The Washington Redskins are at a crossroads. Saying the team, and in particular Head Coach Mike Shanahan, are putting all their eggs in one basket is an understatement. Only one week after trading up in the first round, Shanahan has named Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III the number one quarterback.
Washington gave St. Louis their first and second round picks this year and two more first round selections to move up four spots and take RGIII. The move could certainly set the franchise back several years if Griffin becomes a bust, but it could also give the Redskins their first solid quarterback since the early 1990’s.
Shanahan has a reputation for being a very rigid coach and many around the NFL believe he will be too stubborn to co-exist with his new draft pick. After Sunday’s first rookie minicamp, however, Shanahan talked about making Griffin comfortable and running an offense catered to him. Shanahan even mentioned the option if necessary according to Yahoo Sports
The offensive mastermind, Shanahan, is entering his third year with the Redskins, and Griffin will be his fourth starting quarterback. Shanahan knows if his team does not show signs of improvement this season, this could be the end of his run in Washington. So, catering to Griffin’s needs is the smartest thing Shanahan can do right now.
In his first two seasons with the Redskins, quarterbacks Donovan McNabb, John Beck and Rex Grossman have combined for an 11-21 record. Shanahan has often played quarterback carousel, changing the starter week-to-week and waiting for the last minute to announce the week’s starter. Stating Griffin as the starter this early at least gives Washington some offensive stability and allows players to identify with one, sole quarterback.
As seen with QB Sanchez in New York, it can be dangerous handing a rookie the starting job with no real competition behind him. Years down the road, one could become complacent, but Shanahan doesn’t have years, he may only have one. And his time in Washington will live and die with Robert Griffin III.