Posted December 08, 2013

Report: Mike Shanahan was ready to leave Redskins after 2012 season

NFC East, Washington Redskins
2013 could be Mike Shanahan's last season in  Washington, D.C.

2013 could be Mike Shanahan’s (left) last season in Washington, D.C. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

The Washington Redskins were one of the NFL’s most interesting teams in 2012 — they came back from a 3-6 start, won their last seven regular-season games, became an unlikely NFC East champion and won praise from all corners for the ways in which head coach Mike Shanahan and son Kyle, the team’s offensive coordinator, helped rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Redskins lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs to the Seattle Seahawks, but that was seen as a minor bump in the road for a team that appeared to be on the uptick.

One season later, the Redskins seem like anything but. They’re 3-9, they haven’t won a game since their overtime squeaker on Nov. 3 and Griffin has put forth a very frustrating sophomore season amid injuries and ineffectiveness.

And according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Shanahan came very close to avoiding the current mess. Unhappy with owner Dan Snyder’s meddling, specifically when it came to Griffin’s empowerment, Shanahan reportedly had cleaned out his desk in advance of the wild-card loss. When Griffin aggravated a previous knee injury, however, Shanahan changed his mind.

The coach was tired of the way Snyder held Griffin in esteem above all other players, and while Shanahan didn’t blame Griffin for this, he did feel that Snyder’s words and actions regarding Griffin were “a complete farce.”

Shanahan reportedly thought that he would be leaving the team on a positive note, capturing a division championship in his third year, but didn’t want people to think that he left the team because of Griffin’s injury.

Still, Snyder — who has a long history of butting in where perhaps he shouldn’t — did things for Griffin that raised Shanahan’s hackles. He sent his security team to escort the quarterback when he went out for social events, and refused to acknowledge backup quarterback Kirk Cousins after Cousins led the Redskins to a Dec. 16, 2012 win over the Cleveland Browns in Griffin’s place.

Team spokesman Tony Wylie has said that the Graziano story is “ridiculous,” but it’s pretty certain that things are about to come to a head between Shanahan and Snyder. The coach has one year left on his contract, and Snyder might not let him finish it out even if Shanahan decides that he wants to stick it out.

Update (2:00 p.m. ET): Members of the Redskins’ front office believe the relationship between Shanahan and Snyder may be beyond repair.

Some Redskins officials questioned the timing and motivation behind those sentiments becoming public, the people with knowledge of the situation said, and added that a parting of the ways between the team and Shanahan appears increasingly likely.

“I don’t know that it can be fixed now,” one of those people said.

Multiple people with knowledge of the thinking of Redskins officials said members of the team’s management wonder whether Shanahan is hopeful of leaving the organization to be a candidate for the Houston Texans’ head coaching vacancy.

33 comments
theboneman21
theboneman21

Gruden is the key


Also RG3's numbers are down from his rookie year but they are not horrible, relatively speaking.

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

Well, him staying sure made a difference. What will they do without him? Better, more than likely.

daneh77
daneh77

Self-serving leak, goodbye Mike.

Dumptruck
Dumptruck

$20 bucks says he's gone before midnight. This madness has to stop and the team needs to move on.

MarkTulayESG
MarkTulayESG

Mike S. should leave.  He took the job to help position his son for a Head coaching job but did more harm then good.  Defense is horrible - worst in NFL.  Offense is predictable.  Bad all around.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

After today's 'performance' I almost expect  Shanahan to be fired tomorrow. Since Griffin is there to stay, the Shanahan's have to go. And the sooner the better. The hard part is going to be finding a coach sap enough to work for Dan Snyder. 

Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask
Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask

So I guess good riddance.. Overrated coach that had a super team with Elway and Davis that made him relevant. After that he became just another decent coach who had power because of 2 rings. Well the rides over Shannahan.. Good day and good luck getting another coaching gig. As for the Redskins and Snyder, youve empowered RG III with sense of entitlement and nothing being his fault so find a younger players coach who will baby your franchise player instead of an old head like Shannahan that will butt heads with him. It may not win you games or playoff accomplishment but you ll avoid daily drama about a player and coach.

DontGetIt99
DontGetIt99

Longing for the days of the old ball coach and Vinnie.  Now look at us!

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

This is just p.r. from Shanahan's camp, so that when he is fired at the end of the season he can pretend that he was going to leave anyway. In fact, last year! Denver won Super Bowls in spite of him, not because of him.   Now, Snyder IS an interfering buffoon, no doubt, but everyone has known that for years. It's unlikely that Washington will have any lasting success unless and until he stays out of the way, and I don't think he is capable of that. A discouraging future for Washington fans.

Frank14
Frank14

what shanhan did to griffin in 2012 playoff is a crime. should have been fired on the spot.

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

The 2 things that afford the chance for the Giants and Eagles have long term success are Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones. 

