Cofield: Shanahan tells players he will ‘give his all’

December 9, 2013

DeAngelo Hall and Barry Cofield make a tackle against the Giants. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Redskins defensive tackle Barry Cofield said that he and his teammates hadn’t heard anything about the future of head coach Mike Shanahan, and that for the players, Monday unfolded like any other Monday. Cofield, one of the team’s defensive captains, said that Shanahan in his most recent address told his players to keep fighting.

“Everything was normal today,” Cofield said during a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon.

Asked about Shanahan’s message to his players as they try to regroup from yesterday’s 45-10 blowout by the Kansas City Chiefs, Cofield said, “He was disappointed just like us. He felt like had a decent week of practice but we obviously weren’t ready to play. … We didn’t perform at all up to the standards that we have set for ourselves. … He just told us he was going to give us his all in the last three games of the season and he expected us to do the same.”

Shanahan’s future has appeared to be in jeopardy as the Redskins have gone winless in the second half of the season – losing their last five games. Owner Dan Snyder hadn’t given indication on if Shanahan would return for the final year of his contract, or if he would be fired as the Redskins head for their third double-digit loss campaign in the last four years under the former two-time Super Bowl winning coach.

But it became apparent on Sunday that a breakup was inevitable after a report leaked out that Shanahan had considered resigning following the 2012 season because Griffin and Snyder’s relationships proved unnerving to him. Redskins officials believed that Shanahan leaked the story in an attempt to provoke Snyder to fire him.

Shanahan declined to discuss the report when asked about it.

“It’s not the right time or place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder, or it’s not the right time and place to talk about something that happened a year ago,” Shanahan said.

The Redskins’ struggles come a year after they went 10-6 and won the NFC East. They were expected to again compete for a postseason bid, but instead, they now own one of the worst records in the league.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” Cofield said. “Obviously, we were very optimistic going into the year. We thought we had some talent and a team that could win some games, but it hasn’t gone our way and we haven’t played well enough to win. Everybody’s disappointed.”

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:

● Kirk Cousins backs the Shanahans.

More from The Post:

At the podium: Mike Shanahan | Redskins could fire Shanahan, withhold money

Five observations on the state of the Redskins

Off-field drama wearing on Griffin | Players take the blame

Snyder’s relationship with Shanahan might be beyond repair

Reid: Shanahan’s days are numbered | Boswell: D.C. deserves neither

Bog: Six questions Shanahan wouldn’t answer | Wilbon called this | More

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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