On Wednesday, Dec. 11th, 2013, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III addressed the media after afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On how he's processing the news:
"I'm sure everybody knows by now that Coach decided to shut me down for the rest of the season. We talked – I talked to Coach, he talked to me – about it and I expressed my desire to play. Of course I want to be out there and finish the season with my guys, see it through. He explained to me his reasoning and at the end of the day Coach's decision is what we go with. That's what it's always been, so I have to do that. I have to sit here and do whatever I can do help [quarterback] Kirk [Cousins], do whatever I can to help this team win and that's what we have got to do for the next three weeks and going into the offseason."
On if he thinks he's being benched to protect him for the offseason:
"At this point I just have got to leave it up to Coach, like it always is. In times like these you just have to lean on what you've been taught in life and my parents, being two military parents, have taught me to respect authority and I have to respect what Coach says. I can't do anything about it. All I can do is try to help this team win games and that's what I'm going to do. So anything aside from that I can't bother myself with thinking about those kinds of things."
On if he knew he might not play before Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan said it was a possibility on Monday:
"I hadn't talked to him about that, but I didn't know what had happened after the game either. So that's why I thought it was just another normal week and it turns out that it's not that way. Now we have to deal with it as a team, and I think we'll be able to deal with it."
On if he feels that Shanahan is thinking ahead to the future:
"Like I said guys, I can't bother myself with thinking about those kinds of things because it's not productive for our team. I'm just going to continue to focus on getting better, focus on helping our defense out – get prepared for Atlanta and the games that we have left. That's all I can do."
On what Shanahan's reasoning was for shutting him down:
"Just wanted to make sure that I got to the offseason free of injury so that I can have a really good offseason this year, this upcoming offseason. And that's it."
On why he doesn't if he is being used:
"Because you just can't think about it that way, at the end of the day we have three games left and my teammates don't need me to think about it that way. They don't need me to bring that kind of environment into the locker room so I'm not going to. I'm going to take what Coach has decided and roll with it and just try to find ways to help this team win during this process."
On how difficult it is to keep a positive mindset and still want to help the team:
"Everybody wants to play. Every player wants to play. I'm sure Matt Ryan wants to play and any quarterback wants to finish out a season with his team when you're healthy enough to do so. But, like I said, it's Coach's decision and you have to respect that authority, just like I always have. As a quarterback, you run the plays that are called, you do what your coaches tell you to do and in this instance he's telling me that it's time to shut it down. I can't fight that."
On if he thinks sitting the rest of the season will be a setback in his development:
"I think that's just a state of mind and that's why I'll do everything I can after practice to continue to get reps, continue to work on technique, work on everything that goes into being a quarterback. Part of being a quarterback is helping your team and that's what I have to do in this instance. Anyway that I can I have to try to help this team win and I will."
On if his injury last year was discussed and if that played into the decision:
"Like I said guys, I don't know. I just know Coach decided to shut me down and that's that."
On what it's like to be himright now:
"[Laughs]. I'll tell you what, man, although it's a tough time, there's tests going on right now – God's testing me – but at the end of the day I still feel blessed to be in the NFL, be with the guys in that locker room, have the family that I have and you just have to look at life in a different way in times like these and try to find a way to make it better. That's what I have to do. Even though I can't go out there and play on Sunday, I still have to come out every day for the rest of these weeks to make sure I get better, make sure this team gets better in the midst of all this."
On if he has or if he will talk to Redskins Owner Daniel M. Snyder about this decision:
"No, I haven't and that's a whole other deal but I haven't talked to him – never talk to him about that kind of stuff. It's Mike's decision. He's the head coach."
On if he has thought about his performance on the field and if that factored into the decision:
"No, I haven't and I don't think the players have either. But you guys talk to the players and see how they feel, but we're just trying to focus on Atlanta, focus on these last three games because all the other guys still have to go out there and play. They have to do their part, I have to do my part and most of that will be on the practice field and on game day helping out, but I'll do all I can."
On if he's had a conversation with Cousins about the decision:
"Me and Kirk have talked, but the biggest thing for him is he just can't let all this distraction affect what goes on on the football field and he knows that. Kirk's a smart kid – he's older than me – so he'll do a good job. And I promise you I'll be there for him every step of the way."
On if his spirit has been broken:
"I think if I allowed it to break my spirit then I wouldn't be the person that I think my parents raised me to be or God's had me to be on this Earth. So although this time – it's a down time for us as a team and as an organization – we'll rise out of this. I believe that, and I hope everybody else does too. I understand the history and all that other stuff, but the future is right now. For me, I have to continue to try and get better, try to help this team any way I can and move forward towards next year because that's the hand that I've been dealt."
On if any of his teammates have given him advice:
"I try to keep it out of the locker room because, like I said, we still have got three games. It's not like these games just are going to go away. Guys have to play. And the advice from a lot of the veterans is you got to keep it rolling – you have to keep it rolling, you have to keep doing things, continue to do what you've done. And that's why I said I'll make sure I'm there for Kirk, make sure I'm there for this team on game day, on the practice field, any way that I can to help us win."
On if the players still have his back and believe he will lead this franchise:
"Just talking to the guys I do believe I have that sentiment from the guys and that's big for me. As a player, as a quarterback you want to make sure that the guys in that locker room have your back and I think they do."
On if he still wants to play for this coaching staff next year:*
"I think that's the general misconception that players in our locker room want people gone. You know, we care about people. When it comes to stuff like that, when people get fired, it's not just a head coach or a defensive coordinator or anything like that that gets fired, there's a lot of people that are involved in that. In this organization, guys have been around for a while and you want to see those familiar faces when you come into the building. So this is a tough time for everybody and who knows what way it'll go, but at the end of the day we have got to keep it rolling."