Posted December 30, 2013

Mike Shanahan fired by Washington Redskins after four seasons

NFC East, Washington Redskins
Mike Shanahan went 24-40 in four seasons with Washington Redskins.

Mike Shanahan went 24-40 in four seasons with the Redskins. (Evan Vucci/AP)

As most people expected, the Washington Redskins have fired head coach Mike Shanahan and his staff. It seemed inevitable given the team’s 3-13 record in 2013 and increasing reports of friction between Shanahan and team owner Dan Snyder.

BLACK MONDAY TRACKER: Updates on latest firings, rumors

• Tale of the tape: 3-13 in 2013; 24-40 in the regular season overall; 0-1 in the postseason

• What Went Wrong: As Bill Cosby once said of another matter, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Shanahan was Dan Snyder’s perhaps most credible coaching hire outside of Joe Gibbs, and after two bumpy years partially mandated by the franchise’s previous personnel bunglings, Shanahan was able to put it all together in 2012. Washington’s move to give multiple first-round picks to the St. Louis Rams for the right to move up to take Robert Griffin III was repaid spectacularly in the short term when Griffin played at an MVP level in his rookie season.

But knee injuries, which had been an issue for Griffin even at Baylor, came back up to bite the Redskins in the regular season and the postseason. Griffin missed the entire 2013 preseason from a training perspective, leaving him unable to develop as Shanahan and son Kyle, the team’s offensive coordinator, would have preferred. Shanahan’s decision to bench Griffin for the last three games of the 2013 season seemed as much a shot at Snyder as an actual football decision.

In addition, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was unable to marry personnel to scheme, and personnel was a pretty big issue overall.

• Roster Outlook: Griffin can still be great if he’s healthy and able to get with offseason programs, and running back Alfred Morris is an underrated gem. But whoever replaces the Shanahans will have some work to do. Outside of left tackle Trent Williams, the Redskins’ offensive line needs an overhaul, and while the receivers are pretty good overall — Pierre Garcon in particular this last season — a true impact guy could really help.

On defense, a replacement for the retiring London Fletcher is needed. There’s probably more talent in the defensive front than people think, and the secondary needs a lot of help. The Redskins aren’t too far away from having a competitive team again — one could say that the firing was more about a bad situation between coaching staff and front office than a true reflection of the team’s talent level.

• Possible Replacement(s): Bill O’Brien, Lovie Smith, Darrell Bevell, Russ Grimm, Art Briles, Jay Gruden. Really, Snyder could go in all sorts of directions. He likes big names, and he may be attracted to a college coach too.

43 comments
Aggie81
Aggie81

During half time of next year's game between the Deadskins and the Cowgirls will be an cage match between Daniel Synder and Jerry Jones


Knowing Jerry, he'll try to make it a pay per view event...

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Art Briles may be coming to town. Really, who could tolerate working for Snyder? 

MStew357
MStew357

Skins need to focus on building structure in their organization.  They need to get a dedicated GM that knows football to hire a coach and bring in some talent.  They need to stay away from the coaches that want a bunch of power.  It seems like coaches that want to play GM never work out.  

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

The real issue for the Deadskins is that Snyder put all his chips in on RGMe!  They gave up high picks this year & now will be forced to hire a HC that he can 'likes'.  I live in the DMV & I'm not sold on this kid as a real, big-time QB whatsoever!  So its lookin like Deadskin Nation is in for another 3-5 years of mediocrity until they get a legit franchise QB...

Matthew W
Matthew W

Skins fans deserve a better coach than Shanny.


Skins fans without doubt deserve a better owner than Snyder! He's the problem.

dudedadesq
dudedadesq

Well, I guess the best solution for the Skins' future will not happen:  Shanahan/Snyder murder-suicide....

mikald4
mikald4

Shanahan owed  $7 million on his contract.  Why should he work ?  I suppose to get him outta the house and away from  the wife.    Only reason i can see why he would want

more NFL  headaches.

cangemiart
cangemiart

This is starting to look like the "Curse of Dan Snyder." What has he done for this team other than embarrass its fans for decades? Why did they play RGIII last year when he was clearly hurt? Why did they start him this year when he clearly wasn't ready and Cousins was? Frankly RG3 is one of the most overrated QBs in the league. He has no poise in the pocket and scrambles around like a scarecrow with his head cut off. Dan Snyder needs to hire the best GM he can find and just write the checks. He needs to stay the hell out of the decision making process, because he clearly doesn't know what he's doing.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I can't help but think about the other teams that are firing their coach today. There will be as many as a half dozen. And any one of them might hire Mike Shanahan to coach them next year. Think on that for a moment if you wish to be utterly depressed.

Joel1
Joel1

NFL coaches overpaid. Doesn't matter if he's 26 or 60 years old.

He has enough money to retire just based on what the Skins paid him over four years.


Money is out-of-control in pro sports.

Time2Focus
Time2Focus

Only real solution for Redskins and their fans is to trade the owner.

oldguy68
oldguy68

I can't see Bill O'Brien. He has too many better options. Russ Grimm seems more likely IMO

Jdg9
Jdg9

The relationship between Shannahan and RGIII was bad, but that wasn't the problem.  RGIII's health was not the problem. QB is not the problem. 

 The offense was fine.  The defense was awful and the special teams were absolutely atrocious.    The players were all ones picked by Shannahan, as were the assistant coaches.    That is the main reason why DC went 3-13, and focusing on RGIII is bad journalism since it's not covering what is really wrong with the team. 

