Jurgensen thinks Mike Shanahan’s job is safe

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post) (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

There will be 814 columns on Mike Shanahan’s future over the next four weeks. Heck, Cris Collinsworth couldn’t stop talking about it during Sunday night’s broadcast, repeatedly endorsing a Shanahan return and saying the Redskins would be primed to win the division in 2014 if they don’t blow things up.

On the other hand was this passage, from Boz:

It will be a challenge to ‘lose out.’ The Falcons are terrible and the Redskins visit New York for a rematch with the Giants, both winnable games. But Washington will be underdogs in both. So, 3-13 is now on the table, a record that would give Shanahan exactly the same winning percentage as Washington coach — an abysmal .375 — as Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn.

Even Shanahan’s biggest backers might blanch at that statistic. But Sonny Jurgensen said Sunday night that he thinks Shanahan could lose out and be safe. This came during his weekly conversation with ESPN 980’s Kevin Sheehan during the Redskins Radio Network pregame show. Sheehan asked for Jurgensen’s gut feeling on what the next month means for Shanahan.

“Well, I don’t know if it’s [about] Mike Shanahan,” the longtime radio analyst said. “I think obviously they’re coming out every game, they prepare every week, they work hard in their preparation. All you have to do is go to Redskins Park and watch them work out. They’re going through it all. It’s just not happening for them. When they get the opportunity in a game, they’re not making the play. They’re not scoring enough. The defense is giving up too many points. That’s the bottom line. It’s just not happening right now. You have to work your way through it, and how do you do it? What do they say, when you’re digging a hole, how do you get out of it? Quit digging. Start making plays.”

“Does that mean he needs to win some of these games down the stretch?” Sheehan asked.

“Well I think yes, they need to win some of these games….” Jurgensen answered.

“Does HE need to win?” Sheehan tried again.

“Does he? To keep his job?” Jurgensen finally said. “Is that what you’re asking me? I don’t think so. I don’t think so. No, I don’t think so. I really don’t. I don’t think so. Nuh-uh. I don’t think so. Do you have anybody in mind, Kevin, that you’d like to put in his place?”

“I don’t,” said Sheehan, a Shanahan backer.

“I don’t either,” Jurgensen said. “I really like Mike Shanahan. I think he’s a good football coach. Right now, they’ve hit a streak here. You weren’t saying this when they  won seven straight at the end of the season. He knows how to coach. But things aren’t happening right now. And whether or not he’s going to make adjustments in his staff, I don’t know. You’d have to ask him that.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · December 2, 2013

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