Mike Shanahan says Redskins remain headed in right direction under him

The Redskins are 3-7 with Coach Mike Shanahan, right, in the fourth season of his five-year contract (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins are 3-7 with Coach Mike Shanahan, right, in the fourth season of his five-year contract (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins have a record of 3-7 in the fourth season of Coach Mike Shanahan’s five-year contract. But Shanahan said Monday at Redskins Park, on the heels of Sunday’s loss at Philadelphia, that he believes the team continues to build in a positive manner under him.

“I really do and I think you’ve got to take a look at a number of things when you take a look at the direction of a football team,” Shanahan said “I think when you take a look at the offensive numbers … that just doesn’t happen naturally with a lot of new players. We talked about it last year. We had six new players on our team and putting up the numbers that we’re putting up are pretty impressive, especially with losing the $36 million salary cap over those two years timeframe.”

The Redskins are in the second season of dealing with their two-year, $36 million salary cap reduction imposed by the NFL. Shanahan said that penalty has hurt the team but the Redskins, he said, will be able to do more to bolster their roster in the upcoming offseason and beyond.

“You don’t have the type of depth,” Shanahan said. “But you’re able to put a very solid football team together. And in the future, it will get better because we do have the ability to get more depth. We’ve got the ability to add some players on both sides of the football, and that gives you a chance to get better as a football team.”

Shanahan declined to respond directly to a question about whether he thinks the Redskins’ results during the remainder of this season will determine his future with the team, or if he instead has been given assurances by owner Daniel Snyder that he definitely will return next season.

“I don’t talk about those things during the season, for obvious reasons,” Shanahan said.

However, a person familiar with the Redskins’ planning said in recent days that it was “too early” to know if Shanahan’s job is safe beyond this season.

Shanahan acknowledged that he scrutinizes his own role in losses.

“You try to put your football team in the situation that gives them the best chance to be successful,” he said. “When you fall short of that, you always go back and you look at everything. You look at your offensive game plan, defense, special teams. We did a lot of good things in that game. We fell a little bit short. I was pleased with the way our defense came back in the second half, some of the plays made, and I was proud of our football team, the way they fought in the fourth quarter. … Two games in a row, we fell short in the fourth quarter and I’m disappointed that we did lose those games.

“But I also tried to explain to the team that if we had won those games, now everybody would be talking the other direction. So it’s a fine line. You’ve got to believe in yourself. They made a bunch of plays on both sides of the ball. But we’ve got to keep on getting better to win a football game.”

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.

What’s ahead:

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Mike Jones’s five observations | Outsider’s position-by-position review

D.C. Sports Bog: Unhappy with RGIII on Facebook | Jurgensen wanted him benched | More

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