RGIII Benched: Coach Shanahan explains

ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA9) -- It was an afternoon news conference that featured a coach admitting to basically lying to the media, a quarterback who referenced a higher power's test and a back-up quarterback who came out smelling like roses.

"I'm trying to be as honest as I can be ... I don't normally do that," Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said in a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

That odd quote was a result of heavy media scrutiny for Shanahan's decision to bench starting quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Shanahan seemed agitated, defensive and at time very angry at the crossfire questioning by curious reporters in Ashburn, Va.

"He's getting hit too many times ... I have to build this organization in the right way and this decision is to protect our future quarterback," Shanahan explained.

Griffin III reacted in a very disappointed tone to his head coach's decision. RGIII said he'll support the coach's choice, because that's how his parents raised him.

"Any QB wants to finish out his season with the team ... it's coach's decision," RGIII said after the decision was announced.

Kirk Cousins, the Redskins backup quarterback, also graciously admitted that he's not the starter and that he's working to improve his role as a backup with the team.

Shanahan believes that Cousins will come in and play well. He said the decision to start Cousins was made to protect RGIII and that he wanted him to have a full off-season to make him a better player for next year.

When Shanahan was asked about other reports swirling around Redskins camp the past few weeks, from his intention to quit last year, all the way to RGIII rushing back from a knee injury to avoid losing his job to Cousins, he said those reports were leaked because the team is 3-10.

Reporters pressed RGIII about the decision and asked questions about his psyche and his feelings.

"I think God is testing me," RGIII said.


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