Well, no. They threw the flag on Kyle Shanahan, not “us,” and Mike Shanahan didn’t mention “poise” when discussing it. The flag on Morgan was not on “us;” it was on Morgan, whose number was announced on the field and whose mistake was replayed incessantly. Yet despite taking responsibility for his boneheaded mistake — and it was — Morgan received death threats from idiots on Twitter.
Was it Mike Shanahan’s decision that Kyle refrain from talking to members of the media, or was it Kyle’s? That remains unclear, but Kyle issued a statement Monday through the team admitting his emotions “got the best” of him.
But the club should be ashamed that its players are better able to take the heat than its coaches. Morgan could easily have hidden from reporters after the loss to the Rams; for a player, all it takes is a trip to the training room and he can avoid all those messy questions. Instead, he stood by his locker and faced the media scrum. That took guts, and poise as well. It doesn’t negate his mistake, but at least he took responsibility for it. On Monday, Kyle Shanahan did as well.
“I know that I need to handle those situations better in the future,” he said in the statement. “My emotions got the best of me and I know it’s my responsibility. This will never happen again.”
Perhaps the Redskins feared a fine from the league if Kyle Shanahan spoke about the poor officiating. The official league line is that everything with the replacement refs is fine, and we know by now that Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t like to be contradicted.
Still, that’s a check the Redskins should be happy to write. The officiating Sunday against the Bengals was certainly a cut above that of a week ago, in St. Louis, but it wasn’t perfect by any stretch. Once again, the officials are constantly huddling to try to remember the rule book, and once again, the coaches are telling them what they should be calling.
All this consulting is turning NFL games into delay-filled marathons, and all the blown calls are turning coaches into powder kegs. (See also Belichick, Bill.)