Mike Shanahan having issues with a player? What? While that may be shocking and unheard of, Steve Young thinks that is exactly what is about to happen. In an interview with USA Today, Young predicted there was going to be an intense battle this season in Washington, but not against opposing teams. Young believes the personalities and opinions of legendary head coach Mike Shanahan and sophomore phenom RG3 are going to collide, and it’s going to center around the disfigured mess of what was once known as RG3′s knee and how they will plan their offense to protect it going forward.
“There will be stress, because of where they stand — a natural stress,” Young told USA TODAY Sports. “I guarantee at some point early in the season it will be an issue. I can see them yelling at each other over the division (of opinion).
“There’s going to be natural stress, but they’ll both handle it. Robert is a mature young man. Mike will have his best interests at heart. They’ll figure it out.”
Even though I’m still reeling from the thought of Mike Shanahan ever having issues with anyone, Steve Young is somewhat of an expert on this. He was a mobile phenom quarterback in San Francisco, where he won a Super Bowl and had the best years of his career with Mike Shanahan as his offensive coordinator. He knows how Shanahan operates, and also knows how a player like Griffin will handle being limited by his coach.
“If there’s any tension, it’s going to be because Robert wants to go 100%, and Mike will want to make sure that he misses the traps,” said Young, now an analyst for ESPN. “That’ll be ongoing. I’m sure Mike is saying, ‘We’ve got to be careful.’
While caution may have been better exercised before Shanahan trotted out a one-legged RG3 in the playoffs last season, he is implementing the ‘better late than never’ philosophy on this one and will make sure to take any precaution necessary. RG3, however, probably just wants to go out and play some football.
“As a young player, Robert’s probably thinking, ‘I’m healthy. Let’s go play. Give me the ball.’ ”
Shanahan will likely implement a much more conservative read-option scheme this season compared to last, as they really want to limit hits on their young star. Part of the frustration between them will be finding a happy medium between cautious and effective that they both are comfortable with.
“Mike is walking on a tightrope,” Young said of the read-option plays. “He’s going to have to do it. But can (they) run it without Robert really ending up with the football? Can (they) give the look to the defense, but truly he doesn’t run with the football?”
Young knows that Shanahan realizes the risk of both being too cautious and setting his quarterback up for a short career.
“I think he has a 30,000-foot view of it,” Young said of Shanahan. “In the big picture, this guy can be one of the best in this generation. But he can’t have another injury.”
At least RG3 has Mcnabb to get advice from. Am I right, fellas?