MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 11:56:29

Robert Griffin III denies being benched by Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III says that being rested at the end of last season was "a blessing".

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has denied that the team benched him last season, insisting instead that he was "shut down".

Griffin frequently used the term in December, when then-coach Mike Shanahan decided to rest him for the remainder of the campaign.

The second-year signal caller endured a torrid season after an ACL operation the previous summer, with the Redskins slumping to the bottom of the NFC East and never looking likely of making the playoffs.

He told CSN Washington: "The way I refer to it, and really what happened, is coach brought me in his office and said he was shutting me down for the rest of the year. So a lot of people say I was benched, but I was really shut down.

"Or if you want to have some fun, I was 'sent to the off-season'. So it's another unique situation. I've never been a part of anything like that, never heard of anything like that in the history of the league.

"Honestly, it's truly been a blessing. It's showed me who I am, and I think it showed a lot of players and a lot of people that cover this team what really happened."

Shanahan has since left the Redskins, and Griffin will play under new head coach Jay Gruden next term.

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Quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins drops back to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at FedExField on December 8, 2013
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