Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said Tuesday he did not address the issue of his uncertain job status with his players either this week or in any previous weeks.
“No,” Shanahan said at Redskins Park. “Same thing we’ve been talking about since day one. All of those things, you address at the end of the season, after the season is over with.”
The Redskins have lost seven straight games and have a record of 3-12 in Shanahan’s fourth season as their coach. Many people in and around the organization remain convinced that Shanahan and the team soon will part ways even though Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, they say, has been reluctant thus far to pay the estimated $13 million for next season that it would cost to fire Shanahan and his entire staff. Shanahan has said he will speak with Snyder after the season to determine his future with the franchise.
The Redskins play the New York Giants at the Meadowlands in their season finale Sunday. It is a week of great uncertainty for everyone at Redskins Park, with the coaches and those players who are potential free agents this offseason in limbo.
“There’s a different feeling to this game than there was at the end of last season or earlier in the season because you don’t know what that locker room is gonna look like in April,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said Tuesday. “As part of the NFL, you understand that uncertainty and a lot of turnover is part of playing in this league. So it’s not surprising.
“But it is a part of this game and we understand that the locker room may look a little different in April or next August. I think we’ve enjoyed one another. We’ve had good chemistry despite the lack of wins and I think we all want to put together a final product in this last game that we can be proud of.”
Said wide receiver Santana Moss: “It just didn’t work…. Last year was an incredible year. You would have wished that things would have been different this year going into the season because I think we would have had that same kind of year or even better. But it didn’t and we can’t sit back and think about what-ifs and all that. All we can do is play the hand that was dealt to us. And I feel like that’s all we do. Every week we go out there and just try to get better at what we can do. That’s all you can say about it.”
Linebacker Brian Orakpo, a prospective free agent who suffered a groin injury during last Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, said he’s not focused on whether he’s about to play—or already has played—his final game with the team.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Orakpo said. “It’s been a whole disappointing year from the whole aspect of our record. Obviously our record reflects that. I’m not really concerned with it possibly being my last. We’ll see what happens once the offseason begins. But we’ve got to hopefully take care of the Giants and get that bad taste out of our mouth.”
Shanahan reshuffled the practice schedule this week. The Redskins practiced Tuesday, normally the players’ day off, and will have Wednesday off instead for Christmas.
“We all have a job to do and I think this schedule really works out great for everybody,” Shanahan said. “Number one we get our game plan in [Monday]. And today we have a normal Wednesday practice. So it gets the players and the coaches and really everybody in this building a chance to go home and enjoy Christmas with their family, and I think that’s very important. We come back Thursday just like a normal Thursday and continue our game plan.”