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Shanahan On RG3 MRI Results

Washington Redskins executive vice president/head coach Mike Shanahan spoke with the media about the results of the MRI on Robert Griffin III's knee. Shanahan did not shy away from any questions and also confronted the issues with Dr. Andrews.

Opening statement:

Robert [Griffin III] will fly down tomorrow to see Dr. [James] Andrews. Hes going to have some more tests and a physical exam. Im not sure right now the extent of his knee [injury]. Anytime you do have a former ACL injury or an LCL and you take a look at his MRI, sometimes its old injuries. Thats why hes going to fly down there and see Dr. Andrews get some new MRIs, get a physical examination. Right now, everything is totally speculation. When I do know of the extent of the injury, Ill let you know.

On if Griffin IIIs knee injury is an old or new injury:

Im saying right now, I really dont know. Dr. Andrews is going to take a look at Robert. A lot of times, you look at an MRI In my understanding, when you have an ACL injury, an LCL injury, youve had former injuries, they want to take another look another physical exam to make sure theyre not looking at old injuries on the MRI.

On the sequence of events between Griffin III reaggravating his knee and when he was cleared to return:

He tweaked it a little bit on that sideline. I went up to Robert and I said, Are you OK? He said, Yeah, no, Im fine. He said, I got it retaped. I said, Do you have a good feel for it? and he said, Yeah, I feel good. He was OK right away.

On if Griffin III was evaluated by doctors at that point:

I did not talk to the doctors at that time. I asked him [Griffin III] how he was doing. The doctors every time he comes off and he gets retaped they do talk to him.

On when he spoke to the doctors about Griffin III for the first time:

I talked to the doctors three or four times during the game at different sequences. Anytime he gets hit on the sideline, I had all the doctors come up and we talked as a group, I think three or four different times during the game. Youre trying to get their opinions on how Robert is doing. You want to not always listen to the quarterback. You want to get some great feedback from the doctors, especially the doctors we have on our sidelines. We have three of the best in the country. I talk to them at various times during the game.

On the nature of the conversations he had with the doctors on the sidelines after a report that he and Dr. Andrews had a miscommunication about Griffin III returning to the Baltimore game:

There was no miscommunication with Dr. Andrews. It doesnt matter. I asked Dr. Andrews if Robert is OK to be in the game and he said yes. I dont ask him I dont sit down with him and say, Hey, did you give him a proper evaluation? I asked him, Is it OK if he goes back in the game? He says yes or no. He said yes.

On if Griffin IIIs MRI showed any old or new partial tears:

Like I said, Im not going to speculate on that. Dr. Andrews will get a chance to take a look at him. Everything right now is total speculation for the reasons I just gave Anytime there are old injuries to the ACL and LCL, theres always differences of opinion on the MRI. Thats why hes going to see Dr. Andrews tomorrow.

On the reason Griffin III is going to see Dr. Andrews:

There is a concern. Thats why hes going to go see him. Anytime you get an MRI and you have old injuries [to] the LCL, ACL, he wants to give him a physical exam himself and give him a number of tests and evaluate him in person.

On Dr. Andrews comments that he never evaluated Griffin IIIs knee during the Baltimore game:

You have to think about whats going on in the game. Robert comes off the field. He comes off and he starts running around. I asked him the same question. When Robert starts running around, Im looking at [quarterback] Kirk [Cousins] being in the ballgame. When Robert runs back on the field, I look over at Dr. Andrews. I said, Is he OK? and he said, Yes, hes OK. When you ask him that and he says hes OK, you dont ask him, Did you look at him? Did you watch him run around? Did you give him a test? He said he was OK, so thats why he went back in the game. Ill be honest with you, I wasnt expecting him to go back into the game at that time. But he went in there for a few more plays and did a good job. Then, you saw the setback when we did take him out. After we took him out, he was out for the game Why dont you get a hold of Dr. Andrews and you ask him. I think what happens is when somebody sees somebody come off the sideline, you show the doctors hes running around where the knee looks good Youll have to ask him. I cant tell you that.

On if he was surprised by Dr. Andrews saying Griffin III was OK to return without talking to him:

Obviously, I dont know. I dont know what they do. Obviously, it surprises you. Ill let those doctors do their job.

On second guessing Griffin IIIs return to the game on Sunday:

I say second guess, I second guess a lot. I second guess plays that I call on third-down-and-short, third-down-and-long. After the game is over with, you always second guess yourself. What you have to do is make decisions that you think are the right decisions. I thought we made the right decisions. You dont make the decisions by yourself. You get a lot of opinions during the game especially with a guy like Robert not only talking to him, but talking to the doctors. Then, you go with what you think is right.

