WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Mike Shanahan found himself in a standoff with WUSA 9’s Dave Owens while addressing media on Monday, and Owens wasn’t backing down.
Nearing the end of the 24-minute press conference at Redskins Park, Owens didn’t seem to be looking for a fight when he asked Shanahan to address recent reports regarding the coach’s future with the team – particularly an ESPN report that broke a mere hours before the team kicked off against the Chiefs on Sunday.
“You talked about you’re in love with this football team, and certainly there were players yesterday that supported you as well,” Owens said. “Does it boggle your mind then where this information is coming from? I mean if there’s this love going around, who is talking? Where are they coming from? Who is this? I mean sitting here talking about this stuff and not football?”
“Well why don’t you find out and then you can tell me, because I’m pretty busy with football but I gotta answer these questions,” Shanahan snapped.
“Because I’m not the coach of the Washington Redskins,” Owens stood his ground.
“I know, but you can find out information and tell me where it’s coming from,” Shanahan said.
“What would that do,” Owens asked defiantly. “I mean, I’m asking you. I mean I think it’s a fair question to ask you that question. I mean, this is stuff that is detrimental to the process, I would think. As we talked earlier, your football team is trying to get ready to go play a football game with all of this stuff swirling, I would think you or anybody else would want to know, ‘Where is this stuff coming from?’ If there’s so much love going on, where is it coming from and why can’t we make this thing stop so we can go try and win a football game? That’s all I’m asking coach.”
“Okay,” Shanahan conceded. “We’re 3-10. That’s what happens when you’re 3-10. We can’t talk about the playoffs. We can’t talk about our draft choice. We don’t have a first-round draft choice. We’re gonna talk about something, and normally that occurs after a winning season. I’m sure something like this is happening in different markets across the country when you have those type of expectations.”
Owens called into 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Tuesday to describe the moment.
“It was crazy,” Owens said. “I think your words earlier in your show I think hit the nail on the head. I mean how dare he get up there and sort of try to push the narrative where he wanted it to go. And that’s classic Mike Shanahan. Listen, the guy’s been doing this for a long time. He understands how to direct the media to take a press conference where he wants it to go.
“What I will say, is I think a lot of the reporters, and I was in that pool as well, did a good job of peppering him and trying to get some stuff out of him. I think we’re gonna try to do the same things today. And at the end of the day, it was surreal. I don’t think he has any right to try to direct the narrative when he’s 3-10, and what, 13, 14 games under .500 at this point, and today I think we’re gonna try to continue to pepper him on all these stories that continue to come up week after week.”
The Mike Shanahan era in Washington continues to unravel by the day.
In that same press conference, Shanahan stated he would consider benching Griffin against Atlanta on Sunday, electing to start Kirk Cousins in his place. Shanahan stipulated if he chose to go that route, then Griffin would sit for the remainder of the season.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing a person with ties to the organization speaking on the condition of anonymity, that Shanahan’s announcement about possibly benching Griffin appears to be an attempt to provoke Snyder to fire him. Shanahan’s firing would result in him being paid out the remaining money on his deal.
You can watch the uncomfortable exchange at the 20-minute mark in the video above.