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DeAngelo Hall: Mike Shanahan overruled Jim Haslett’s playcalling

jim-haslettDeAngelo Hall is one of a number of Washington Redskins players who seems happier now that Mike Shanahan is gone. Hall’s latest comments tell us that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should be just as thrilled about Shanny being gone.

Hall, who said a few months ago that Shanahan was always in Haslett’s ear telling him what to call, told CSNWashington.com’s Chick Hernandez that there were certain situations in 2013 where Shanahan actually stepped in and overruled Haslett.

“Yeah, I mean, it was probably more difficult for Jim than us,” Hall said, as transcribed by Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “You know, we were going through all week practicing a certain call, knowing that we were going to call it in certain situations. And there would be certain times where Mike would overrule Jim.

“And I told Jim, I understand where you’re coming from. There are certain techniques and things that I want to do that Mike would tell me the same thing — ‘Well, you know, I kind of want you to play it like this as opposed to that.’”

Shanahan was an offensive assistant/coordinator for 20 years before he became head coach of the Denver Broncos. Haslett, a former NFL linebacker, has always specialized in defense. As Steinberg noted, a Washington Post story from December indicated that Shanahan micromanaged Haslett from Day 1.

One of Shanahan’s first calls came in September 2011, during a game at Dallas. With the Cowboys on their own 30 with 2 minutes 20 seconds to play, Shanahan called an all-out blitz — “Cover-0,” as it is known — and it backfired, resulting in Dallas quarterback Tony Romo finding wide receiver Dez Bryant for a 30-yard gain. Dallas eventually kicked a field goal for an 18-16 victory, and Haslett was left to shoulder the blame.

While I don’t doubt that any of this is true, the Redskins need to be careful. They have not played a single game under Jay Gruden and already we have prominent players like Hall and Robert Griffin III acting like all of Washington’s problems have been solved now that Shanahan is gone. If the Redskins go 7-9 and miss the playoffs this season, it will be hard to keep using Shanny as a scapegoat.

Robert Griffin III takes jab at Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinRobert Griffin III is relieved to not be playing under Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan this season. We know that because the former Baylor star has alluded to it a number of times. RG3′s most recent shot at the Shanahans came when he was speaking to reporters on Thursday about his struggles last season.

Griffin had a fantastic rookie season before falling victim to a brutal sophomore slump. He threw only 16 touchdowns passes and 12 interceptions in 13 games last season. He finished 2013 with a passer rating of 82.2. Some blame a slow recovery from ACL surgery, but it sounds like Griffin blames the coaches.

“You don’t go from the ability to read defenses one year and not have that ability the next, so I don’t believe that one bit,” he said, via Pro Football Talk. “And it’s really just a good thing to have two coaches that believe in you. Sean and Jay have done a great job. They’ve given me a lot on my shoulders in that quarterback room and I cherish that. You want to be asked to do more or just to do the bare minimum.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Griffin has a big year in 2014. The fact that he is healthier than last year will certainly help, but so will having a good relationship with Jay Gruden. As a first-year head coach, Gruden will likely give Griffin more freedom. The confidence RG3 and Gruden have in each other should translate to success on the field.

If nothing else, it seems like RG3 will be much happier heading into the season. That has to count for something.

DeAngelo Hall: Mike Shanahan micromanaged Jim Haslett

Jim-Haslett-RedskinsThe Washington Redskins had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2013. The 29.9 points per game they allowed was tied for 30th in the league. The two years prior were not much better, as the Skins finished in the bottom 10 in the league in 2011 and 2012. DeAngelo Hall believes Mike Shanahan was part of the problem.

During an interview with ESPN 980′s “Inside the Locker Room” on Wednesday, Hall claimed that Shanahan — who is known as an offensive-minded coach — kept defensive coordinator Jim Haslett from doing his job by “micromanaging” him at times.

“Defensively man, I just feel like we played so bad last year, we’ve got some unfinished business to definitely take care of,” Hall said, as transcribed by DC Sports Bog. “I’m excited after talking to Haslett about the possibility of him being able to just run his defense without anybody in his ear telling him what to call or what not to call. So I’m really excited to see Haz unleash his full arsenal of play calls.”

When one of the hosts mentioned that Haslett could have been better if given more freedom, Hall had no problem calling Shanahan out by name.

“I mean, (Haslett has) been in this league for so long for a reason,” he said. “It’s not because he’s the best-looking guy; it’s because he can call plays and have a great defense. No disrespect to Mike Shanahan, he’s a great coach, but he liked to micromanage things. He kind of liked his hands on everything.

