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Redskins expected to pursue Art Briles as head coach

Art Briles Robert Griffin BaylorThe Washington Redskins could be dreaming of a reunion between Robert Griffin III and Art Briles, his college coach at Baylor.

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.

Trent Williams: Robert Griffin III, Mike Shanahan don’t deserve the criticism

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinRobert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan have been widely criticized amid the Washington Redskins’ struggles the last several weeks, and offensive lineman Trent Williams believes it’s undeserved.

Williams and defensive team leader London Fletcher both were asked whether there’s any extra motivation for the team to play for Shanahan’s job, and they said no. That wasn’t an insult to Shanahan so much as it was a matter of them saying they’re focusing on their jobs. But Williams did tell The Washington Post that RG3 and Shanny don’t deserve all the criticism they’re facing.

“The media, number one, is going to go to the head coach and then the quarterback. But, it really has nothing to do with the head coach or the quarterback, why we’re struggling,” Williams said. “We’re just not playing well as a team. I’m pretty sure Robert knows that he’s going to get some scrutiny, but I don’t think he deserves it. I don’t think coach Shanahan deserves it, to see people talk and say he’s not doing his job. I think he’s doing a heck of a job. It does wear on you to see people go through undeserving criticism.”

Few people would agree that Shanahan is doing a “heck of a job,” but maybe he and RG3 are being criticized excessively. I wouldn’t at all call it undeserving, though.

Both parties are extremely deserving of criticism. Shanahan deserves criticism going back to playing Griffing when the quarterback was hurt last year. RG3 deserves criticism for his mixed public comments about his coaches and his subtle shots. And whoever’s in charge of the decision making there — likely Daniel Snyder — deserves criticism for having Griffin start Week 1 and sticking with him when the guy hasn’t looked healthy, as many players have said.

Mike Shanahan responds to Albert Haynesworth: I don’t get along with lazy people

Mark-Schlereth-Calls-Mike-Shanahan-Control-FreakMike Shanahan aka the Red Lobster wasn’t about to sit back and let Albert Haynesworth trash him and the Washington Redskins organization without so much as a fight. He decided to hit back at the former $100 million man on Thursday, blasting Haynesworth for being lazy and having poor character.

“Let me put it this way, the only people I really haven’t gotten along with since I’ve been a head coach and an assistant coach is someone that’s lazy, and No. 2, someone that’s lazy and they may lack character, or they’re lazy and lack passion for the game. Those are really the only people I haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or as an assistant coach. And so that’s what you’re looking for.

“And through my years,” he continued, “people that are lazy and have lacked passion for their job, they don’t go into the next year of their job, and if they do, they don’t last the next year. And so the people that I’ve looked at that come back and complain and do some of the things that you do when you don’t get along with someone as a head coach or an assistant coach, usually falls in one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion, and lot of times, a lack of character, and he fits all three.”

Shanahan told the media that usually he wouldn’t respond like that, but Haynesworth has been talking so much over the years he decided he had to.

[Previously: Albert Haynesworth: Signing with Redskins ‘worst mistake of my life’]

Like Steve DelVecchio said, both sides are probably right in what they’re saying. The Redskins probably did not follow through on building the defense around Haynesworth’s style in Tennessee the way they said they would, and we know for sure that Haynesworth was lazy. Remember how he couldn’t pass conditioning tests? And don’t forget that Rodney Harrison blasted the defensive lineman for being lazy and faking injuries with the Patriots.

Haynesworth may have some legitimate complaints, but so do Shanahan and Washington.

Fred Smoot says RG3 is a ‘brat’ calls Mike Shanahan ‘Red Lobster’

Fred Smoot provided a harsh assessment of Robert Griffin III during a radio interview on Monday, and he also introduced us to a great new nickname for Mike Shanahan.

