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Mike Shanahan Regrets Having Joshua Morgan Throw Ball To Robert Griffin III

By ZAC BOYER | @ZacBoyer

Mike Shanahan said Monday he regretted the decision to have Joshua Morgan attempt a pass to Robert Griffin III in the Washington Redskins’ 27-12 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.


Morgan, a receiver, attempted a third-down pass to Griffin, the quarterback, in the second quarter. The pass fell incomplete; Griffin, who ran down the left sideline after pitching the ball to Morgan, was covered by cornerback Ike Taylor and also in the vicinity of safety Will Allen as the Steelers played a zone defense.

“Well, after looking at that play, you feel like a complete dumb-s—,” Shanahan said in a conference call with reporters. “You know, you want [Griffin] to be wide open. What normally happens on that play – I’ve run that play probably 10, 15 times with [John] Elway and probably more than that, probably 20, 25 with Steve Young.

“With Robert, what you usually do, you usually catch the right defense, which is man coverage, and they don’t account for the quarterback. You see he’s by himself and he just kind of crept out there, but Josh Morgan – he took off, and of course, he’s got such confidence in his arm that he lets it go.”

Morgan, who played quarterback in high school, should not have thrown the pass when he saw Griffin was covered, Shanahan said. But he also said the responsibility fell on him as the head coach to ensure that Morgan didn’t throw the pass and looked elsewhere if that were the case.

Griffin nearly reeled the ball in near the Pittsburgh 20-yard line, which would have been a gain of nearly 40 yards. Instead, he was called for offensive pass interference for pushing Taylor, then was hit helmet-to-helmet by Allen.

The quarterback’s issues with his safety have been well-documented this season, especially after he sustained a concussion against Atlanta on Oct. 7 and left the game in the third quarter.

“I felt like if I had to do it over again, I would have told Josh, unless he’s wide open, I mean wide open – [don’t throw it],” Shanahan said. “Of course, from his perspective, he was, but hey, that’s part of the growing process from me and having the guy throw the pass from the backfield.”