Jeff Fisher and Mike Shanahan have had a longstanding friendship but that history played no part in the blockbuster trade made in March that helped the Washington Redskins acquire Robert Griffin III.
The Redskins were the club to wrestle the No. 2 pick in the draft from the St. Louis Rams, who decided they didn’t need a quarterback with Sam Bradford in place. The Redskins paid the high ransom – sending Fisher the No. 6 pick in the draft, a second-round pick (No. 39 overall) and first-round draft picks in 2013 and 2014 all for the pick to nab Griffin.
Fisher explained that being buddies with Shanahan had nothing to do with business, according to the Washington Post. The Cleveland Browns were also negotiating with the Rams and Browns president Mike Holmgren said at the time that the relationship between Shanahan and Fisher – they were assistants together in San Francisco in 1992 and 1993 – played a role in the deal.
“It didn’t have anything to do with it,” Fisher said, according to the report. “There’s a personal side to a relationship and there’s a business side and this was a business deal that we thought was in the best interest of both clubs.”
Fisher and the Rams must prepare for Griffin this week. The teams will play at the Edward Jones Dome. Griffin was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his big debut in a 40-32 victory at New Orleans in Week 1.
“First off, in Mike’s quest to acquire RGIII, he thought all along that defenses can’t defend for those dynamics,” Fisher said, per the Post. “Basically, he’s right. You create – if you’re lucky, you create defensively – a one-on-one situation with the quarterback, and with his athletic ability, usually he wins that.
“We’re going to have a long week. It’s not easy. But we coach, too, and we’ve put together the start of a defensive plan that we think is going to allow us to be successful, and you have to hang your hat on that, and you have to work and understand that you can’t simulate a lot of things they do on the practice field.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune