A day after cutting short his postgame news conference in Atlanta because he said he did not want to address his job status or media leaks, Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan spoke about both subjects Monday.
Shanahan held to his previously stated positions, reiterating that he has no plans to resign; that he intends to discuss his future with the organization in a conversation with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder after the season; and that he does not know who is behind the stories about his status and his relationships with Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“I’ll go back to saying the same thing I’ve said before: I’ll get a chance to sit down with Dan at the end of the season, after the next two games, and I’ll give him my opinion on the direction that I think the franchise could go,” Shanahan said. “He’s gonna give me his idea what he wants to do. He’s the owner of the football team. But all we can do at the end of the season is communicate. And I think we have that type of relationship where we can talk and be honest to each other. But we’re not gonna do that until the end of the season.”
Shanahan said last week he wants to return next season. It is believed that if he resigns, he would forfeit the estimated $7 million due to him next season under the terms of his contract. ESPN quoted an unnamed source Sunday saying Shanahan will not resign.
Pressed Monday on that subject, Shanahan said of not resigning: “Oh yeah, that’s accurate.”
Shanahan also was asked about speculation that his son, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, will discontinue working with him after this season and seek an NFL job elsewhere.
“We talk about when you have three wins, all the noise that goes on,” Mike Shanahan said. “And I’ve said numerous times that I’d like to concentrate on football. But maybe I could say it the best this way: It doesn’t matter if Gary Kubiak was my offensive coordinator, Mike Heimerdinger, Jim Haslett—a coordinator is a coordinator. They’ve got a job to do and they’re gonna do it. If they don’t do it, then the chance are they’re not gonna be a coordinator for long. That has nothing to do with anybody in particular. But they’ve got some autonomy there relative to their position. If it’s Jim, if it’s Kyle, obviously I get involved with all of the football matters and I will be heavily involved in both sides — offense, defense and special teams. At the end of the day, it’s my responsibility to be accountable for everything that’s done.”
Shanahan twice mentioned Kubiak’s name Monday without prompting. Some people with knowledge of the Redskins’ situation seem to believe that Kubiak would be the leading candidate to replace Kyle Shanahan if Mike Shanahan stays in Washington but his son departs. Kubiak formerly was Shanahan’s offensive coordinator in Denver and recently was fired as the head coach of the Houston Texans.
In response to a question about media leaks, Mike Shanahan said Monday: “I can’t control that. You know that as well as I do. … I can’t do anything about those reports. I can guess where they come from. I know there’s a lot of people in my past or maybe Coach Haslett’s past or there’s Gary Kubiak — hey, not everybody’s happy and when you do have three wins, it can be a little bit tough. A lot of things do come out. It’s part of this business. But you’ve got to be tough enough to work through it. And I think our organization and our football team is tough enough to work through it.”
Shanahan ended his news conference Monday by making a reference to his polite but abrupt departure Sunday in Atlanta after close to five minutes of questioning.
“Okay?” Shanahan said. “If I take off right now, am I okay? Okay. See you.”
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