Redskins fire Mike Shanahan as Head Coach

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Updated: December 30, 2013
Shanny presser image

DISCUSS IT ON OUR RERDDIT also VOTE IN OUR POLL.  Who do you want to replace Mike Shanahan?

UPDATE — Redskins announce that Bruce Allen will meet with the media at 2PM.

UPDATE — Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder comments on the dismissal of Mike Shanahan.

“Redskins fans deserve a better result,” Snyder said in a written statement released by the team. “We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs.”

UPDATE — Mike Greenwood from ESPN called Mike Shanahan’s tenure in Washington as one of the “colossal failures in recent memory”.

UPDATE — After 1 hour and 51 minutes, Mike Shanahan has departed Redskins Park.  Must have had more than just an iPad to remove.

UPDATE — Numerous reports circulating that assistants Kyle Shanahan, Kieth Burns, Matt LaFleur have all been dismissed.  I think it is safe to assume that all assistant coaches will be terminated.

UPDATE — Reports out of Ashburn are that Bruce Allen is leading the head coaching search to replace Shanahan.  What is not known is what role with Snyder play, beyond approving the terms and conditions, and what changes could be made tot he front office, with Shanahan also vacating the Team president position.

UPDATE —  According to multiple reports, including from Chris Mortenson from ESPN, the Redskins have been developing a head coaching list for nearly six weeks.  —–

The Washington Redskins have fired head coach Mike Shanahan after four seasons at the helm.   Over his four year tenure, Shanahan posted a 24-39 record with one playoff appearance and one division title, both coming in the 2012 season.  The firing has been confirmed by the Washington Post.  In addition, as expected, Shanahan’s entire staff was dismissed.

The move is hardly surprising, given the never ending drama that unfolded towards the end of this season.  Reports circulated that Shanahan was unhappy with the relationship that developed between Redskins owner Dan Snyder and QB Robert Griffin III.  Leaks were made to ESPN regarding the relationship and the apparent unhappiness of Shanahan.  Those leaks are thought to have come directly from Shanahan or someone close to him.   However, the accuracy of those leaks and reports were challenged by several inside the organization including current players.  Shanahan upped the stakes with owner Dan Snyder by announcing that he would bench Griffin the final three games.  Snyder, smartly so, did not respond and allowed the events to unfold.

Shanahan had one year remaining on his original five year deal as head coach and Team President.  Rumors had circulated throughout the last month on whether Shanahan would be fired or would remain with the Redskins.  Little credence was given to rumors that Shanahan would stay in Washington.  The relationship between Shanahan and Snyder had become to toxic.

Even for me, a frequent Snyder critic, it was hard for me to shift this blame to Snyder.  Shanahan caused the leaks to occur, apparently catching Snyder and the Redskins brass completely off-guard.   Additionally, Shanahan pretty much got everything he asked for, including a shift of training camp to Richmond, a practice bubble, and more.  Snyder essentially gave Shanahan a blank check in directing the organization.  Although reports have filtered throughout the media that Shanahan opposed the trade with the St. Louis Rams to draft Griffin with the second overall pick, there is little evidence to support that claim.

Shanahan can try and detract from his failures by pointing to that trade and the two year salary cap penalty that hampered the Redskins off-season plans the past two years, but it still does not reconcile with how poor the quality of the roster was that Mike Shanahan, as head coach AND Team president, built himself.  It still doesn’t reflect on poor play calling and awful time clock management that frequently plagued the Redskins game plan.  It still doesn’t reflect the historically poor special teams and the failure to making a coaching change on that unit.  It still doesn’t reflect the undisciplined nature of the Redskins roster and the numerous personal foul penalties that crippled drives.  All that is on Mike Shanahan and his legacy.  That is not something he can put on Dan Snyder.  There is little evidence to support any claims of Snyder meddling.  Just the opposite.  Sadly for Shanahan, he failed to improve over the performances of former Redskins coaches Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn.

So now the Redskins focus turns from an awful season to a head coaching search.  Hopefully, before that is undertaken, front office changes will be made.  The Redskins should promote Bruce Allen to Team President, responsible for administration and contracts, and more importantly, as a buffer between a GM and the owner,  then hire a true professional general manager, and allow that general manager to hire the next head coach.  It’s the only model that Snyder has not tried in Washington.

Shanahan’s departure makes him the fourth NFL coach fired.  Earlier int he season, Houston fired Gary Kubiak.  Today, before the Shanahan dismissal, Cleveland and Minnesota fired their coaches.


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