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Robert Griffin III wants Kyle Shanahan be more aggressive under Trey Lance

“There’s been a thing with the Shanahans...get a lead, sit on a lead.”

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III has had his moments with the Shanahans and may have just created one more. On last week’s 49ers Talk podcast, Griffin claimed to have patched things up with Shanahan, only to later blame the coach for getting too conservative with a lead.

When Matt Maiocco asked him about his relationship with Kyle Shanahan, Griffin replied, “Me and Kyle, we’re fine. I’ve reached out to Kyle a number of times over the last few years. I’ve reached out to him every year since [2014]. We’ve talked; we’re fine.”

Later in the show, Maiocco asked Griffin what he’d like to see Shanahan change, “in himself or the system,” this coming season with Trey Lance. Kyle might not like this answer.

“He’s going to hate this but I feel like there’s been this thing with the Shanahans since the Denver Broncos days: Get a lead, sit on a lead. I would love to see them change that because a lot of times in 2012 we would be up in games and then teams would start to come back.

When I played the Saints in my first game ever we were beating the brakes off the Saints. Kind of sat on the lead a little bit, they started to come back. Against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, we won that game. We were up big, sat on the lead, [they] started to come back.

I would love to see them continue to stay aggressive because the most famous instance of them not being aggressive, at least in recent memory, is the Super Bowl when the Falcons were playing the Patriots.

I think that for them, it’s staying aggressive no matter what. Not trying to get up 28-3 and then run the clock out by running the ball on first and second down. Now it’s 3rd and 8 and you don’t get a conversion, boom, the other team gets the ball. I’d love to see them stay aggressive in their play-calling and what they do. Now, they might look at it and say, ‘This is what we do all the time, we run the ball on first and second down.’ I think in those crucial moments, they have to push through that conservativeness and say, ‘Alright, we don’t want this to happen anymore. We’re going to make a concerted effort to go out and keep our foot on the gas pedal for the entire game.’ I think that will help them not have those moments like, ‘Oh, boy here we go again.’”

Griffin is right about one thing: Kyle is not going to like the answer. That doesn’t necessarily make it wrong, however.

The 49ers have given up their fair share of leads in the Shanahan era (insert your own Super Bowl LIV joke here). While not all of those can be completely blamed on the head coach, he has to take some responsibility for what happens on the field.

Even last year alone, the 49ers had a penchant for allowing teams back into games they had no business being in. In Week 1 against the Lions, the 49ers were up 41-17 at the two-minute warning, and yet somehow, the Lions had the ball in their hands at the end of the game with a chance to tie the score. The following week against the Eagles, a 17-3 lead with five minutes left in the game also shrunk back into one-score territory. In Week 14 against the Bengals, a 20-6 lead in the fourth quarter evaporated before Brandon Aiyuk did the damn thing in overtime. And let’s not forget the Divisional playoff game against the Cowboys, where a 23-7 lead in the fourth quarter turned into the Cowboys having a chance to win the game before they Cowboys’d themselves.

Robert Griffin III might have been okay with Kyle Shanahan before that interview, but taking a shot at both Kyle and his father may change that. I have a feeling Shanahan won’t take too kindly to RG3 telling the 49ers’ longest-tenured beat writer that his family doesn’t know how to play with a lead.