Speaking to the media on Thursday for the first time since Sunday’s 23-0 blanking by the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan described himself as embarrassed over the shutout, said his unit has missed numerous opportunities for big plays and that he and his offensive players must redeem themselves this week.
The Redskins on Sunday mustered only 178 yards, surrendered 10 sacks and didn’t score a single point, giving Mike Shanahan the first shutout of his coaching career (head coach or assistant, pro or college) and subjected both father and son to heightened scrutiny.
The younger Shanahan, who spent two seasons directing Houston’s offense, which ranked third in the NFL in 2008 and fourth overall in 2009, said the criticism over Washington’s ineffectiveness hasn’t fazed him.
“That’s life. Any time you get shut out, I expect to get criticized,” Shanahan said. “ I expect it from you guys, I expect it from my wife and I expect it from myself. It’s embarrassing. I’ve never been shutout before and I don’t want it to ever happen again. But it is what it is and you’ve got to man up and deal with it.
“Really, what matters to me is whether the players believe in me or not – that’s really what it all comes down to. If the players have confidence in you and they believe in what you’re doing, then you have a chance. I believe in these guys and I think they believe in me and we just have to go to work.”
Shanahan said the day after Washington fell to Buffalo, he led his unit through a film session in which he pointed out 25 plays in Sunday’s game alone in which opportunities for big plays were missed.
“We put 25 clips together where we had a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t get it done,” Shanahan said. “I know I’m disappointed and I know they are too. We’ve got to come back and redeem our self here on Sunday.”
But Sunday’s game won’t feature a small task for Shanahan and the offense. Paying the Redskins a visit on Sunday are the San Francisco 49ers, who have limited opponents to a league-leading 15.3 points a game while yielding only 73.4 rushing yards per outing, which also ranks first in the NFL.
“They’ve got a really good front seven,” the offensive coordinator said. “They’re talented. They have a tough scheme with that 3-4. It’s similar to our defense. They’ve got some good players and, schematically, [they’re] very sound.”