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Need to Know: Cooley doesn’t think RG3 should have played Week 1 last year

Jun 28, 2014, 5:30 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 28, 26 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—Chris Cooley stated on ESPN 980 earlier this week that after looking at game video from the early part of last season that it was clear to him that Robert Griffin III should not have been playing (I don’t have the exact quotes, I was driving at the time). He did make it clear that he did not believe that Griffin was still injured, and that he was not risking further injury by being out there. But in Cooley’s view Griffin was not prepared to play against the Eagles and Packers, the Redskins’ opponents in Weeks 1 and 2.

—That is a conclusion that has been reached by others who don’t have Cooley’s trained eye in the film room. You didn’t really need to look past the fact that he threw three interceptions in the first two games of 2013 after throwing just five in all of 2012. But my question for those who say Griffin should have been sidelined early in 2013 is this: What should he have done while he wasn’t playing? How was he going to get better? Griffin didn’t play in the preseason and wasn’t permitted to do much in training camp. Like it or not, those early season games against Philadelphia and Green Bay were his preseason. If he sits them out, he’s probably just as rusty in Weeks 3 and 4 or whenever he came back. If he was healthy enough to play Week 1 you can make a good case that he needed to play.

—So it’s easy to say that Griffin should not have played last September. But the reality is far from cut and dried. There are too many “what ifs” involved to reach any firm conclusions. Perhaps the solution would have been for him to play in a couple of preseason games. Maybe Dr. James Andrews would not have cleared him but we don’t know if he was asked to or not. Mike Shanahan knew there would be a firestorm if Griffin had been hurt in a preseason game so perhaps him sitting out until the season opener was as much a coach’s decision as it was a medical decision. We’ll never really know.

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—It’s been 181 days since the Redskins played a game; in 71 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 26; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 40; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 78

In case you missed it

  1. kkingrich - Jun 28, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    The bigger questions are about our team and how that cap penalty crippled us. We let numerous vets go and it killed us in all three phases. This is a new year and the cloud of the penalty is over. There is a new regime that has replinished the ranks through free agency and draft. I expect a playoff push this year if the defense improves to the middle of pack.httr

  2. kenlinkins - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    Rich: Did Cooley mean Physically, Mentally,or in general not prepared and should not be playing? As for the options at QB in Sept and what might have happened if other way was picked, I will wait until Coach Shanahan, RG3, team mates and or a Redskins history sports reporters write their books on the 2013 season. We as fans are almost never given the really story until much later after the fact. So, when is your next book due out and will it have a chapter on the 2013 season?

    • aprilwalker2013 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      Love your comment kenlinkins…..We gotta know SOMEBODY in that group will write a book about the 2013 year! Too much happened for one of them not to…HTTR

  3. jayovalentine - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Neither do I Captain Obvious… I mean Captain Chaos. We should have PUP listed him and ran him thru some practices til he was ready. But what do I know…. I’m just a die hard fan…

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:08 AM

      Really? The problem is a player can’t practice when he’s on the PUP list. Not at all. Griffin would not have even been able to play catch with a teammate. Oh, and there’s the little matter that he was physically cleared to play. PUP simply was not an option for Griffin.

      > >

  4. tonywhitehead67 - Jun 29, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Let’s move forward now on the topic of should RG III should have played. Bottom line is RG III put himself (selfish)before the team and Shanahan did not make the right decision by playing him week 1. The earliest game RG III should have played was the game in Dallas after 4 games and a bye week. Archives

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