Wild day of rumors in Washington ends with a real stunner
DEC 09, 2013 1:06a ET
It was a wild day in the nation's capital Sunday, and we're not just talking about the weather. And after the day began with reports Redskins coach Mike Shanahan wanted to quit last season, it ended with a report that the franchise already has a plan to move forward with a new head coach.
The day started with an ESPN report that Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan cleaned out his office before last season's wild-card game against Seattle, planning to leave the organization at season's end. The issue, according to the report, was the way owner Dan Snyder "empowered [then-rookie QB Robert Griffin III] and openly esteemed him above all other players," and the report added that the coach was angered at Snyder's coddling of Griffin, as opposed to the star QB himself.
Of course, RG3 would suffer a torn ACL and the Redskins would lose that game, but Shanahan stuck around, enduring an offseason and preseason in which speculation over Griffin's health and public disagreements between coach and QB over when RG3 would take the field dominated headlines.
Fast forward to Sunday on the field, and the Redskins had the look of a team that had quit on its coach. In fact, after the 45-10 loss at home to Kansas City that knocked Washington to 3-10 on the season, FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported that Shanahan could indeed be fired by Monday:
For his part, Shanahan said after the game that it was not the right time to address Sunday morning's reports and that he would talk to Snyder at season's end. You can see that news conference here.
Then came late Sunday, when CBS Sports reported that the franchise already has a new coach in mind should Shanahan be let go of. And the news could make Snyder's star very happy.
According to Jason La Canfora, the Redskins will pursue Baylor head coach Art Briles should they fire Shanahan. The first question about Briles, who coached Griffin in his Heisman-winning season at Waco, Texas, is that of his recently signed contract extension. According to La Canfora:
New contract or not, I fully expect the Redskins to pursue Baylor's Art Briles if/when they fire Mike Shanahan. RGIII is a huge Briles guy— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
Yes, Briles recently agreed to a contract extension at Baylor. But I would in no way rule him out if the right NFL job emerged— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
It is no secret how close RGIII is with owner Dan Snyder, or how fractured Shanahan's relationship is w/the owner and the QB ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
Griffin will have a voice in this process, and he is a huge Briles guy. Briles managed RGIII's health, ego and family in college.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
La Canfora then went on to speculate what would happen to Shanahan if Snyder shows him the door:
Firing Shanahan now not only let's Dan Snyder flex his muscles, it gives Shanny jump on HOU opening; if he gets that it saves Snyder $...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
Say Shanahan wows HOU, whose GM used to be on his staff in DEN, and gets $5M/yr - that offsets the $ he is owed for 14 by Snyder— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 8, 2013
Later in the night, FOX NFL Insider Mike Garafolo countered the Shanahan-Texans talk, but had some shocking words about the mood of the coaching staff in Washington right now.