According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Washington is expected to pursue Briles when Mike Shanahan’s tenure as head coach comes to an end.
ESPN reported on Sunday that Shanahan thought about quitting after last season because of frustration over the way owner Daniel Snyder favored RG3. They say Shanahan, who is in the fourth year of a 5-year, $35 million contract, stuck with the team because he didn’t want the perception to be that he walked away because his franchise quarterback got hurt. Reports indicate Shanahan could be fired this week.
Briles would be a natural candidate for the position because of his success with RG3 in college. Briles and RG3 began their careers at Baylor in the 2008 season. The Bears went 4-8 in their first year, 4-8 the next year (Griffin tore his ACL that season), 7-6 in 2010 and 10-3 in 2011. The 2011 season saw RG3 win the Heisman Trophy and lead Baylor to a win in the Alamo Bowl. He threw for 37 touchdowns and six interceptions under Briles that season, and rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Since losing RG3, Briles has maintained a strong level at Baylor. The Bears went 8-5 last season and are 11-1 this season. His excellent coaching and explosive offense resulted in him being rewarded with a 10-year contract extension last month that runs through 2023. The contract calls for him to be paid him more than $4 million next season, but La Canfora says it does not preclude him from jumping to the NFL.
Though the appeal of coaching Griffin could be high for Briles, the failures of so many other coaches in Washington could be a turnoff. Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy said this week that he would not want to work for Snyder.
It remains to be seen whether Briles would be open to the challenge when the time comes.