is getting a bit too much. I like our QB and obviously, he and MS had some issues, but our QB did and said some things that deserve to be questioned! Mike is gone, and as much as I do like RG3, if he’s not there MS doesn’t get fired this year. Just hope we can stop blaming MS for everything that’s said about the QB, he gets along great with new coach, we have a better season, and we move on!! HTTR

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      I always appreciate your comments, April. But when Mike stops this smear campaign against Griffin, I’ll stop. It’s simple really.

      Nobody else has both the motivation to trash Griffin (simple narrative MS is trying to create: 3-13 wasn’t my fault) and the ability to get the word out through Schefty, Sally, Mort, Mike Silver, etc. If/when somebody can point that person out to me I will consider that this “information”, such as it is, is coming from someone other than Mike Shanahan. Until then, I’m going to believe that it’s him and continue to point it out whenever stuff like this comes out.

      In short, when Shanny moves on, I’ll be happy to move on. But no sooner.

      • kenlinkins - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Rich, I think you hit the nail right on the head. IMO Mike Shanahan’s ego will not allow him to walk away without placing most of the blame at RG3’s feet (anywhere but his own) and do it from afar. While some of the blame was earned (happy feet in the pocket, drop left hand on pocket pass plays, holding the ball to long, not finishing reads) the Work Ethic story rang a bell on my BS meter. From the first few games it seemed like everyone was pressing (yes coach’s as well as players) trying to prove 2012 was not a fluke and the RG3 injury would not hold back coach Shanahan’s team. The O-Line had problems after we spend money at G and RT but everyone pointed to RG3 not setting his feet, Our defense was just beat to death and we were told RG3 didn’t want to run the Option Read play, We didn’t run the ball for a whole quarter and other questions about play calling and we were told RG3’s was causing turn overs (both INT and fumbles), even at 3-6 again we were told that we could win the NFC East again but one look at the teams face told you it was not true and that RG3 had trouble in the Red Zone and was not seeing the field (caused by his knee?) Now we hear that RG3’s work Ethic is not up to par and with everything listed it would make sense as RG3’s development went backwards (see list above), but I have to question the source! NOT MORENSEN but Coach Shanahan (be it Kyle or Mike). If I had to point to one thing that caused the Redskins to go 24 and 40 the last 4 years, it would be TOO MUCH DRAMA, and that started way before RG3 got here! (and I was not for the RG3 deal, but he seems to be getting a raw deal from his ex head coach. Archives

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