- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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When you can't get RG III, you talk to RG II. As part of the futile attempt to satisfy the public appetite for news about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, his father has been doing interviews about Griffin's recovery from knee surgery, his prospects for next season and the circumstances under which he got injured in the first place. In this video interview with WJLA, Griffin II says he would have pulled Griffin III after the Redskins went up 14-0 on the Seahawks in the playoff game (a reasonable point of view that some of us were actually expressing in the press box at the time), and that Griffin III "absolutely" plans to be ready to play in the Week 1 "Monday Night Football" game against the Eagles.
Griffin II also spoke with The Washington Post and said he hopes this year's game plan calls for less running and more passing by his son than last season's did:
"I just know that based on what I know Robert can do, he doesn't have to be a runner as much as I saw last year," Griffin Jr. told the newspaper. "To me, you're paying these [receivers] a lot of money to catch the football. I'm his dad -- I want him throwing that football, a lot. A lot."
"I think for [Griffin III], he likes some of the things that they do. And he feels any area where he had a concern, he addressed it. And I think [the Shanahans] have concerns, too. We want to have a united community," he told the newspaper. "That first year everybody was just, 'Wow.' And now we have to look at sustainment. It can't be a 'Wow' again."
There's lots to say about this, but let's start with the fact that it's just the latest bit of evidence that Robert Griffin III lives on a planet that none of us will ever even get to view with a telescope, let alone visit. Honestly, I was trying to imagine a reporter calling my dad and him saying, "I really wish ESPN.com would stop having Dan write a morning links post every day, because eventually it's going to impact his sleep patterns." The kid's an employee! He'll run the plays they call.
That said, I don't think it's fair to assume that the Year 1 game plan for Griffin was the Year 2 game plan, let alone the long-term one. Mike Shanahan said from the start that his plan was to throw everything in the offense at Griffin in 2012 training camp, pick out the things he did best and use them in the regular season, then add more in Year 2 and Year 3 as Griffin grew and developed as an NFL player. Totally reasonable, and any assumption that the Redskins wanted Griffin to rush for 800 yards every year of his career is baseless.
Parents want to protect their children from harm. It's the most basic of instincts, and it's all that's coming out in these interviews with Griffin's father. And it's good that Griffin and his coaches are talking about what they want to do together going forward, because it's in both sides' best interest to work and flourish together. The key thing for everyone to remember, inside and outside the Redskins' organization, is that Griffin is at the beginning of something, and it's necessarily going to change and develop as it goes along. The first year was breathtaking, then heartbreaking, and ultimately it's best for everyone if things settle down a bit and the extremes are avoided. The first job of everybody connected with this situation is to get Griffin healthy. Then they can get to work on how to manage the next decade-plus of his career.