It’s been a few weeks since Mike Shanahan left town, and yup, Joshua Morgan still isn’t happy.
Were he a more significant part of this team, the Redskins wide receiver might have become a symbol of this lost season: benched, reinstated and benched again; repeatedly singled out for poor effort by former teammate Chris Cooley; willing to call out Mike Shanahan to reporters, after also seeming to object to off-field drama.
Still, it all makes for some interesting quotes. The latest came Monday night, when Morgan joined Alex Parker on NewsChannel 8.
“My body’s fresh and ready to start,” Morgan said when Parker asked how he’s doing. So you knew where this one was heading.
“Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what his motive was,” Morgan said, when asked about his disagreement with Shanahan. “I still don’t know. I’m still waiting on an answer. Maybe one day he’ll find it in his heart to text me or call me and let me know what I did to him this year. …
“I was shocked at a lot of the things that went on this year and the way they went on, and how a lot of things were handled,” Morgan said. “Because at the end of the day it’s supposed to just be about football and winning games. I mean, it’s the NFL; if you’re not winning then you’re obviously getting fired and going home and getting replaced. I thought at the end of the day it’s supposed to be about winning games, but unfortunately it wasn’t, and that’s kind of why the year went the way it went.”
So Parker asked Morgan something that’s been asked of him before: Why he didn’t just ask Shanahan what was going on.
“You try to say what’s up, you try to go to him as a man and talk to him and really get an understanding of what’s going on,” Morgan said. “But at the end of the day, you’re not gonna [urinate] on me and tell me it’s raining. So at the end of the day, if you can’t be real with me, then you have no choice but to accept what’s going on, because you can’t do nothing about it.”
Earlier, Morgan had made an offhand remark about there being a party when the Shanahans left town. So Parker asked whether people in the locker room were happy to see them go.
“Um,” Morgan replied. “As a team, I knew a lot of guys weren’t happy with the way the year was going. I knew a lot of guys were very disappointed with how a lot of things were handled this year A lot of guys were very disappointed with the fact that it wasn’t about football, it wasn’t about winning games. And last year, with six new guys coming to the team, to be able to have the type of success we had, we thought this year we were gonna only build on that. And obviously we didn’t. And obviously it was a lot of reasons why we didn’t. But it was a lot of disappointed guys in that locker room this year.”
Which led to another natural question: Why did so many players publicly back Shanahan and say they loved playing for him if there was so much dissatisfaction?
“I mean, at the time, it usually is within our heart, because you want to love the guy that’s basically at the head of everything,” Morgan said. “You have to love him, because you listen to him every day, you get up every day and come work for him. And this is who you have to sell yourself out for, that’s who you have to put everything on the line for. You want to trust in that guy, and you want to just give that guy your everything. So as a player, in the season, whether you like what’s going on or not, you’ve got to love him, because he has your career in his hands. At the end of the day, we want to go out there and win games.
“It’s supposed to be about winning games, and playing football, and that’s all it should really be about,” Morgan said. “That’s not always the case. … From what I saw, it was just a lot of personal things that didn’t make any sense, things that a lot of us didn’t understand. Like I said, this team, what we did last year, we thought we weren’t gonna do anything but build on that. And a lot of things got in the way of us building on that, and it was very frustrating and very disappointing to a lot of guys.
“All we care about is football,” Morgan said. “I know a lot of us, if you took all the money away, and we got out there and we played football every day, we would still have as much fun and you would probably get the same effort out of all of us. We just want to go out there and win, because that’s the game we love.”