In less than three weeks RGIII will be wearing a Redskins cap, despite the chatter from talking heads and posturing by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. The fact is, Irsay has peddled Stanford’s Andrew Luck to his fan base since November as the next Peyton Manning, and he isn’t going to disappoint them now. The fact is, the Colts had a private workout with Luck on Tuesday. The fact is, RGIII declined to work out for the Colts, because it’s a waste of his time and he prefers to play for the Redskins.
That’s right: Griffin is so comfortable with the Redskins that he is willing to forgo being discussed as a No.1 pick. Apparently, Griffin believes that he is in the right hands with Shanahan. What accounts for this confidence?
It’s apparently McNabb’s contention that no one is a good fit as Redskins quarterback under Shanahan, not Griffin, nor Luck, nor Bart Starr. Asked to respond, Shanahan said: “I’d like to let the statistics speak for themselves. I think I can take the high road.”
When Manning hit the open market, McNabb publicly insisted Shanahan’s ego couldn’t coexist with a mature pocket passer who makes his own decisions. “Peyton’s not gonna go there,” he announced. Turns out the Redskins were on Manning’s list, and he met at length with Shanahan. Now it’s RGIII’s turn. According to McNabb, Shanahan doesn’t know how to deal with a piston-legged, rope-armed improvisational rookie quarterback, either. McNabb also ripped Shanahan’s work with Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler, as if they were all failures.
“We talk so much about Mike Shanahan and the things he was able to do in Denver,” McNabb said. “Well, I have a couple of names for you that Mike Shanahan — quarterbacks he’s coached — and the lack of success he’s had.”
But what does the record really say?
Let’s start by asking what the gauge of a successful relationship with a quarterback should be. “You can go by so many different stats,” Shanahan said. “The perception, the most basic one people look at is, ‘Did you win a Super Bowl at the end of the day?’ ”
Shanahan can claim two Super Bowl collaborations with John Elway, but that’s a statistical sample from a long time ago, and deceptive. Super Bowl teams tend to have great supporting casts that make a quarterback look better.
How did Shanahan’s quarterbacks perform more generally, when they didn’t necessarily have Super Bowl-quality seasons and supporting casts? The answer is surprising. Every quarterback who started for two years or more under Shanahan has been to the Pro Bowl. Every one.