AZPurdue
AZPurdue

Shanahan rode those Elway coat tails longer than anyone would have ever imagined. Also, Shanahan benched Jake Plummer in favor of Jay Cutler. Glad to see Plummer give Denver the finger when they traded him.   

rrrlas
rrrlas

I think is safe to say that RGIII is overrated and just another running QB with no long term potential other than to follow in Mike Vick's injury prone footsteps. He deserves no special attention. Andrew Luck and Kirk Cousins will both enjoy longer and more successful careers on field.

dandogwood
dandogwood

Shanahan is a bum. Elway made that little Elf Shanahan.

daneh77
daneh77

WOW, I think I am first on Snyder's side (establishing a consistent winning record is his priority) but have respect for the professionalism of Shanahan and his (faltering) family business.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@Rickapolis Idiotic comment. For all of Shanny's flaws, he brought out the best in Steve Young and John Elway and was at the forefront of today's offense oriented NFL. Stuff that we take for granted in today's game were Shanahan innovations. 


His offensive systems proficiently ran the same play out of different personnel groups and formations, which forced defenses to remain in their base personnel packages and formations rather than substitute in a specialty defense against the run or pass. It was essentially the hurry-up offense without using the clock. His ability to find late round running backs running behind unheralded O linemen signaled the beginning of organizations prioritizing the passing attack behind a functional, not overwhelming running attack. And he was the first coach to implement the RB by committee that further de-emphasized the run game and favored diversification of the RB skillset (power back, scat back, pass receiver, blocker, etc).


All these things are now NFL staples and unfortunately Shanny has not been able to stay ahead of the curve. That being said, your commentary without any supporting evidence is something I expected better from you.

Dumptruck
Dumptruck

@Frank14 thanks for saying what I have been sayin' since that game when he was obviously falling apart at the seams, but Ratman Shannahan HAD to keep him in the game. If Snyder didn't fire him then, then God Almighty (i.e.- Roger Godell) should of intervened and fired him.

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

So true. If Shanahan stays then there are three things.

Michael50
Michael50

@rrrlas "I think is safe to say that RGIII is overrated..."


Really? You think it is safe to say that? Based on a few games during his sophomore season? Well then, I hope you dismiss Cam Newton as overrated. I also hope you dismiss Peyton Manning as overrated as well, because they both also suffered from slumps during their second season. Or, how about Drew Brees, go and look how his career started.


I don't understand how people can be so ignorant as to blame everything on one person. First, the offense has been top 10 all season, and the defense has been ranked in the bottom 5, Hrmm, perhaps RG3 should play defense as well? Second, the Redskins have been under an 18 million dollar salary cap penalty for 2 years now, you think that does not effect the quality of players they can bring in? Especially considering how many draft picks they gave up to get RG3. Quit buying into the media's love/hate relationship and give the guy a break. It is his 2nd year for crying out loud.

meandmesa
meandmesa

ROFLMAO.  This is a great example of a total moron who has nothing relevant to offer except to sound like a whiny 2nd grader who didn't get invited to the most popular kid's birthday party and deals with it by calling that kid names.  What a sad, pathetic little baby you are.

Mel
Mel

Remind me how many championships Elway had prior to Shanahan at ANY level. Let's remember that prior to Shanahan coming to Denver, Elway was very much known for losing the big game.

ArrumGhast
ArrumGhast

Griffin is not a good QB...look at the interceptions and fumbles.

Dumptruck
Dumptruck

@MikeKing @MarkTulayESG respectfully disagree, Mike. RG3 is pretty good to above average, at least he WAS before Ratman Shannahan left him the game too long last year. Ratman shudda been sacked then, and most definitely should be sacked NOW.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@M as in Mancy @Rickapolis Shanhan is unable to use his quarterbacks effectively. Elway hated him, and Griffin seems to as well. His start QB's have the most success when they rebel against his game planes and call their own plays. That is my supporting evidence.

dkap2001
dkap2001

@Dumptruck @Frank14  You both have no clue. Griffin (and his fragile ego) insisted he stay in. It was never even an option for Shanahan to pull him. Griffing would have went crying to Snyder and Shanahan would have been gone. You are correct, Shanahan has no control of this team and that is because it is in Griffin and Snyders hands.

effeweall
effeweall

@Mel Prior to Victor Conte becoming the bronco's stregnth and coditioning advisor, the Elway led Bronco's stunk!

eddie767
eddie767

@ArrumGhast Griffin isn't the only player not playing well. Really,the whole team is bad this year,but when you are rehabbing practice is out of bounds. We,i mean,the Dkins will be better next yr. So get your negative comments in now.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@Rickapolis @M as in Mancy Get your facts straight. Elway and Shanahan had a falling out in the mid 2000s, which is almost a decade since Elway even played. They had a great relationship for over a decade teamed up as QB-OC and QB-HC. 


"His start QB's have the most success when they rebel against his game planes and call their own plays." This statement is a joke. Jake Plummer had his most successful years with Denver. His player option was declined by Arizona because his performance had stagnated. And Cutler's best NFL season was 2008 with Shanahan at HC. I cannot speak for the RGIII situation, but you're dead wrong about anything that transpired in Denver.