Shanahan says he has ‘never experienced’ a locker-room issue like Miami’s

Mike Shanahan (Toni Sandys / The Washington Post)

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Mike Shanahan says he never has encountered a situation in coaching like that now occurring with the Miami Dolphins, with guard Richie Incognito having been suspended by that team after sending profane and racially insensitive text and voice messages to teammate Jonathan Martin.

Shanahan offered the disclaimer Monday that he hadn’t “listened to a lot of it because we’ve been pretty busy,” but the Washington Redskins coach also said: “I have never experienced that since I’ve been in coaching. I’ve never experienced that type of locker room or that type of atmosphere that was explained to me, anyhow.”

But Shanahan also said there are times when a coach must “watch over” certain players.

“You do get sometimes guys that are a little bit more nervous or younger guys, rookies, than other guys, and you’ve kind of got to watch over them because sometimes one person might be a little bit shy,” Shanahan said. “One person is a little different type of personality. And at least over the years, we try to keep an eye on those type of young guys. I’m talking about rookies coming out. Some people have hazing. Other people don’t. I’m never been much into hazing. Just the opposite. You want these guys to feel comfortable even though they do have to carry shoulder pads [of veteran players] and things along those lines. But everybody treats it a little bit differently.”

A coach must step in any time he senses there’s an issue in the locker room, Shanahan said.

“I don’t think it’s hard at all,” he said. “If you think it’s a problem, it’s a problem. That’s your job. If you can see it and you believe it is, then you address the problem. Once you address it, usually the problem is over because you don’t tolerate it. But sometimes someone might not be aware that’s going on. I’m sure that’s the case in Miami.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

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