Playing for Mike Shanahan not a source of motivation, two Redskins players say


Mike Shanahan faces an uncertain future with the Redskins struggling. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall on Wednesday expressed support for Mike Shanahan and his staff and said that they should be brought back for next season. Meanwhile,  two other team leaders said that although they agree, the need to play for their head coach’s job doesn’t serve as a source of motivation for them.

“Nah, that’s not a situation where we say, ‘Let’s go out and win for—,’ ” linebacker London Fletcher said. “You don’t even think about that. Everybody has a job they have to do, and that’s what you focus on.”

But Fletcher said that the team’s sense of motivation hasn’t waned. The 16-year veteran said he doesn’t believe that his teammates will unconsciously give up in the final five games of the season.

“I’ve been on teams where you can tell or you know guys are looking forward to the offseason season or have thrown in the towel with three, four, five ball games to go because they just wanted it to end,” he said. “But I don’t sense that with these guys we have in here. I know Coach is always talking about how everybody’s always being evaluated, whether it’s for the next game and playing time or it was next year.”

Left tackle Trent Williams agreed.

“Naw, we don’t think about that,” he said when asked about feeling the need to play for Shanahan’s future.

As the Redskins have struggled, Shanahan and quarterback Robert Griffin III have drawn the most intense scrutiny. But Williams said that the team’s poor record isn’t a reflection of coaching.

“The media, number one, is going to go to the head coach and then the quarterback. But, it really has nothing to do with the head coach or the quarterback, why we’re struggling,” Williams said. “We’re just not playing well as a team. I’m pretty sure Robert knows that he’s going to get some scrutiny, but I don’t think he deserves it. I don’t think coach Shanahan deserves it, to see people talk and say he’s not doing his job. I think he’s doing a heck of a job. It does wear on you to see people go through undeserving criticism.”

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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Mark Maske · November 28, 2013

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