- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 21, 2014

Former Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, making an appearance on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” pregame show, said Sunday that quarterback Robert Griffin III still “has that type of ability” to be the Redskins’ franchise quarterback.

Shanahan, appearing in studio, made his first televised comments on Griffin and the Redskins since he was fired on Dec. 30, 2013 after four years as the team’s coach. He was primarily responsible for drafting Griffin with the No. 2 overall pick in 2012.

But while Shanahan said he believes Griffin can be a special type of player, he emphasized that Griffin is the one who can truly make that commitment to do so.

“It takes a lot of work, a lot of studying,” Shanahan said. “He’s going from a system where there’s a lot of play-action, a lot of screens out of college. [We] utilized a lot of those plays his rookie year, and then with injuries and adopting a new system, there’s a process that’s involved. I think he can be as good as he wants to be, but he has got to make a commitment there in that film room like he’s never done before.”

Shanahan’s comments about Griffin’s preparation echo those made recently by former quarterback Steve Young, who said while appearing on a radio show in November that Griffin, according to a former coach who has worked with the quarterback, does not “put the time in” when it comes to studying tape.

Griffin returned as the Redskins’ starting quarterback on Saturday in a 27-24 victory over Philadelphia, which snapped a six-game losing streak. It marked the first time since Nov. 3, 2013 that Washington has won when Griffin has played the entire game.

“I think you could see yesterday he felt much more comfortable,” Shanahan said. “He played well. But, this is going to be an ongoing process. I think that one key to that quarterback position is getting comfortable with that pocket, especially when there is pressure, and being able to slide and step up from side-to-side, and that doesn’t happen overnight.”

Shanahan, sitting down with host Chris Berman, was also asked for his thoughts on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler, who played for Shanahan while in Denver from 2006 through 2008, and the current NFL playoff picture.

Berman then concluded the four-minute segment by asking Shanahan if he’d like to return to coaching again next season — a question Shanahan deflected.

“Well, the one thing that I want to do is win, and so it’s not just coaching, but going to the right organization that will make a strong commitment,” Shanahan said. “There’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the year, and that’s the team that wins the Super Bowl.”

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