On how Griffin III is feeling today:

I think Robert is looking forward to seeing whats happening with Dr. Andrews tomorrow same thing that we are.

On the turf at FedExField:

You like a perfect field. It wasnt a perfect field. We all know that. I kind of had mentioned before, Ive been in San Francisco where that field at the end of the season was always torn up. Sometimes we put sod down and it was worse after we put the sod down especially new sod. Did the same thing in Denver at one time and it didnt work out for the sod. If you do sod right, a lot of times its good. I really thought the field was OK because I didnt see people slipping during the game. Ive seen perfect grass and guys just slipping all the time. Therefore, I dont think theres an advantage one way or a disadvantage one way. You would like to have the perfect field, yes. Relative to turf, you just have to judge if youre willing to go in that direction because of the injuries on turf compared to grass.

On the possibility of changing to turf:

I would talk about it. I would talk about it, but I do like natural grass We have that here, but for some reason its just not working as well. Anyway, well try to address that for next year.

On the importance of Griffin III participating in the offseason program:

You always like to have everybody part of the offseason program. I thought [Vikings running back] Adrian Peterson did pretty good last year for not being part of the offseason program. Theres a number of guys that have injuries who have to work extremely hard to overcome injuries in the offseason. The perfect scenario is always being there, especially for a quarterback.

On if he has reassessed how he will handle this type of situation in the future:

I think you do that through your experiences. Youre constantly evaluating. I know Robert is constantly getting attention relative to being a quarterback, but were doing the same thing with [guard/center] Kory Lichtensteiger, [tackle] Trent Williams, [linebacker] London Fletcher, guys that are banged up during the week. Youre evaluating them as the game goes on. Youre looking at their performance and sometimes you get a good feel on how a guy is doing and you look at film and say, God, [he is] not playing quite as good as I thought he was. Maybe we should have pulled him. Thats a constant in the National Football League.

On if he expects to have all of the players and coaches back next year:

I dont talk about the players or coaches for a while. Its part of the evaluation process. Youre always hoping that you can bring back the guys that are free agents. You can talk about your players. You can talk about the coaches. You always want your coaches to Hopefully, if theyre interested in a head coaching job or theyre offered a head coaching job or if you have an assistant that might be offered a coordinators job, sometimes Ive entertained that in the past even if theyre under contract, because you want the best for them. Other times, you get a top assistant that youre paying pretty good money to and you made a commitment to them and you want them to stay even though a coordinators job may be offered. Theres a lot of things that go on in the offseason with coaching staffs and the players the free agents. Youre always trying to do whats best for the organization, sometimes whats best for the person as well, if theyve made a commitment to you.

On when the players will return:

April 15 is usually the date. If youre a new coaching staff, sometimes its April 1.

On if he can trust Griffin III to assess his injuries in the future:

I think that you grow together, just like you grow putting an offensive scheme in. You grow week by week. You understand what a guy is about, what he can do, what he cant do. Yeah, I think thats part of the learning process as you go forward. You understand the guy a little bit more, he understands you a little bit more what he expects, what you expect.

On if he has been contacted by any teams regarding interviewing his assistants for openings:

Not that I know of at this time.

On if he learned anything about Griffin III yesterday:

I think you learn something about people every game. Its part of the process that you go through. We talk about the evaluation process that theres going to be some highs and lows every game, every season. The quarterback, I think, has the biggest learning curve out of anybody, but to have the type of season that he has, to me, is unprecedented as a rookie coming in what hes been able to accomplish. Hes going to keep on getting better.

On if there are any other players having surgery in the near future:

We havent talked about that yet. Weve been pretty busy with other things. Players are checking out today, but I will give you that list when I know for sure.

On owner Daniel M. Snyders reaction to Griffin IIIs injury:

I had a conversation with Dan after the game [and] texted him this morning. We were texting back and forth this morning. [He reacted] probably just like everybody else here in D.C. keeping our fingers crossed that everything is positive and look forward to this football team coming back next year.

On if he will change protocol for handling player injuries on the sidelines:

No, not at all. When you have a chance to look to your left and you have a doctor a medical doctor that hasnt happened to me in the past. Ive had a lot of trainers. I havent had many medical doctors with me on the sidelines. I think it improves every year. With concussions, thats a big improvement. Back when Robert had the concussion, I needed to go to the doctor to see that Robert wasnt going back into the game. He said he was fine. I knew he wasnt fine. Ive been around enough concussions. I could see the glassy eyes that theres no chance of him going back in the game. Some things you get a good feel right away. The things that you dont know of are when you deal with a knee or you deal with other things that youre not very good at.

