- Associated Press - Friday, December 13, 2013

ATLANTA (AP) - The Washington You-Know-Whos sure know how to diffuse the debate over their nickname as they head to Atlanta to face the Falcons.

In fact, Dan Snyder and Co. must be preparing us for an impending change.

The Washington Bizarros, anyone?

Coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench healthy quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season _ purportedly to make sure he stays that way for Washington’s offseason program _ is so strange on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Are we really supposed to believe Shanahan’s explanation that Griffin will benefit more from taking part in scripted drills over the spring and summer than he does from playing three actual games, even if we make the very big leap that he won’t be able to do both because he is sure to get injured again if he keeps playing?

Are we really supposed to believe this isn’t Shanahan flexing his muscles one last time in a power play he is sure to lose before he is sent packing at the end of a disastrous season?

Are we really supposed to believe anything Shanahan says, for that matter?

The only thing we know for sure is Washington (3-10) isn’t intentionally tanking its final three games just to lock up the top overall pick: The first-round selection in 2014 was dealt to St. Louis as part of the trade to land RG3 in the first place.

The Rams are the only sure winners in this whole fiasco.

“My job is to build this organization the right way,” Shanahan said in what might have been the most ludicrous statement of his absurd news conference this week, the one that dragged on for nearly a half-hour as he kept spewing the same nonsense about why he was shutting Griffin down for the rest of the year.

“I think,” the coach added, somehow maintaining a perfectly straight face, “we’ve been able to do that.”

Now, back to reality.

Washington is right on Houston’s heels for the worst record in the NFL and the handling of the quarterback situation _ Kirk Cousins will start the last three weeks _ has made the organization a total laughingstock, the sort of perception Snyder was looking to change when the mercurial owner hired Shanahan almost four years ago and handed him the keys to the franchise.

Granted, Shanahan has done some things to restore a modicum of credibility, which was totally lacking when he arrived due to Snyder’s meddling. But the fact remains: Shanahan’s record in the nation’s capital is a lousy 24-37, with one quick exit from the playoffs.

If anything, he’s been fully exposed, a guy who built his reputation largely on the good fortune of having John Elway as his quarterback during his early years in Denver.

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