Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday that last week’s practice field collision with two of his players was the most jarring accidental hit that he has absorbed during his coaching career.
“I’d never been hit in 38 years on the field,” Shanahan said after his team’s practice at Redskins Park.
He’s been hit a few times on the sideline during games when players ran out of bounds, Shanahan said, adding: “But never a shot like that.”
Shanahan was hit by cornerback Brandyn Thompson and wide receiver Pierre Garcon during a passing drill in an organized team activity (OTA) on May 21st. Shanahan did not speak to reporters that day but, according to the Redskins, was back at work the following day.
Thursday’s OTA was the first Redskins’ practice open to the media —and the first time Shanahan spoke to reporters—since the collision.
“I’ll be honest with you: Those guys didn’t think I could take a hit at 59,” Shanahan said. “I proved I can take a hit. I did talk to the team afterward, which was about 10 minutes after I got hit. I do not remember the conversation I had with them. I really don’t. It took me probably about 20 minutes [or] 25 minutes to recover because I hit my head pretty good on the turf. [But] I was fine. Really, about 20 minutes afterward, I was fine.”
Shanahan’s toughness is not questioned. As a college quarterback at Eastern Illinois he stayed on the field in a spring game after a hit that shoved his kidney behind his spine and split it open. Shanahan passed out and his heart stopped beating for a half minute. He was given last rites. He was unconscious for five days and his playing career was ended by the blow.
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