Mike Shanahan walks out on press conference (Video)

Mike-ShanahanWashington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has had a difficult season, and the questions from reporters have reflected that. The Redskins lost another game to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday after Shanahan decided to attempt a two-point conversion and go for the win rather than playing for overtime. That decision hardly interested reporters.

Instead, Shanahan was peppered with questions about his future with the team and his decision to bench Robert Griffin III. When he was asked if there is anything he can do to stop all the reports about his strained relationship with Daniel Snyder from coming out, Shanahan decided to walk out.

“OK, thank you gentlemen,” he said.

The most fascinating part about the entire saga were the reports that surfaced on Sunday about Shanahan wanting to return to the Redskins in 2014. That seems impossible at this point, but he and Snyder are paying a game of chicken because Snyder doesn’t want to buy out Shanahan’s contract. Shanahan staying would create a full-blown offseason circus.

Video via DC Sports Bog

RG3 reportedly ‘extremely angry’ about benching; Redskins coaches want to be ‘put out of their misery’

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinWashington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is playing a game of chicken with Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff. It is widely assumed that Shanahan is going to be fired before the 2014 season, but for some reason he has been left to continue coaching his 3-10 team. And he’ll be doing so without the future of the franchise.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Robert Griffin III is “extremely angry” that he has been shut down for what are being described as health reasons. Griffin was upset that he was not allowed to play or practice in the preseason, so you can understand why he is hesitant to accept health as a reason for being benched for the remainder of the season.

While some have speculated that Shanahan is trying to get fired by starting Kirk Cousins, Snyder has reportedly been “receptive” to the idea of avoiding potential injury with his franchise quarterback. However, NFL.com’s Mike Silver cited sources who claim Shanahan’s real motivation for benching RG3 has to do with performance.

Rapoport added that the Redskins coaches expect to be fired and would actually prefer to be “put out of their misery” at this point.

Here’s my personal opinion — Shanahan is not going to resign and forfeit the $7 million he has remaining on his deal. That’s a given. He’s going to wait to be fired so the Redskins have to buy out his contract, but in the meantime he still has to audition for future coaching opportunities. The Redskins have looked completely lost with RG3 under center. That reflects poorly on Shanahan and his staff. If Cousins performs well and wins some games, it will show that the Shanahans’ offensive system can still work.

Redskins would sign another QB if Kirk Cousins or Rex Grossman got hurt

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinHow committed is Mike Shanahan to keeping Robert Griffin III on the bench for the remainder of the season? As long as Shanahan is the coach, Griffin will not be touching the field again during a game in 2013. According to Mike Jones of The Washington Post, Shanahan told reporters on Thursday that the Redskins would sign another quarterback if Kirk Cousins or backup quarterback Rex Grossman got injured.

So there you have it — RG3 isn’t even available in an emergency. He is expected to be inactive this weekend and will apparently remain that way for the rest of the season. Since Shanahan insists he is benching Griffin to protect his health and the future of the Redskins franchise, I guess that is the only way to go.

To make matters more interesting, Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan — who happens to be Mike’s son — told reporters on Thursday that he was “disappointed” RG3 won’t be playing and had no hand in the decision to bench him.

“You play your starting quarterback, that’s been Robert,” Kyle Shanahan said, via Pro Football Talk. “I’m pretty disappointed we don’t get to play with him. But it is what it is, and I’m gonna deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.

“I’ve got zero involvement in that. I actually game-planned for both (Griffin and Cousins) all Tuesday. It was a little frustrating to game plan for both. I was told the final decision Wednesday morning, then rolled with it. I definitely made it clear I was disappointed in that. … I think it would be good for Robert to get the reps.”

As PFT’s Mike Florio noted, that could simply be Mike’s way of protecting his son from what has turned into an embarrassing mess. With all the rumors swirling around about the elder Shanahan intentionally trying to provoke Daniel Snyder to fire him, it’s probably wise to keep his son as distant from the unpopular decision making as possible.

Is Mike Shanahan benching RG3 to provoke Daniel Snyder to fire him?

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinKirk Cousins is expected to start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins this weekend over Robert Griffin III, according to ESPN’s John Keim. When Mike Shanahan told the media earlier this week that he was considering shutting RG3 down for the remainder of the season to protect his health, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the former Baylor star had played his last snap in 2013.

The Redskins are 3-10, so it doesn’t really matter who their starting quarterback is for the final three games of the season. The most intriguing aspect of the story centers around Shanahan’s motivation for benching Griffin. On Tuesday, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported that a source close to the Redskins believes Shanahan’s decision to bench RG3 could be an attempt at getting team owner Daniel Snyder to fire him.

Shanahan is under contract through next season. If he is fired, he would in all likelihood receive the remainder of the $7 million he is still owed. If he chooses to resign, he would forfeit the remainder of the money.

