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Mike Shanahan points to end of cap penalties as reason to expect improvement in 2014

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Mike Shanahan has a 24-34 record since taking over as the Redskins’ head coach, leading to some speculation that the team might not ask him to stick around for the final year of the five-year contract he signed before the 2010 season.

Shanahan was asked about that possibility on Monday and wouldn’t discuss anything that he and owner Dan Snyder have talked about regarding Shanahan’s status for 2014. Mark Maske and Mike Jones of the Washington Post report that a person familiar with the team’s plans said it was “too early” to make any determination and Shanahan spent some time Monday offering an argument for why he should stick around that focuses on the end of the cap penalties the team has had to contend with for the last two years.

“I think when you take a look at the offensive numbers … that just doesn’t happen naturally with a lot of new players. We talked about it last year. We had six new players on our team, and putting up the numbers that we’re putting up are pretty impressive, especially with losing the $36 million salary cap over those two years time frame,” Shanahan said. “You don’t have the type of depth. But you’re able to put a very solid football team together. And in the future, it will get better because we do have the ability to get more depth. We’ve got the ability to add some players on both sides of the football, and that gives you a chance to get better as a football team.”

That argument might be enough to buy another year, but it doesn’t enough to explain Shanahan’s overall tenure in Washington. Barring another major turnaround in the final six games of this season, the 2012 playoff run will be an outlier on an otherwise losing run under the coach that can’t be totally explained away by cap penalties any more than the two Broncos Super Bowl wins under Shanahan can be totally written off because of cap violations.

The Redskins will have money to spend heading into next season, but if that’s the only reason the team can come up with to keep Shanahan it would be a mistake to hold onto him.

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60 Responses to “Mike Shanahan points to end of cap penalties as reason to expect improvement in 2014”
  1. l0glcalv0icesays says: Nov 19, 2013 10:43 AM

    Getting rid of the unjust cap penalties should help, but I’m sure Roger Goodell will find a new way to screw over the Redskins, who are GOD’S CHOSEN TEAM- he always does. #GoodellScrewsOverTheRedskins #Unfair

  2. stumpzzz says: Nov 19, 2013 10:48 AM

    Please fire this fool. He is ruining the Franchise (can it get any worse) and makes excuses at every turn. Man up and fire the S/T Coordinator and show some backbone and lay down the law on RGIII aka the crybaby I gotta have everything my way.

    I’m not even a Skins fan…but clearly he hasn’t done a good job over the last 4 years.

    #GoHawks

  3. zam0854 says: Nov 19, 2013 10:49 AM

    You wont be around to “reap the benefits” Mikey.

    Things in the NFL that fans dont talk about anymore:

    The Burgundy&Gold (lol, time to move on)

    Mark “Sanchise” (lol, what were Jets fans thinking)

    Chip Kelly offense won’t work in the NFL (time to believe)

    Can’t spell Elite without Eli (time to think of another saying)

    “Damn, did you see that hit on the QB”

    “Hey, did you see that Redskin victory on Sunday?”

    “Hey, where did you get that RG3 jersey?”

    “I’ll trade you Aaron Hernandez for…for…”

    “I’ll trade you Michael Vick for…for…”

    Baltimore/Pittsburgh’s run offense

  4. bucrightoff says: Nov 19, 2013 10:49 AM

    Not really sure how ending the cap penalties makes Shanahan not a crappy coach, but ok then.

  5. jjb0811 says: Nov 19, 2013 10:50 AM

    Well I’ll get to see them 1st hand Monday! My friend and I are flying to DC for the Monday nighter against 49’ers! Kaep vs RG, gonna be a good one.

  6. TheDPR says: Nov 19, 2013 10:51 AM

    He was never a great coach, merely a good one, and he hasn’t won anything significant in a long time. I don’t know if I’d fire him – he hasn’t been horrible – but I’d definitely take a look at who’s out there and might be interested.

  7. The Shoeman says: Nov 19, 2013 10:52 AM

    Too Funny . .

    also , the check is in the mail / my dog ate my homework / and I didn’t do it.

    pick anyone you need Mr. Shanahan.

    the Kool-Aid is on ice . . . buy those tix for next year now !

