- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you”Joseph Heller, “Catch 22”

Robert “SuperBob” Griffin III believes there were some people at Redskins Park last year who had “ulterior motives.”

“What I think is going to help us most this year is that everybody is going to be for us being successful and for us winning,” SuperBob told FoxSports.com. “There are no ulterior motives.”

He didn’t say who had these ulterior motives, or what those ulterior motives were. Maybe it’s a new SuperBob contest — guess the ulterior motive and win a T-shirt and a retweet.

Maybe it’s the start of a new hashtag — #noulteriormotives. Perhaps it could be a variation on a SuperBob favorite — #knowyourulteriormotives.

Dropping a little bomb like that shows that SuperBob is already in midseason form in his passive-aggressive wall of defense that blocks out any suggestion that might question his own motives.

It’s not a stretch to reason that SuperBob was taking another veiled shot at former coach Mike Shanahan and/or his son, former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. But we don’t know, because he didn’t pin the ulterior motives on anyone in particular.

Was it his receivers who pushed back last year when SuperBob failed to take his share of the blame in the late-game interception against the Philadelphia Eagles, saying “We had a certain concept we were running, and nobody got open”?

Was it Pierre Garcon, who told everyone after the third week of the season — after SuperBob had declared a month earlier that he was 100 percent back and healthy — that the quarterback was not “fully healthy. I don’t think he’s 100 percent…he’ll eventually get there”?

Was it team physician Dr. James Andrews, who disputed reports that he had “concerns” about the way the Redskins planned on using SuperBob in the offense last year? “Not true,” the good doctor said via text. “Team will use [Griffin] appropriately. No concerns.”

No, there’s no shortage of possible suspects for SuperBob’s charge of ulterior motives. But if this was a police lineup, everyone without the name Shanahan could leave the room.

But what were those Shanahan “ulterior motives?” It would seem that, based on SuperBob’s celebration of the absence of ulterior motives this year, those Shanahan motives likely conflicted with SuperBob.

Are we really to believe that the Shanahans had some sort of ulterior motives that somehow prevented SuperBob from being a successful quarterback? Are we really to believe the Shanahans were motivated to damage their star quarterback, in the fourth year of Mike Shanahan’s contract, and in turn damage their football team and its success as well?

What are we to make of this? Was Mike Shanahan so manipulative that he would destroy his best chance for success in Washington just for spite?

The only reasonable ulterior motive that makes sense would be that the Shanahans wanted the other guy — Kirk Cousins — to be their starting quarterback. That would explain why Mike Shanahan shut down SuperBob with three games left in the 2013 season and started Cousins.

It wouldn’t explain the unexplainable — why Mike Shanahan started SuperBob for Game 1 last year.

He clearly was not 100 percent, as he claimed. He wasn’t ready to play, and, in the immortal words of Mike Shanahan himself, it wasn’t “in the best interests of the organization.”

So why did Mike Shanahan open the season with SuperBob?

The exterior and ulterior motives there were clearly SuperBob’s — which makes his charge of ulterior motives so galling.

His motives were there for everyone to see — the Adidas “All in for Week One” promotional campaign; the declaration that promises were made to SuperBob that if was cleared to play, Mike Shanahan had better start him.

SuperBob laid out his motives for all to see last training camp when he said he wasn’t happy with Mike Shanahan’s limitations on his work as part of his rehabilitation from knee surgery. “I don’t understand all of it, but at the end of the day, he gave me his word,” SuperBob said.

If there were some at Redskins Park last season that SuperBob thought had “ulterior motives,” perhaps the problem was their motives were not in line with his own. And despite the blame that Mike Shanahan must shoulder for the dysfunctional downward spiral of last year, the biggest question about motives still remains — what are SuperBob’s motives? Why, at this point, raise the issue of ulterior motives last season?

Who is he kidding?

Thom Loverro is co-host of “The Sports Fix,” noon to 2 p.m. daily on ESPN 980 radio and espn980.com.

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