On assistant coaches potentially interviewing for head coaching positions:

I think anytime you get an experience to interview, its always good. It makes you organize your thoughts, your game plan, what you would do as a head football coach. So, when somebody asks you to interview, it makes you organize yourself a little bit. One thing as an assistant football coach, you never even think on those terms about being a head coach because youre so focused on the job at hand. So when someone does, it makes you feel good. You organize your thoughts. How do you want to put an offseason conditioning program together? Free agency? The draft? How do handle your OTAs? How do you handle your camps? Things along those lines. People never ask you the question so I think its always good for assistant coaches to have interviews. I think every assistant coach eventually some day would like to be a head coach if it works out.

On if he thinks Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan is ready to be a head coach:

For me, Ill let other people judge that. Ill let other people interview him.

On if the team is still challenging the salary cap penalties:

Well, I cant answer that at this time so that means were still involved in it. Yes, were still involved in it. When I can speak about it, I will speak. But at this time, I cant. I think that answers your question.

On if the Seahawks took excessive shots at Griffin III:

No. The Seahawks are a team that theres always a lot of chatter and so theres probably more chatter than you see in normal games. But no, I didnt see anything like that. I think youve got two competitive teams. Some teams do talk a little bit more than others. Its not really teams it might be two or three guys that get a lot of attention. But it happens in the National Football League. I could give you four or five teams that every time you play them, youre going to get that type of chatter. It usually comes down to those guys.

On what he was evaluating when deciding to play Griffin III:

Youve got to make a decision thats not based on one or two things. You get a chance to evaluate him every day in practice. You see how he prepares. You see how he works. You talk to him on the sideline. You watch his footwork when hes playing. So, its the things that you feel still gives you the best chance to win.

On if his evaluation matched with the game film against the Seahawks:

Yes, it did.

On if he has given thought to restructuring players contracts:

No. I think I talked about that. This is not the time of year where we talk about free agents or restructuring contracts. What we try to do now is kind of go back and look at everybody. The offensive coaches will look at their players and evaluate their players and put them in a pecking order. The defensive coaches will do the same and well do the same with special teams. Then, well cross-check. Defensive coaches will look at all 16 games for the offense. The offensive coaches will look at all 16 games for the defense. Theyll evaluate the players. Well do that every year to kind of get a cross section of different opinions. Well do that with our personnel staff as well. We usually do that and get a little jump on free agency before we take off on vacation.

On what changed after the first quarter against the Seahawks:

You take a look at the first quarter and everything just clicked. When you take a look at the second, third, and fourth quarters, we didnt move the ball very well. So, it was disappointing. Weve got to execute better and its a combination of different things.

On the offenses performance against the Seahawks:

Well, when you only average two first downs a quarter the second, third and fourth quarter where we werent doing a lot of things well as an offense I dont break it down to one person because its just not one person that gets the job done. But I was very pleased with the first quarter and you could see we couldnt do some of the things that we did in the first quarter.

On if any coaches will be attending the Senior Bowl:

First of all, with the Senior Bowl, I kind of encourage our coaches not to go. I think theyve been hitting it pretty hard for all these weeks. We look at every film that they have at the Senior Bowl and all our scouts are there. Theyve talked to all these players individually. I like to coach it because you get the chance to really know them but to me when I go to the Senior Bowl, its more like a coaching convention. I would rather have them spend a little time with their families and doing the things that they need to do. When we get back here, we can study all those tapes.

On Director of Player Personnel Morocco Brown interviewing with the Arizona Cardinals:

I talked to Morocco today. He did have the interview. He thought it went well and well just wait and see.

On receiving criticism for playing Griffin III against the Seahawks:

First of all, as a head football coach, youre used to criticism. You make decisions based on what you think is the right thing to do and you listen to a lot of different people. You get their opinions sometimes during the game, sometimes during practice. Then, you make the call and youve got to do what you think is right. I got a lot of criticism for bringing in [quarterback] Kirk Cousins. Youre just used to it. [Wide receiver] Pierre Garon was a total bust in Week 6-7. He couldnt play. You get used to those types of things. But if you dont believe in what youre doing, if people got a chance to be in your shoes and be around the scenario, then maybe theyd understand the decisions youd make. Roberts our franchise quarterback and Im not going to take the chance on his career to win a game. But I also know that when youve got the belief in a guy and you feel that he can play at a certain level and the doctors are telling you that hes OK to go in, then youve got to do what you think is right. If I didnt think it was right, he wouldnt have been in. Its just that simple.

