Responding to a remark by Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, wide receiver Anthony Armstrong said he is far from ready to take up coaching and will continue to work to improve.
“When there was a lockout, I was looking into coaching a little bit, had a coaching job with the soccer team, and we ended up having a winning record, but no time soon am I thinking about taking on a coaching position,” said Armstrong, whose playing time has fluctuated this season. He has just five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown a year after he ranked second on the team in receiving and third in the NFL in yards per catch.
“I spoke with [Shanahan] about it. Initially, I took it as a swipe, but I also took it as a challenge. I’ve been around him for a year-and-a-half and I understand that he makes jokes and that’s his general comment to any receiver, really. I just happened to be the one in his crosshairs at the time.”
Armstrong opened the year as the Redskins’ third wide receiver, then missed two games with a hamstring injury. He got his first start of the season two weeks ago, but didn’t have a catch. Last week, despite both Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan saying that they needed to get Armstrong more involved in the gameplan, the second-year pro was on the field for only eight of the 64 offensive snaps. He again didn’t have a catch.
The next day, Shanahan said: “Anthony hasn’t been as consistent as I would like, getting off bump coverage. That’s one of the areas that he has to improve at to be a starter on our football team and get more playing time. He knows that as well as anybody, and he’s been getting better. But to get more time, you’ve got to beat that bump coverage. If you can’t beat that bump coverage in the National Football League, you start coaching.”
Armstrong didn’t dispute the fact that he needs to get better at beating bump coverages. He said he will continue working on that area of his game, as he always has.
“Yeah, we all got work to do against press coverage. I feel like I’ve been successful against it,” Armstrong said. “Everybody has their slip-ups every now and again. I don’t think you can pull up the tape and say that every time there’s been bump I haven’t been successful. That’s just what he decided to say. We’ll worry about coaching later. I still got football to play.”
Despite Shanahan’s dig, and the fact that his playing time has been limited this season, Armstrong said he doesn’t believe he’s in the coach’s doghouse.
“Naw I don’t think I’m in no dadgum doghouse. Why would I been in the doghouse?” Armstrong said. “...I just think that a lot of guys are getting opportunities. But of course I have to keep working. That’s one thing I’m always going do. But eventually we’ll get some catches going and get some wins. I can’t say I’m any more motivated. I’ve already been frustrated from the playing time, lack of production, lack of wins, and not being able to help the team. But I’m not any more motivated than before. It’s just now that everybody knows about it, and y’all are asking me about if I’m going to start coaching.”