Fired. Gone. Released. Each of these three words can describe what the Washington Redskins organization decided to do with former head coach Mike Shanahan on Monday. Washington lost their eighth consecutive game on Sunday by a 20-6 score, and upper management decided a change was needed as Shanahan had just one year left on his existing contract.
What these words cannot describe, however, is how poor of a job Shanahan has done in his four years with the Redskins. Shanahan finished with a combined 24-40 record, however, helped Washington win the NFC East a season ago. The 24-40 record is the exact same winning percentage as predecessors Jim Zorn and Steve Spurrier. The NFC East title was sandwiched in between three double-digit losing seasons, and several rumors regarding the coaches attempt to leave the team.
When Shanahan joined the organization, he was given all the control he could have possibly asked for, yet he still couldn’t get a hold of the most important player, Robert Griffin III. In the midst of a tumultuous season, news broke that Shanahan almost left the division champion Redskins citing RG3’s relationship with owner Daniel Snyder. The story broke on the same day as an embarrassing 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and from here on out, the future didn’t look so bright for Mr. Shanahan.
Although many players endorsed Shanahan throughout much of the season, Snyder, despite a $7 million cap hit, felt it was time to fire another head coach. Since Snyder took over in 1999, Washington has had 8 different coaches, and with it, numerous losing seasons.
In Shanahan’s final press conference, he mentioned the major issues surrounding the 36 million-salary cap hit the Redskins absorbed after his first season. He went on to say the strict cap limited Washington’s ability to add depth and special teams talent. This, however, is no excuse as Shanahan has hired numerous coaches and drafted several players that have simply not panned out. Now, it is time for the Washington Redskins organization to start over, a scene Redskins fans have witnessed all too many times.
Along with the firing of Shanahan, Washington relieved eight other coaches from the duties. Namely, Mike Shanahan’s son, Kyle, and quarterbacks coach Matt LeFleur.