BillMcLaughlin
BillMcLaughlin

Nothing better than watching over-hyped DC and NY teams disintegrate into mayhem. Very enjoyable.

6marK6
6marK6

Maybe Snyder can get in a bidding war with Jones over Jason Garrett. 

Jeph
Jeph

This was a BIG player - coach - owner mismatch Enough said!

sunalsorises
sunalsorises

I see Robert Griffin the second as the next coach.  

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Paid $130M over last 14 seasons with 2 organizations  ,1 playoff win . Roster overhaul after he got fired, both times, Cant recall anyone in sportsdom history paid that much money for that much damage

PWINGS
PWINGS

@Aggie81As Mark Twain once observed about the throng of people who attended the funeral of a famous a'hole of his day: "Give the people what they want and they WILL turn out!"

Actually, Mark Twain proposed a solution to war that would be appropriate for Jerra' and Danny Boy. Instead of wars being bloody affairs fought by soldiers, they should be fought with the only combatants being the respective kings, both of whom would be naked and armed only with sacks of manure. god, I love Mark Twain!

PWINGS
PWINGS

@Rickapolis  People who could tolerate working for Snyder? I don't know. I can think of a couple of people I know who I'd like to see FORCED to work for him! Heh, Heh.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@cangemiart   "....This is starting to look like the "Curse of Dan Snyder." 

In your mind, conjure up a vision of Jim Mora's famous "Playoffs? PLAYOFFS??" tirade. Substitute the words "starting to?" in place of "playoffs". Just my thought.

"He has no poise in the pocket and scrambles around like a scarecrow with his head cut off."

He's not scrambling around. He's running for his life! That offensive line was AWFUL. They aspired to uselessness. There were suggestions at the season's end that the line was playing half-heartedly because of their resentment of RGIII and his special treatment by Snyder. Watching that line stand there like fence posts during two late season games, you could sure build an argument for that conclusion. If they don't get that line fixed, RGIII isn't the only one who might have a short career. I think RB Alfred Morris is at risk as well and that is a shame. He's a fine back and a cornerstone of their future.

slickwilly
slickwilly

@Joel1 The NFL makes billions of dollars of revenue annually. It's only fair that the players and coaches see a good portion of that money. NFL coaches are in no way overpaid.

Jdg9
Jdg9

Maybe I'm exaggerating by saying the offense was 'fine'.  But it was good enough to win more games provided they had a competent defense & special teams - but they didn't.  But the whole drama about 'how healthy is RGII?' and 'should Cousins start?' is irrelevant.  It doesn't matter who plays QB, since the rest of the team is so bad. 

RockyRoad
RockyRoad

@BillMcLaughlin The NY times aren't both mayhem - the Giants have had a rough rough season, but nothing to say they won't be getting better. And the Jets are definitely on the way up, lot more cap room in the upcoming draft, cultivating a good QB around hopefully improved offense. Nonsense to say they've both "disintegrated into mayhem"!! 

JJRR
JJRR

@Jeph uhhh yeah NO.  This had nothing, NOTHING to do with RG3.  Shanahan had 3 out of four seasons where he went 10 or more losses, division last finish.  The only season he didn't he only did on RG3's back.  RG3 didn't get Shanny fired.  Losing year after year did.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@sunalsorises I really would not be surprised. There is no bottom to the well of Dan Snyder's ignorance of professional football.  

Jdg9
Jdg9

@sunalsorisesRGII did supposedly tell Snyder that he should hire RGIII's Baylor coach as head coach...

RenHoekk
RenHoekk

@PWINGS@cangemiartAnd if the OL doesn't like their QB, whose fault do you think that is?  Shanahan's? Snyder's?  Even still the OL are getting beat up and putting their bodies on the line.  They want to win.  The fact that Cousins didn't get sacked nearly as often as RGIII had nothing to do with the OL's effort and everything with the QB's ability to run the offense as it was designed.

Michael50
Michael50

@Jdg9 I wish more of the media would have listened to you throughout the season. Redskins had a defense ranked in the bottom three for most of the year and all I kept hearing was RG3? I could not understand it, well I can I guess, RG3 draws views and comments. Kind of sad really.

slickwilly
slickwilly

@RockyRoad@BillMcLaughlin The Giants aren't in the same situation as the Redskins simply because they have nowhere near the amount of dysfunction in their organization as the Redskins have in theirs. Their biggest problem is that their team is built around a very mediocre quarterback in Eli Manning. If they don't do something to improve their team in the offseason, I could see the Giants being very bad for years to come.

dhgit
dhgit

@JJRR @Jeph it had everything to do with RG3.  Shanahan would not have traded for him and probably just taken Kirk Cousins and added another impact player or two instead of getting rid of all the draft picks for a running QB with an injury history.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@RenHoekk@PWINGS@cangemiart  Whose fault is it if the line is "jaking it"? Snyder's IMO. But you're right, the OL does have a stake in it and several of them are playing for their jobs. As for Cousins running the offense as it was designed, I question if we're talking about the same offensive scheme. Nobody believes Cousins has RGIII's running ability and it would be foolish to expect him to make plays with his legs and so he was instructed to stay in the pocket. RGIII on the other hand does (did?) have running ability and I think the plays WERE designed for him to run the ball. I seriously question whether designing plays for him to run was a smart thing to do given RGIII's history of knee injuries. But I disagree with you. RGIII was running the offense as it was designed. It was just a foolish design based on needless, unwarranted risk.