Redskins Fire Mike Shanahan, Begin Search for New Head Coach

Washington Commanders
Mike Shanahan was fired Monday after four seasons as Redskins head coach. (Photo by Terri Russell)


By Jake Russell

Exactly one year after leading the Redskins to their first NFC East title in 13 years, head coach Mike Shanahan was fired following a deflating 3-13 season.

Following a 9 a.m. meeting at Redskins Park with owner Dan Snyder on Monday, news quickly trickled out of Ashburn that Shanahan was on his way out after four seasons and a 24-40 record as Washington’s head man.

“Redskins fans deserve a better result,” Snyder said in a statement. “We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs.”

The team also fired offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, special teams coordinator Keith Burns, quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur, linebackers coach Bob Slowik, defensive assistant Bobby Slowik, wide receivers coach Mike McDaniel, advance scout Larry Coyer and offensive quality control coach Richmond Flowers.

General manager Bruce Allen met with the coaches one-on-one today and let them know of his decision. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, defensive line coach Jacob Burney, running backs coach Bobby Turner, offensive line coach Chris Foerster, tight ends coach Sean McVay, defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, offensive line assistant Chris Morgan, assistant defensive backs/special teams coach Richard Hightower and offensive assistant Aubrey Pleasant were all retained but Allen said that the new head coach will ultimately decide their fate.

With Shanahan gone, Allen is now in charge of personnel decisions, including the search for a new head coach he said will begin Monday night, and will work along with director of pro personnel Morocco Brown and director of player personnel Scott Campbell.

The group of coaches the Redskins target will be diverse, Allen said.

“It really is an open list,” he said. “It will have NFL coaches, it will have college coaches on it. Some have head coaching experience, some don’t, and I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the people who I haven’t met yet. I’ve seen them from afar and I want to hear what their dreams are, what they can do, the fire in their belly to coach the Washington Redskins, to inspire the kids on this football team.”

Washington finished the 2013 season its worst record since 1994 and an eight game losing streak, the franchise’s worst since dropping 17 in a row during the 1960 and 1961 seasons.

Shanahan’s status was nearly 99 percent sealed after the team’s one-point loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, according to Allen.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Redskins will likely pursue Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. He said the time also inquired about Stanford head coach David Shaw through a third party. ESPN 980’s Chris Russell also reported the team is interested in former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.

Shanahan received a strong contingent of support from Redskins players, who, in recent weeks, praised his football IQ and openly wished for his return in 2014 despite not winning a game in the second half of this season.

Robert Griffin III declined to speak to the media when cleaning out his locker this morning before news of Shanahan’s firing became official. He later spoke to the media via conference call Monday afternoon.

“Coach [Mike] Shanahan has taught me a lot in just two years,” he said. “I want to thank him for drafting me to the Washington Redskins and giving me a chance to live out my dream.”

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