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Robert Griffin III: 'That's On Me'

Posted Nov 21, 2013

The Washington Redskins cleared the air yesterday afternoon, as Santana Moss clarified his comments on accountability. Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan responded.

"Everybody is looking for a story. Everybody wants to see drama," Santana Moss said, sitting in front of his locker, shaking his head. "Everyone wants to see confusion amongst a losing team and that’s not where we are."

It has been a trying week for the Washington Redskins, who fell to 3-7 with a loss in Philadelphia on Sunday that began and ended in disappointing fashion.

The Redskins trailed 17-0 at halftime and could not get on the board until fourth quarter heroics put them back within one score.

With the ball in Eagles territory in the final minute of the game, Robert Griffin III dropped back on 3rd-and-1, getting pressure in his face almost immediately.

Finding no one open, he back-pedaled and attempted to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone. Instead, it was intercepted, sealing another frustrating defeat.

After the game, Griffin III said he tried to throw it away and it didn't work. None of his receivers were open on the play and he needed to get rid of the ball or be sacked.

On Tuesday, veteran receiver Santana Moss, who was split wide to the right on the play, suggested he wanted to hear more accountability for the result of the play.

After causing a stir in the media, Moss clarified those comments on Wednesday.

“What I was asked was, ‘How do I feel about what was said from my quarterback, saying that people wasn’t open,' or something of that sort," he explained. "I just said, straight up, as leaders...blame it on yourself even when it’s not on you. Even if there is no reason.

"I’m going to blame it on me if I didn’t make that play because at the end of the day that’s who everybody sees last, that’s what the viewer of the naked eye sees."

Moss insists he was speaking generally and was not taking a shot at his quarterback. As a veteran leader in the locker room, he just wants personal accountability from everyone.

"[Media and fans] don’t know what went on throughout the process to make the play happen, so there won’t be no confusion," he explaind. "I said it because I was really trying to send a message out for anybody.

"Every week it’s somebody new that’s saying things and it shouldn’t be that way. I was sending a message to players who might be put in that situation."

Griffin III responded to the controversy during his weekly press conference, reinforcing that there is no rift or misunderstanding between he and No. 89.

"Me and ‘Tana (Santana Moss) talked. We’re on the same page and we just want to beat San Francisco," he said. "That’s all that matters to us right now."

A year removed from overwhelmingly positive media coverage, Griffin III has been a target of criticism as he returns from a traumatic knee injury and the team struggles to meet high expectations.

He talked about the lessons he has learned in Year 2, dealing with the a skeptical media, particularly when the offense has struggled.

“It’s a constant learning experience," he confessed. "I just have to know in that situation after a tough loss to a divisional opponent, I can’t give anybody any opportunity to read into my words and misinterpret anything.

"Some of the things I said...I wasn’t trying to take any shots at anybody and it turned out that way. You’re asking me today and like I said, if I could take any of that back, yeah, I would take it back,

"I’m trying to give you guys honest answers and it hurt us in that sense. That’s on me."

Head coach Mike Shanahan was asked a similar line of questioning about his players, but cited the strength of the locker room as a means of overcoming all obstacles this team has faced.

"First of all, the guys are family. We don’t have any problems with the guys in our locker room," he said emphatically. "I think everybody expresses themselves a little bit differently.

"Some people express their opinion certain ways and I think it comes with experience. Sometimes you look back and you say something and you go, ‘Boy, I wish I would have worded it differently.’ That’s just the nature of our business."

"Especially after a loss, sometimes emotions get the best of us."

Speaking directly to Robert Griffin III's leadership this season, Shanahan did not hesitate to praise his sophomore slinger.

"I don’t have any questions about his accountability and leadership. It’s a growing experience. It’s not easy," he said. "Usually Robert is dead on with everything – it comes very natural to him.

"But what doesn’t come natural to anybody is going through the trials and tribulations you go through after winning and losing. It’s tough. You’ve got to fight through it and he’ll learn by it."

With regards to the interception that ended the game, Shanahan interpreted Griffin III's comments as adequately taking accountability for the situation.

"What Robert was saying in my opinion was, ‘I was trying to get it out of there, throw it away, throw it out of the end zone to fourth-and-one,’" he said. "He didn’t throw it far enough and not very many people can even make that throw.

"I understand what Santana meant. I understand what Robert meant. I know Robert meant nothing by it. I know Santana meant nothing by it. Both guys expressed their opinion."

While hard-earned, Shanahan expects this experience to ultimately pay off for his franchise quarterback, in the long-run.

"It’s a constant learning experience, and that’s what you’re hoping for your guys...Not every year is going to be pretty, but can you grow from it?" Shanahan asked. "And he’s a guy that can grow from it because he’s extremely bright."

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