ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III parsed the appropriate uses of “me” and “I” when it comes to owning up to a mistake and privately explained his words to teammates Santana Moss and coaches Wednesday.
It was the latest bit of damage control in a disappointing season for the under-the-microscope quarterback.
Griffin was dealing with the backlash from the comments he made after the Washington Redskins’ 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, when his unwise third-and-1 heave was intercepted in the end zone in the final minute to end his team’s last chance to tie the game.
“I think at the end of the day, 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,” Griffin said. “Some of the things I said, I was trying to give a good compliment to Philly. I wasn’t trying to take any shots at anybody and it turned out that way.
“You’re asking me today, if I could take any of that back, yeah, I would take it back, because in the heat of that moment, you’re frustrated. You’re trying to figure out why things didn’t work. I’m trying to give you guys honest answers and it hurt us in that sense. That’s on me.”
Griffin’s specific words Sunday were hardly earth-shattering, but they were just enough to stoke a prevalent notion that he doesn’t always take his fair share of blame and that his relationship with the coaching staff isn’t the greatest.
Regarding the interception, he said Sunday: “We had a certain concept we were running, and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where you get a sack there, it ends the game. I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go.”
Regarding the Eagles in general, he said after the game: “They did a good job of scheming us up. Obviously, we were able to run the ball effectively, but in the passing game, they kind of had us. They kind of knew what was coming before it was coming and, like I said, that is disheartening.”
That was enough for Moss, a well-respected veteran, to speak up. Moss told 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday that: “Regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to at some point, stand up and say ‘me’ or ‘I.’”
Moss met with Griffin on Wednesday and then attempted to put a new spin on his comments Wednesday, saying they were meant as a message to all leaders that it’s best to take responsibility no matter who’s at fault.
“It was nothing that I said should make you believe that we’re not cool,” Moss said.
Griffin said he and Moss were “on the same page.” Griffin also seemed perplexed by the whole “me”/”I” uproar.
“You guys asked me about the last play of the game. I said I tried to throw the ball away and it didn’t work,” Griffin said. “I don’t know who else is to blame for that. I tried to throw the ball away and it didn’t work. … Maybe I can say ‘I’, ‘me’ a whole lot more, but other people can take that the wrong way, too.”
Griffin also met with coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, explaining that “scheming us up” wasn’t a dig at them. Asked to explain his relationship with the two, he said: “It’s three guys that want to win football games.”
“We want to win and that’s the bottom line,” Griffin said. “Whenever you’re not winning, it creates a lot of madness, especially in where we’re at right now with the Washington Redskins. The only way to stop the madness is for us to win and you’ve got three guys — Coach, Kyle, myself — we all want to win and that’s a good recipe.”
Taking the middle ground was Mike Shanahan, who is trying to keep a 3-7 team focused for a Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.
“You’ve got a tough loss and a lot of emotions after a game and all of a sudden, hey, you look back and say, ‘Maybe I wish I would have said it a different way, but this is what I meant,’” Shanahan said. “I know Robert meant nothing by it. I know Santana meant nothing by it. Both guys expressed their opinion.”