In the latest issue of ESPN the magazine, J.R. Moehringer writes a letter to the President about Robert Griffin III:
Kirk Cousins, the Redskins' talented backup, who relieved Griffin in the Baltimore game and again in the Seattle game, recalls eavesdropping on an intense sideline conference between Griffin and Shanahan: "Robert, you're clearly limping, you're not at full strength, do you think you need to come out? And I'm not quoting anybody, I'm just paraphrasing. And Robert's attitude was: I'm okay. I understand there's a limp, but I'm going to be okay. I brought us this far, I want to finish this thing."
Cousins adds: "I think it was tough for Coach Shanahan to tell him no. And it was tough for Robert to back down. Both of them were in a tough spot, each guy's word against the other."
Though Shanahan said recently that Griffin won't play until he's at full strength, Griffin's mind is locked and loaded and aimed at the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia. He's even got it keyed into his phone, as an appointment. His knee isn't there yet, but it's on pace, he says. Stronger every day. During a photo shoot, he moves with no apparent stiffness, breaking several times into silly spontaneous dances, rocking on the balls of his feet, rolling on his toes.
It sounds as if he's also using this time to rehab his thinking, to come to terms with the lessons of his injury. "People feel that I shouldn't have been playing in the game," he says, measuring his words with a T square and a protractor. "I totally understand what everyone is saying. With the way it looked and how it all played out, take the guy out of the game."
But people don't understand the primal impulses of an athlete: "Your survivor instinct kicks in. You're like, 'I'm a warrior. I'm a beast. I do all these things, I can push through adversity.'"
He acknowledges that he needs to work on moderating that instinct. "If I had another incident like the Ngata hit, I'm out of the game. You pull yourself out at that point. You learn from your mistakes."
What about the Seahawks game? "I don't feel like playing against the Seahawks was a mistake. But I see the mistake in it."
[Photo Credit: Nick Wass/AP]