On if he would allow Griffin III to play in the Pro Bowl:

First of all, again, I would speak to the doctors first and see what they say. But right now, I would think that theres one thing that hes concerned with and its getting that LCL well. So, I would say its probably a long shot but I dont know that for sure until we figure out where hes at with the examination.

On if Dr. Andrews comments put him in a tough position to answer questions from the media:

Yeah, it sure does. But like I said, thats part of being an NFL head coach and what I do is I just talk to Dr. Andrews, Hey Doc, just tell me what you heard, what you said. I felt very good after my conversation with him so when things go different directions, you cant control that. All you do is try to focus on the job at hand. The thing Im excited about is our football team and thats where Im at. At the end of the season, weve got a lot of young guys going in the same direction. Next year, our goals are changed. Everybody believes that well be at a very, very high level. When you do win the NFC East, they expect to win it again. Thats the standard. You create a new standard. How you practice? How do you play? They want to get to the mountain top. Thats what you like. Thats what you look for. I understand all these things come with the job, especially in a market like this with the quarterback that we have. You dont find guys like that and to think were going to question the guys career to win a football game is crazy. But I understand the questions that happen. Theyre good questions especially when a guys limping a bit. Its part of the process.

On if he addressed the team today:

I dont address the team. The only thing I brought everyone in here for was because I wanted them to talk to the coaches the assistant coaches. I spoke for a few seconds. I was going to have somebody else speak to the team today but they werent here. Thats the reason I did call them together. So, basically they got the assistant coaches. Before they left, we got their phone numbers. I said a few words but thats about it.

On if players ever take themselves out of games if they cant play:

Oh, yeah. Kory Lichtensteiger he knew he was out. Hed say it, Hey Coach, I tried. Players know. Players know when they cant play, the majority of them.

On the season:

I said to our football team after the game, I said, Hey guys, I could not be more proud of a group of guys. Because when youre 3-6 and youve got all the adversity we had, its really hard to overcome that to keep on working hard, as weve briefly talked about before, and that just shows you not only what type of talent we have but what type of character we have in our organization, what type of players that weve got. Because a lot of people, once they get a little criticism, they cant fight through it. Its the end of the world and they start pointing fingers. Not this group. We lost four games in the fourth quarter we couldve easily won. Instead of being 3-6, we couldve easily been 6-3. But to do what we did just says so much about the guys in that locker room. Leadership really stepped up with our captains. A lot of guys that we never knew would perform at the level Weve got guys coming in like [running back] Alfred Morris. Youve got him coming in. You take a guy like Robert playing at that level. Youve got some our free agents like Pierre coming in and [wide receiver] Josh Morgan coming in and you lose a guy like [tight end] Fred Davis. How do these guys play with some of the injuries, besides four starters and three backups? So, you feel good. You even feel better about the depth of your football team next year when these guys come back to your football team. Even though its bittersweet, you do have to look at the positives.

On linebacker London Fletcher:

Ive never seen anything like that in my life. Ive never seen a guy not practice and play at the level that he did. He couldnt practice and for him to go in the games and play at that level, it kind of gave you an idea of what type of preparation he had during the week because you cant do that without knowing somebodys going to do that before they do it. Thats what he did.

On safety Tanard Jacksons suspension:

I know its one year. So, Id say one year to the day is when hell be allowed to come back in.

On Griffin IIIs MRI:

Theres just differences of opinions when you do have a new MRI with previous injuries with the ACL and LCL. What they like to do is give people a physical exam instead of just looking at the MRI. They want to bring them back and thats what Dr. Andrews wants to do an extensive physical exam and some more tests and thats what hes going to do.

On what he thinks Griffin IIIs injury is:

Im not going to even try to speculate. Ill tell you when I know. Thats what you get paid for to speculate. So, I know youre going to speculate either way so I just cant because I dont know.

On when Griffin III will meet with Dr. Andrews:

Dr. Andrews, from my understanding, is at the National Championship game tonight. His office is in Pensacola. I do know theyre going to meet tomorrow. Thats all I can tell you.

On if Dr. Andrews was present for Griffin IIIs MRI:

I dont know when he took off. I think he takes off right after the game so I dont know if he was there for the MRI or not.

On Griffin IIIs previous injuries he referenced:

The old ACL injury [at Baylor] and this latest injury with the LCL.

Source: Washington Redskins Media



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