WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The walls appear to be closing in on Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan, following the team’s 20-6 loss to the Giants to conclude a 3-13 season for his team.
Shanahan himself, at least publicly, has kept up appearances. He told reporters after the loss that he’d meet with Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, at which point the two would discuss his future.
But whether it’s written in stone that Shanahan’s either ‘in’ or ‘out’ is neither here nor there, at least as far as his players are concerned.
In a show of force, a slew of Redskins – including Brian Orakpo, Santana Moss, Trent Williams, DeAngelo Hall, and Kory Lichtensteiger – nobly backed their head coach after the loss, stating why they’d continue to follow him into the future if Snyder were to grant him a stay in execution.
“He made you want to go out there and work for him,” Moss said. “I’ve been around a lot of coaches, a lot of good coaches, and one thing he did is held all us pretty much accountable for each other and for ourselves.”
“If [Snyder and Bruce Allen] ask me for my opinion, then I would definitely say that Coach Shanahan deserves to be back,” Williams said. “The whole coaching staff deserves to be back.
“If anyone’s going to take the blame, I think we should start with the players and the leaders of the team, like myself. I feel like I could have did more to help this team win games, but like I said, we didn’t play up to our ability, we underachieved the whole season, and it has nothing to do with Coach Shanahan.”
“I think 99.9 percent of this team shares that opinion,” Williams would go on to say.
“I love Mike, man, from the bottom of my heart,” Orakpo said. “And I wish this thing was better circumstances than where we’re at now because he’s a hell of coach, and he doesn’t get a lot of credit. He just gets a lot of criticism it seem like recently, and he doesn’t deserve that. And I wish we just could have been out there and gave better performances every Sunday.”
DeAngelo Hall says the two had trouble communicating when Shanahan first arrived in D.C., but freely admits he’s learned a lot from his head coach, and over time, could talk to him about anything.
“I’ve definitely grown to respect him, love him as a coach and would love to play for him again,” Hall said.
Lichtensteiger, who’s played under Shanahan in D.C. and Denver, had perhaps the most sincere comments.
“If you’re looking for a better guy and a better coach, how he treats his players, someone who has a direction in his mind of getting the right type of guys in the locker room and on a team, you’re not gonna find a better guy than Mike,” Lichtensteiger said.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody in the locker room that doesn’t have the utmost respect for him, both as a person and as a coach,” he added. “That’s what makes it so much more disappointing for the season that we had, because he’s that one that’s held accountable, more so than anybody else, and we didn’t step up like we needed to for him.”