Maske also noted that the details of Shanahan’s contract are not known, but many believe it gives him the final say over personnel decisions like who will be the team’s starting quarterback. It’s possible that if Snyder attempts to intervene and force Shanahan to start RG3, Shanahan could contend that the terms of his contract were violated. In an instance like that, Shanahan might be able to resign and still collect the remainder of his money.

That theory would make sense and it would certainly help explain why an earlier report claimed Snyder would not step in if Shanahan chooses to bench Griffin. Snyder and RG3 seem to be so tight that it is widely assumed Shanahan is tired of their relationship. It would not be far-fetched to think that he is looking for a way out by benching Griffin.

Report: Daniel Snyder would not stop Mike Shanahan from benching RG3

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsRobert Griffin III may find himself standing on the sideline this weekend when the Washington Redskins take on the Atlanta Falcons. On Monday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told the media that he has considered benching Griffin for the remainder of the season to protect his health. Shanahan’s remarks were followed with speculation that team owner Daniel Snyder would never allow something like that to happen.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Snyder would not stand in Shanahan’s way if he chose to go with Kirk Cousins over RG3.

“He won’t step in and interfere with that,” a person familiar with the situation reportedly told Maske on Tuesday. “He’s not going to step into a personnel decision that way.”

The belief all along has been that the relationship between Snyder and Griffin has created problems for Snyder and Shanahan. In other words, Snyder expects RG3 to be the quarterback of the future for the Redskins. If Shanahan and his son — offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan — cannot find a way to win with Griffin, both will likely be fired. Most people expect them to be fired after the season ends, at the latest.

As Maske noted, Snyder may be inclined to let Shanahan bench RG3 because he agrees with the reasoning — not because he is opposed to pressuring his head coach into a certain personnel decision. Griffin has been getting hammered over the past several games and always looks one hit away from another major injury. The Redskins are currently 3-10. Why risk it?

Mike Shanahan says he has considered benching RG3, hasn’t spoken to him about it

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinThe Mike Shanahan watch is in full swing, with many speculating that the Washington Redskins head coach is going to be fired in the wake of his team’s embarrassing 45-10 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins are 3-10 this season after reaching the playoffs in 2012. Shanahan’s relationship with Robert Griffin III has seemed rocky all season, and it may have just gotten rockier.

On Monday, Shanahan told reporters that he is considering benching RG3 for the remainder of the season to protect his health. Griffin, the future of the franchise, has been sacked a whopping 24 times in the past five games — all losses.

“I want to make sure he’s healthy going into off season,” Shanahan said, via Around the League. “I’ll think about it and decide Wednesday.”

The move would almost certainly upset Griffin, who vowed to be ready for the start of the regular season and let it be known publicly that he was upset with Shanahan for holding him out of practices and preseason play. But the worst part of all is that Shanahan said he has not discussed the prospect of benching RG3 with RG3. That means the former Baylor star found out about it during the press conference like the rest of us.

“I told him I’m his coach, not his best friend,” Shanahan said when asked about his relationship with Griffin.

RG3 recently denied that he rushed back from knee surgery because he believed backup quarterback Kirk Cousins could steal his job. A number of people have insisted Cousins would give the Redskins a better chance to win right now given the way Griffin has played and how ineffective he has been, particularly with his legs. Based on Shanahan’s comments, it sounds like we’re about to find out.

Unless, of course, team owner Daniel Snyder accepts the dare Shanny threw at him on Monday. What dare is that? The “fire me, I dare you,” line he might as well have dropped when discussing RG3.

Texans reportedly not interested in Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan

Jon-Gruden-Miami-HurricanesWith the Houston Texans having fired former head coach Gary Kubiak last week, the usual big names have been flying around as potential candidates for the vacancy. Two of the more popular ones are Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, neither Shanahan nor Gruden are a possibility.

McClain wrote on Sunday night that the Texans “will not try to hire ESPN analyst Jon Gruden” and “won’t be pursuing Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan” even if he is fired after his team’s disappointing 2013 season. Texans owner Bob McNair has said he wants a coach with head-coaching experience and NFL experience, which both Shanahan and Gruden have. Still, it sounds like the team is not interested.

Sports Talk 790 in Houston’s Lance Zierlein reported on Sunday night that there is “no way” the Texans hire Shanahan and that Shanahan’s name is probably being leaked by his own camp.

One candidate who is expected to draw serious interest from the Texans is Lovie Smith, who took a season off this year after being unexpectedly fired by the Chicago Bears. McClain said he expects Smith to be the first candidate the Texans interview. Other candidates include Stanford head coach David Shaw — who worked as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens — and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

The Texans are having a horrendous season, but they are only a year removed from the playoffs and have core pieces like JJ Watt and Brian Cushing on what has been an underachieving defensive unit. The job should have plenty of appeal.