The Redskins regime under Head Coach Mike Shanahan on paper resembles Bill Belichick's Patriot system. Unfortunately, the organizational climate in Ashburn, VA is far from that of Foxboro, MA. Since Shanahan has arrived in DC, his intentions were to create a tightly run media-silent football team. In all actuality Shanahan's Redskins have been anything but that. Here are some examples of why the Redskins are not the Patriots when it comes to managing the Media and Diva Players:
- The Albert Hanesworth saga was the purest definition of a media circus. Mike Shanahan's reluctance to bend his physical standards for Big Al resulted in live ESPN coverage of Hanesworth's wind sprints.
- Then came the benching of Donovan McNabb for "cardiovascular endurance" reasons.
- And how can you forget the John Beck vs Rex Grossman QB Controversy?
- Last but not least has certainly been the "Handling of RG3's injury" during the Redskins' 2012 playoff push.
Unlike the other three media frenzies, Shanahan faces something that could prove to be more lasting in this situation. Shanahan has two young quarterbacks who couldn't be more different both on the field and off the field. One of his young quarterbacks (RG3) has posed for GQ before taking a snap in the NFL.
The other (Kirk Cousins) paid $10 for a haircut in Northern VA after eventually being forced to shave his head based on the end product (see above). Knowing how Shanahan conducts himself, I don't think there is any doubt which quarterback's style he prefers off the field. On the field, RG3 had the clear advantage. That is, until he underwent his second torn ACL surgery and lied to his coach about it during their playoff game.
There are a few reasons why the trust between head coach Mike Shanahan and RG3 has dissipated since the Wild Card Game. First, Coach Shanahan was not on the plane to see RG3's surgury in January, while owner Dan Snyder was there. Then came numerous twitter posts from RG2 (RG3's dad) about how NFL Coach Mike Shanahan had misused his son (RG3) on the field in 2012. This type of drama is usually found in Pop Warner Leagues but not this time; not in DC. Couple the knee injury drama with RG3's overbearing parents, weird rap videos he made on Youtube, dinners with the owner, a wedding registry accepting gifts from strangers, and Hooters Girl mistriss rumors, and you have a Diva Quarterback with some "off the field issues".
Could this be the start of Jeff George part II? Probably not. But there are, in fact, some ominous similarities between RG3 and guys like T.O., Chad Ochocinco, Jeff George, and Vince Young. All of them wanted the spotlight and the ball. Each of them battled coaches, and some had overbearing parents. It's still early and maybe RG3 is just a 23 year old who wants to get on the field, but the off field antics may be catching up with him faster than he thinks, especially after two knee surgeries.