‘If you don’t win, everybody is accountable,’ Mike Shanahan says

Mike Shanahan says the Redskins' struggles mean that the jobs of players and coaches alike are on the line (Getty)

Mike Shanahan says the Redskins’ struggles mean that the jobs of players and coaches alike are on the line (Getty)

Coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday he’s still confident that his message is getting through to his Washington Redskins players even with the team on a three-game losing streak that has dropped its record to 3-8.

“You can see when they’re not playing hard,” Shanahan said at Redskins Park. “I’ve been in situations before as an assistant or as a head coach where players just don’t play hard. You get the feel. … I haven’t seen any of that. And I don’t expect to see it with the type of players we have on our football team.”

But Shanahan acknowledged, as wide receiver Pierre Garcon did late Monday night, that the team’s current predicament means that jobs are at stake.

“I think the players are smart enough to understand that if you are 3-8 that everybody is playing for their jobs,” Shanahan said. “That’s the nature of our business. I don’t care if it’s players, coaches, support staff. The nature of this game is to find a way to win. And if you don’t win, everybody is accountable.”

Shanahan is in his fourth season with the Redskins and has a record of 24-35. This season’s struggles have led to growing speculation that he won’t be retained by owner Daniel Snyder after the season. Shanahan continued Tuesday to defend the team’s overall direction during his tenure.

“You guys have been with me since I’ve been here,” he told reporters. “You guys understand where I was at … the start, where I’m at right now. I don’t have to go through any stats. You guys can look at that and draw your own conclusions. I think I’ve stated a couple times what some of the things that I thought were needed — a little bit more depth. Other than that, you’ve got to win some tight football games, which we won a year ago that we’re not winning right now. And you’ve got to find a way to win those games. When you lose them, I understand that snowball starts going. But I’ve got enough confidence in our guys that we can fight through it and hopefully we can.”

Shanahan said he won’t consider putting young players in the lineup at this point merely to give them auditions for future jobs.

“You play the best players … If we think that guy gives us the best chance to win, he’s gonna play,” Shanahan said. “We’re not gonna experiment with guys and think, ‘Hey, this season’s over with. We’re gonna play young players.’ That means you’ve given up. We’re gonna play the best players every day.”

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:

● The Redskins practice at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday and 10:25 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

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