ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Given a chance to endorse Mike Shanahan to return as coach of the Washington Redskins, Santana Moss and Robert Griffin III took very different approaches.
Veteran receiver Moss gave a solid vote of confidence to the coach who has a 24-36 regular season record near the end of the fourth year of a five-year contract, while the young franchise quarterback's response was hardly campaign-speech material.
"The grass ain't always greener," Moss said Wednesday. "I've always lived by that, learned from my father. At the end of the day, this is RG's second year, and it wasn't the second year that (any) of us hoped for. He had to deal with an offseason of just rehabbing and getting himself back, so you almost automatically got to feel that you have to give him another chance to really show that this offense can be ran the way it should be under him and these coaches."
Griffin's answer was more circumspect.
"Everyone's going to have an opinion," Griffin said. "And it's an outside opinion. ... Whenever you have a year like we're having, sitting at 3-9, we had higher hopes and higher expectations, people are going to try to sink the ship and our job is not to focus on that stuff."
Pressed specifically for his opinion about the coaching staff and the future, Griffin replied: "I think these guys have a great future, and I love having them here, and that's all I can say."
The difference could be attributed to a savvy 34-year-old knowing better than an upstart 23-year-old the best way to deal with potentially tricky questions, but Griffin's answer led to more questions, along the lines of "How would you describe your relationship with the coaches?"
"Whenever you have competitors like us, losing can be tough," Griffin answered. "But at the end of the day, just like when I came in here, me, Coach, (offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) and all the rest of the coaches and all the rest of the players, we all want to win and that's a winning recipe, whether you do it on the field or not. So that's the way I look at it. We're all competitors. We all get heated at times, but at the end of the day, we all want to win."
It can be argued that "we all want to win" is a pretty low baseline — after all, everyone wants to win — so Griffin was asked how much trust he has in the coaching staff.
"At much as it can develop in a year-and-half, two-year span," Griffin said. "I haven't spent a lot of time here, obviously. I haven't spent a lot of time in the league, and it takes time to build that trust over time with a coach."