Kyle Shanahan ‘definitely’ interested in head coach gigs; Jim Haslett expects Super Bowl ring in Washington

January 3, 2013

Kyle Shanahan (left) and Jim Haslett (center) are expected to generate head coaching interest. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett both are expected to draw interest for head coaching positions during the offseason.

Coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday that his assistants wouldn’t interview with teams until the Redskins’ postseason had ended, but Kyle Shanahan made it clear Thursday that he would like to entertain such offers when he gets the opportunity.

Haslett, meanwhile, indicated that his sights are trained squarely on winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins.

Shanahan was one of the fast-rising stars in the NFL coaching ranks when he joined his father in Washington back in 2010 after directing Houston’s high-powered offense for two straight seasons. The Redskins struggled offensively in their first two seasons under Shanahan. But with the drafting of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, the signing of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan in free agency, and improvements along the offensive line, Shanahan’s offense has quickly risen to one of the hardest to stop this year. As a result, Shanahan’s name is again being mentioned as a potential head coach.

Asked if he would entertain interest from teams for head coaching positions, Shanahan said, “Yeah, definitely. I think every coach in the NFL, that’s all of our goals. Everybody wants an opportunity some day to be a head coach and I really hope that some day I get that opportunity.

“It’s very flattering to be mentioned right now, but I did read that I wasn’t allowed to, as you guys wrote and stuff,” Shanahan continued with a chuckle. “I didn’t know that until I read it. It’s not something I’m asking about or hearing about. It’s hard to really understand how focused and in a small world we are as coaches. I just live in my office back there, studying the heck out of film, trying to get ready for this game, and anything that detours your mind from that is going to be a detriment to the team. But I’m looking forward to having that opportunity after the season.”

Kyle Shanahan said he will comply with his father’s wishes that he not interview for jobs until Washington’s season ends. He said he does not have an agent, so he wasn’t sure whether any teams had tried to contact him. He said he didn’t know whether they had reached out to him directly, either.

“I’m not sure. I haven’t answered my phone in about six months, so I’ll check my voicemail after,” he said with a laugh.

Shanahan said that when he does become a head coach, he will feel well-prepared, thanks mostly to his time in Washington, more than his early years as a coordinator in Houston.

“The biggest thing the last three years has been handling adversity,” Shanahan said. “My first two years as a coordinator, everything seemed to go right from a numbers standpoint and statistically on offense, even though we didn’t make it to the playoffs, and that was disappointing. But here, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, and to be able to learn through that and change your schemes and stuff as you go with your players, and trying to find the ways when you don’t have the players at certain spots and battle through injuries. Each year you grow as a coach.”

Haslett came to the Redskins after serving as a long-time assistant, head coach of the New Orleans Saints and interim coach of the St. Louis Rams. As The Post reported earlier this week, at least two teams have expressed interest in him. But Haslett stressed that he would rather remain in Washington and win a Super Bowl than consider head coaching opportunities.

“First of all, I don’t worry about those things. I worry about this game coming up, and that is the truth. I don’t think of those things. That’s something you worry about when the season’s over,” said Haslett, who saw Washington’s defense improve from 31st in 2010 to 13th in 2011. Washington’s defense stumbled during the first half of this season, especially against the pass, but Haslett has directed a turnaround during the second half that is part of the Redskins’ seven-game win streak.

Haslett said he believes the Redskins are on the cusp of something special, and that he sees things finally falling into place. Those signs make him believe that his ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl is attainable in Washington.

“Really, I came here to win. I like the pieces of the puzzle now…I think you have an opportunity over hopefully this year, but for the future to win a couple Super Bowls,” Haslett said. “So as a player, as an ex-player and coach, I’ve kind of done everything I’ve wanted to do from an individual standpoint. Rookie of the year. I was coach of the year. All that stuff. So that stuff doesn’t make a difference to me. I need to get a ring. That’s the one thing I don’t have. So obviously I like the future of this club, so that kind of answers the question.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mike Jones · January 3, 2013

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