GM tries to quell RGIII controversy

The Associated PressAugust 17, 2013 

Bruce Allen knows well the history of Washington Redskins quarterback controversies. Sonny Jurgensen vs. Billy Kilmer in the 1970s. Doug Williams vs. Jay Schroeder in the ’80s. Heath Shuler vs. Gus Frerotte in ’90s.

In 2013, the popular take-sides issue isn’t QB vs. QB. It’s QB vs. coach. Robert Griffin III vs. Mike Shanahan. And the Redskins general manager doesn’t see this one going anywhere.

“I don’t see a controversy at all,” said Allen, whose late father, George, coached the Redskins during the Jurgensen-Kilmer days. “I know somehow Billy and Sonny are laughing that we created a quarterback controversy with Robert Griffin. But we have a very competitive player who’s dying to play football and we have a very experienced coach who’s doing the right thing.”

From the beginning of training camp, the news for the Redskins was dominated by Griffin’s return from major knee surgery. The enormously popular quarterback and reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year moved well despite the brace on his right knee, whether he was rolling right on a bootleg or sprinting 100-plus yards along the rope barriers to slap hands with fans after practice.

It was a remarkable sight, considering that his surgery was seven months ago for an injury that often takes more than a year to completely heal.

Still, he felt he should have been doing more than he was allowed under Shanahan’s practice plan and wasn’t shy about saying it publicly. On Monday, Griffin escalated the saga by saying he didn’t like the plan and didn’t fully understand it. The backlash was such that he made a special statement the next day to announce there was “no conflict” between him and the coach.

On Wednesday, Griffin took his first 11-on-11 snaps of camp, albeit against a scout team defense. He had a similar role Thursday and Friday. On Friday, he had 12 snaps and was 6-for-8 passing.

Shanahan has vetoed Griffin’s desire to play in an exhibition game, preferring instead to focus on the Week 1 regular season opener Sept. 9.

“He’s doing well right now. He is ahead of schedule. … We’ve had no setbacks so far,” said Allen, knocking his fist superstitiously three times on the wooden podium. “And the goal is for him to play in Week 1. Don’t know if it’ll happen.”


Former Miami Dolphins linebacker John Offerdahl has been chosen to become the 26th member of the team’s Honor Roll. He started 86 games during an eight-year career and became the first Dolphins linebacker to be selected a starter in the Pro Bowl. … Cleveland Browns rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo will spend a second night in the hospital because of bruised lung, but he is expected to return to action in about a week. However, Browns running back Dion Lewis will undergo surgery on his fractured left fibula, and may be out for the season, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. Both were injured during Thursday’s exhibition game against the Detroit Lions. Right guard Jason Pinkston, who suffered a high ankle sprain, may be out four weeks, according to the Plain Dealer. ...

The San Diego Chargers signed wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu and waived injured wide receiver Danario Alexander. Alexander is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Aug. 6. Ajirotutu originally joined the Chargers in 2010 as an undrafted rookie from Fresno State and spent time with the Chargers during each of the 2010-12 seasons. He’s also played for Carolina. … The Miami Dolphins signed long snapper John Denney to a contract extension through the 2016 season. The ninth-year veteran has played in 128 consecutive games, the second longest streak in franchise history. ... Veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis is scheduled to visit the Lions this weekend.Mathis, a former Pro Bowl defensive back, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in 2011 and started a combined 13 games in 2011 and 2012. …

The Bears will sign quarterback Jordan Palmer, according to multiple media reports. The signing is pending a physical. The Bears are looking for a third quarterback after Matt Blanchard fractured a knuckle on his non-throwing hand during Thursday’s exhibition win over the Chargers. … Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard was fined $10,000 by the NFL for a late hit out of bounds in an Aug. 8 exhibition game against the Redskins. … Lions linebacker Travis Lewis was fined $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle, and Redskins defensive end Chris Baker was fined $15,750 for hitting a Tennessee quarterback below the knees.

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