“Jay [Gruden's] kind of like, ‘Look, I’m gonna let Haz kind of do his thing. Obviously if I see something that I feel like as an offense we can stop or we can’t stop, I’ll definitely let him know, give him a heads-up on some things to help us get better as team. But Haz is going to get to do what he does.’”

Hall added that he was also held back as a player by being told to play his position a certain way. Bottom line? It’s easy to blame Shanahan for the team’s struggles now that he is gone. If Washington’s defense stinks again in 2014, we’ll know he wasn’t the only issue.

Mike Shanahan officially fired by Redskins

Mike ShanahanAs expected, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has not survived black Monday. Mike Jones of the Washington Post reported on Monday morning that Shanahan and his staff were fired roughly 30 minutes after he arrived at Redskins Park.

Some had previously speculated that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder would try to force Shanahan into resigning, but it was obvious that was not going to happen. By firing Shanahan, Snyder still has to pay him the roughly $7 million he had remaining on his contract for the 2014 season.

The 2013 season was an absolute nightmare for Shanahan and company, who watched their team go from first to worst in the NFC East division and finish with a 3-13 record. The veteran head coach admitted that recently when he told reporters he got lumps of coal for Christmas this year. Shanahan has been looking to get fired since he benched Robert Griffin III and made some questionable public comments.

As was the case when the Houston Texans fired Gary Kubiak, Lovie Smith is one of the names that has already been tossed around in connection with the new vacancy in Washington. Shanahan will also become a candidate to fill some of the other head coaching positions around the league.

Report: Mike Shanahan and Redskins likely to part ways

Mike ShanahanHere’s a report that will shock you: Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins are expected to part ways after the season.

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske wrote the following on Friday:

Several people familiar with the situation continued to say this week they believe it’s likely that the Redskins and Shanahan will part ways. Some of those people said they think the scenario by which Shanahan might stay is if he and Snyder refuse to budge on financial considerations.

Shanahan has one year left on his five-year contract with Washington. He is due to earn around $7 million next year, but he would forfeit that amount if he resigns. He is not expected to resign.

Previous reports have indicated that owner Daniel Snyder does not want to pay for Shanahan’s buyout. One scenario where he could stick around is if he hires new coordinators.

It’s been a nightmare season for Shanahan, and he even expressed how poorly things have been going for him when he said he got lumps of coal for Christmas. Between some of his public comments and the benching of Robert Griffin III, it seems like he has been begging to be fired more than Ted at the grocery store. The two sides should just come to an agreement so all parties can move on. This has been a disaster.

Mike Shanahan says he got coal for Christmas (Video)

Mike ShanahanIt’s been a pretty bad year for Mike Shanahan. His team is 3-12, has lost seven games in a row, there’s been talk about him losing his job, there’s been criticism of his son’s work as the offensive coordinator, and his relationship with the team’s owner and quarterback has been scrutinized all year. It really hasn’t been fun being him.

So when Shanny met with the media on Thursday, it was no surprise that he told reporters he got coal for Christmas when asked about what he received.

“I got a lot of people that sent me coal,” he said.

The good news is at least he has maintained a sense of humor. And everyone in attendance sure seemed to appreciate his self-deprecating ways.

The sad thing is, based on the faces he made, it sure doesn’t look like he had a good Christmas. Shanahan is coming across as a guy who won’t truly feel relief until he is finally fired.

Kyle Shanahan has reportedly decided to stop working with father Mike Shanahan

Kyle-Shanahan-RedskinsMike Shanahan’s future with the Washington Redskins remains unclear, but it seems his son has made up his mind. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has decided he will stop working with his father beyond this season.

Kyle was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans before joining his father in Washington in 2010. He recently told reporters he was “disappointed” in his father’s decision to bench Robert Griffin III and that he would rather roll with his franchise quarterback. If you assume Mike authorized Kyle to speak to the media about that issue, it’s probably safe to assume the elder Shanahan was setting the stage for the younger Shanahan to separate himself from his old man.

As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk pointed out, it may not be that simple. Daniel Snyder has reportedly been hesitant to fire Mike Shanahan and his staff because he does not want to pay for the remainder of their contracts. That would include Kyle’s.

In any event, the mess in Washington has obviously created an awkward dynamic. The burden of that ultimately falls on Mike, who is more toward the end of his coaching career. Whereas his son is still very young by NFL coaching standards, I’m sure Mike wants what’s best for Kyle. Getting out from under his father’s shadow should help.