Smoot, who is a humorous guy and does not mince words, said during an hour-long appearance with Holden and Danny on 106.7 The Fan in DC that RG3 has acted like a “brat.” The former Redskins defensive back also popularized a great new nickname for Shanny, whom he calls “Red Lobster.”

I wonder where he came up with that nickname?

Mike Shanahan Red Lobster

According to DC Sports Bog, which provided a transcription of some of Smoot’s comments, Smoot was critical of the relationship between RG3 and Shanahan. He said it was obvious the relationship was not working and that it’s headed for a divorce.

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Mike Shanahan: Super Bowl or bust for Washington Redskins

Elvis-Grbac-Threw-Ball-at-Al-Davis-Because-of-Mike-ShanahanWashington Redskins fans have high expectations for their team heading into the 2013 season. Robert Griffin III is coming back from the second major knee surgery of his career, but he claims he is healthy and ahead of schedule in his rehab. And Mike Shanahan shares the same opinion as the fans.

“(The players) have set the expectations,” Shanahan said earlier this week, via the team’s official Twitter account. “Coaches coach, players play and together all of us can win championships and that’s what we plan to do. We have a team that you’re going to be proud of.”

The Redskins reached that playoffs last year in RG3’s first season as the team’s quarterback, so there is plenty of reason for optimism. A healthy Griffin brings stability to the most important position on the field. Should he struggle to regain his 2012 form or go down with another injury, Washington could become just another mediocre team.

Some would argue that Griffin should take a more conservative approach this season and become more of a pocket passer, but that is not his game. He has the ability to make throws, but he recently made it clear that he still intends to take off if the defense is giving him space.

The Redskins should probably focus on winning the NFC East and getting back to the playoffs before thinking Super Bowl, but every team has the same goal — to win a championship. There’s nothing wrong with Shanahan preaching that given the improvements his team has made since last year’s 10-6 campaign.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Mike Shanahan claims he does not have an email account

Elvis-Grbac-Threw-Ball-at-Al-Davis-Because-of-Mike-ShanahanWashington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has been around for quite some time. He has been coaching in the NFL since the mid-1980s and won two Super Bowls as a head coach in the ’90s, so I guess you could say he is cut from the old school. But the man is only 60, so you might find it hard to believe that he does not have an email account.

On Monday, Shanahan was asked about Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s decision to join Twitter recently. Shanahan said he has no plans to do the same, and here’s why.

“First of all, I’ve never been on Twitter,” he explained, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “I don’t even have e-mail. I just learned to text about two years ago, so that’s where I’m at. No, seriously, I don’t have an e-mail. I do text, and I’m not very good at that. I’m not getting into the Twitter.”

My 87-year old grandmother just sent me a text message about 10 minutes ago. She also emails me all the time, and she doesn’t work with people who are in their 20s and 30s every day. Is this really possible?

We found it hard to believe when MLB commissioner Bud Selig claimed he has never sent an email, and he’s 18 years older than Shanny. I’m just going to assume he’s exaggerating to make a point. Not having a Twitter account is understandable, but an NFL coach needs email at some point — right?

Robert Griffin III: ‘There was no way I was coming out of that game’

robert griffin kneeRobert Griffin III’s knee injury suffered against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday has led to many questions about the Redskins’ handling of the situation. Was it a bad decision by Mike Shanahan to have RG3 start the game? Was Shanahan negligent in letting Griffin remain in the game after he was examined in the first quarter and clearly not well?

Shanahan admits he’s second-guessing himself, while Griffin remains steadfast that he wanted to play no matter what.

“I think I did put myself at more risk by being out there, but every time you step on the football field, you’re putting your life, your career, every single ligament in your body in jeopardy,” Griffin said after the game. “That’s just the approach I had to take towards it. My teammates needed me out there, so I was out there for them.

“You respect authority and I respect Coach Shanahan, but at the same time you have to step up and be a man sometimes. There was no way I was coming out of that game.”

Griffin believed in his abilities despite his injury.

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