Great Shanahan press conference quotes

December 11, 2013

Mike Shanahan speaks with members of the media on Wednesday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The latest episode of “Redskins Press Conferences” aired Wednesday afternoon, and it was a special triple-episode. Building on the drama of Monday’s unsettling episode, which closely followed Sunday’s short-but-gripping episode, Wednesday’s program featured a dramatic change-in-routine, replacing the ordinary Coach-Quarterback Wednesday structure with an unusual Quarterback-Quarterback-Coach motif.

While some viewers complained about the nearly hour-long run time, others no doubt were glued to the entire program, which starred Mike Shanahan in a role that called for a far greater range of emotions than typical episodes. Wednesday’s show had him going from earnest lecturer to impassioned zealot to patient educator to joke-telling comedian to exasperated dead-man-walking, and back, and back again. It was, without question, his most demanding role in four years, and it left many viewers wondering how he could possibly top that performance during his next episode. Which comes, um, Thursday.

Anyhow, here are nine of Shanahan’s most memorable lines, in no particular order. And pray for the script writers. They’re going to run out of material eventually.

* “When you’re taking hits, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault. The matter is do you protect your quarterback or don’t you protect your quarterback? If it’s his fault, if it’s the offensive line, if it’s the receivers — it doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. What matters is he’s getting hit.”

* “After [an injury] happens, it’s too late. Just like the Seattle game at halftime. I could have kicked myself in the rear end. Because my gut was even though the doctor said, hey, he was fine, it was all stable, you don’t have to worry. Robert said it was fine. I knew, in my gut. I watched him. I said, hey, that’s what I should have done, because I did see it. You have to go with your gut sometimes.”

* “I can go with my gut, and I should have went with my gut, but I thought he had earned the right to play, because he convinced me he was okay. But I think in long terms — because we’re talking about honesty right here — it cost us the game. Because the guy that goes in could play at a certain level. So not only did it hurt Robert, but it hurt us from winning the game.”

* “[I talked to Dan Snyder about this, because] that’s what you do about a quarterback. He’s your franchise. That’s why you ask those questions. You don’t do it about the other positions. Dan could care less about the other positions.”

* “I do ask it about a quarterback, because we’re going to have a circus atmosphere any time you make a decision like that.”

* “What I’m trying to do is be as honest as I can. And I don’t normally do that, because I don’t really think it’s anybody’s business, except the guys in our locker room. And I don’t get into a lot of detail. But here I think it’s a must.”

* “Somebody said the reason why you’re going with Kirk is you’re trying to get fired and get a year left on your contract. If I’m trying to get fired, I’m not going to call up Dan Snyder and ask his opinion on a player that I don’t have to!”

” I don’t know [about next year] until I sit down with Dan. Then we’ll find out what I think, and I’ll give him my opinions, and he’ll give me his opinions. Maybe we’ll just hit it off and I get that 12-, 15-year contract. Well, maybe three years. But anyway, whatever it is.”

* “I think everybody in this room knows that I don’t talk to anybody off the record. I don’t….We’ve all had lunches together back in camp, and you guys know that I’m not going to tell you anything.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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