Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Will August 24th against Buffalo be the day we finally see Robert Griffin III back on a football field?
"No, no possibility," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan after practice on Monday.
Come on, coach. Just give me a few snaps.
"I love it when somebody wants to be out there ... but my job is to make sure that we do the best thing for Robert."
Please, coach. I'm begging you!
"I don't want to push him when we don't have to. I like where he's at, he's making strides."
At least there's one thing Griffin and Shanahan can agree on. They both want him to play Week 1 against the Eagles.
"Without a setback we believe he will be ready for the first game," Shanahan told reporters on Monday.
RG3's answer was much more definitive.
"There's no doubt I'm playing Week 1," said the former Heisman Trophy winner. "I'm damn near close to 100 percent," he added.
Easy there, Bobby. What are you getting so riled up about?
"I can't BS that answer," Griffin continued. "My re-integration to the team has been fixed without any aspect of how I'm doing personally ... it's predetermined. That's the one thing I don't understand."
I've loved Griffin since he was in college so I'm naturally predisposed to agree with everything that comes out of his mouth. I think it's incredible it took Griffin this long to generate his first real bit of controversy. Johnny Football had him beat by about three years.
But for once, I'm siding with Shanahan.
Don't get me, wrong. I can absolutely relate to what Griffin's going through right now. Not so much the star quarterback thing but I know what it's like to clash with authority. Everyone does. Remember when you were a teenager and you wanted the car to go out on a Saturday night?
"Come on, Dad. I mowed the lawn. I cleaned all the dishes. It won't even be that late. I promise I'll be home by 11. Eleven thirty at the latest. Pleaseeee!"
But here's one thing we never considered ... what if Dad's right?
Griffin, egomaniac that he is (not really), has become obsessed with playing in a game that, for all intents and purposes, DOESN'T MATTER.
This same principle is the reason why Tom Brady only played two series the other night against the Eagles. It's why Tony Romo didn't play at all last week against Miami. In a game that means nothing, why would the Redskins risk injuring the one player that can make or break their season?
The preseason exists for two reasons: to give borderline guys a chance to make the team and, more importantly, to give the owners a chance to sell more tickets. If you're an established player like Griffin, these games mean zilch.
The regular season is what counts and the last thing fantasy owners need is for Griffin to suffer a setback because he overexerted himself in a game that doesn't even count.
For example, Griffin finished fifth-among fantasy QBs with 343 fantasy points last season. That's excellent for a rookie but it could have been even better.
Griffin suffered an injury in Week 14 that cost him all of Week 15 and limited him over the final two games of the season (just 15.5 ppg in those contests). If Griffin had avoided injury and continued at the pace he maintained through his first 13 games, he would have finished with 384 points, one behind Drew Brees for the most in all of fantasy.
Griffin also missed most of Week 5 against Atlanta after taking a hit near the sideline. He ended the week with just three fantasy points. If you take that game away, Griffin would have averaged 24.3 fantasy points per game last season. Brees averaged 24.1 ppg in 2012.
And with all the horror stories coming out of training camp this preseason, can you really blame Shanahan for being overly cautious? Jeremy Maclin, Danario Alexander and Dennis Pitta have each suffered season-ending injuries while Jamaal Charles and Malcom Floyd have also had injury scares.
It's not just about the preseason. The bigger issue here is Griffin's decision-making.
Holding onto the ball too long, running head first instead of sliding, rushing back from injury ... doesn't it remind you of someone?
Griffin is following down the same career path as Michael Vick. Yes, the same Michael Vick who has only played one full season in over ten years in the league.
Vince Young is another example. The former Longhorn sprinted onto the scene with over 500 rushing yards as a rookie.
Want to know what Young has been up to lately? Believe it or not, he's still in the NFL. Well until, the Packers find somebody else to hold Aaron Rodgers' clipboard.
Right now, Griffin's scrambling ability is still his biggest weapon. But if he wants to play into his 30s, he'll need to find a different approach.
Look at the three most senior starting quarterbacks in the NFL: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. What do all three of them have in common? None of them can run worth a lick.
Brady has managed just 4.2 rushing yards per game in his career while Manning has rushed for 27 yards combined over the last five seasons. Brees, a perennial 5,000-yard passer, might be worse than both of them. In 16 games last season, he finished with just five yards on 15 rushing attempts.
These are guys who stay in the pocket and make plays with their arms instead of their feet. And they're all headed to the Hall of Fame.
Griffin might be too. But it won't be because he played a meaningless preseason game against Buffalo in his second season.