*All of the pertinent parties surrounding the benching of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke to the press today to address the controversial decision. [Scroll down to watch.]
Griffin told reporters Wednesday that Mike Shanahan informed him that he will be shut down for the remainder of the season as the coach “wanted to make sure I got to the offseason free from injury.”
Backup Kirk Cousins will replace RGIII for the remaining three games of the season, with Rex Grossman as his backup QB. Shanahan told reporters that his decision was made to limit the amount of hits Griffin takes this season.
“I think the risk is too great. I don’t want him going to his third year on IR,” he said. “We’re in here to win games, but I’m going to do the right thing.”
Shanahan was asked how he communicated the news to Griffin.
“My job is not always to be someone’s friend. My job is to coach them. My job is to get the best out of them. My job is not to be Robert’s friend,” he said.
Griffin said he wouldn’t let the benching “break my spirit” and he vowed to be supportive of Cousins.
“I promise y’all I’ll be there for him every step of the way,” he said.
Cousins, meanwhile, said that although he was starting now, he still considered the Redskins as Griffin’s team.
“Robert is the franchise quarterback here.This is his team,” he said. “My job is to help this team get a win.”
Cousins took the first-team snaps and Grossman worked with the No. 2 offense in the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to the media.
As for Shanahan’s future with the Redskins, team sources said Tuesday that everything is “status quo.” His status for next season entering last weekend was questionable. It was downgraded to doubtful after an ESPN.com report Sunday detailing his displeasure over the nature of Griffin’s relationship with owner Dan Snyder.
Washington (3-10) was trounced 45-10 by the Chiefs later Sunday, a loss that followed a number of stories in recent weeks discussing the nature of Shanahan’s relationship with Griffin as well as that between the second-year quarterback and the coach’s son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan has one year and $7 million left on his contract. The Redskins are 24-37 under Shanahan and clinched their third double-digit loss season in his four years as coach.
“At the end of the year, we’ll get a chance to sit down with each other, see if we’re on the same page,” Shanahan said Wednesday when asked about his relationship with Snyder.
Below, Kirk Cousins and RGIII meet the press.