    You have just been ” Shanahan’ed ” . . Again !

  8. joetoronto says: Nov 19, 2013 10:53 AM

    I normally feel bad when anyone loses their job, but not this guy.

    The rat deserves everything he has coming to him and more.

  9. thetroofishere says: Nov 19, 2013 10:54 AM

    You led your team to the playoffs with the cap penalty in place and now, you’re blaming it for the team’s performance this year.

    You might have well as just blame it on bringing back only 21 of 22 starters from last year. Smh.

    FAIL!

  10. shalakka says: Nov 19, 2013 10:55 AM

    what has he done to deserve to stay?
    he is totally to blame for the offense and the defense and special teams.
    salary cap issues are one thing.
    staking your reputation on REX, the way they handled McNabb, if you read riggios blog. Kyle was to arrogant to work with McNabb, say what you want but I’d take McNabb over Rex any day. that season with Rex was a joke.
    the wildcat/pistol time and time again, these D-coordinators get paid to watch film and scheme.
    they have been figured out this whole season, look at frisco, worst passing attack in football this year.
    time for change.

  11. ohnoflorio says: Nov 19, 2013 10:57 AM

    Thanks John Mara, taking this money away has really been great for the league.

  12. 25cuts says: Nov 19, 2013 10:58 AM

    Hahaha. Go birds!!! SF is going to pound the skins on Monday night

  13. skinsfan2013 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:00 AM

    Good argument but even if HE stays we will still need coaching changes………special teams, DC, and a defensive backs coach……….for Morris to have held a head coaching position he gets nothing from our DBs……I’ve seen better coverage and tackling at city league games.

  14. ryanrockzzz says: Nov 19, 2013 11:01 AM

    Or it could be that Shanahan benefited from an all-time great QB in Denver, with a great scouting and personel team.

    I’m not a Redskins fan, so I don’t follow this team on a daily basis, but they certainly should be playing better than they are this year.

  15. bcblazer says: Nov 19, 2013 11:02 AM

    Get rid of both Shanahan’s , the game has passed them by, they ruined their QB for life, no matter how much rehab he will never b the same! We saw RG3 last yr and what he could do! This yr u get RG1.5 ! Can’t believe Snyder hasn’t fired the Shanahan’s ! Go Hawks! Lol

  16. scoonie97 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    “it doesn’t [do] enough to explain Shanahan’s overall tenure in Washington.”

    That can be explained with the words McNabb, Grossman, Beck…

    The team he inherited was even WORSE than what they have now. It was said it was going to take years to rebuild this team. The process is still ongoing.

  17. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Number of Shanahan coached teams that have made the Super Bowl without cap cheating = 0

    Number of Shanahan coached teams that have won the Super Bowl without cap cheating = 0

    Goes to Washington and immediately cap cheats even though receiving repeated warnings from the league to stop doing so.

    Shanahan, 20+ years of cap cheating and counting.

  18. malieckal says: Nov 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    Mike is correct. Being able to pay for safety help and OL will make the team much stronger. He bore the absurd ‘refuse to collude’ $36 million cap slap imposed by the owner of a division rival with equanimity. He deserves a season to compete without one hand tied behind his back.

    I’m way more down on Kyle Shanahan. Guy simply doesnt know when to run and when to pass. Never place your team fortunes in the hands of a son of a success. See Wilpon, Jeffrey.

  19. kcroyal says: Nov 19, 2013 11:09 AM

    What a mess. They might have some money to spend, but their draft picks are depleted for the mediocre QB they have. Maybe they can get the next Haynsworth with all that cash!

    #thankgodimnotaredskinfan.

  20. 1rockyracoon says: Nov 19, 2013 11:09 AM

    Ways to improve Washington: a) new owner b) new coaches c) teach Griffin how to be an NFL quarterback

  21. skinsfaninmd says: Nov 19, 2013 11:11 AM

    Since Gibbs retired in 92 the Redskins have had 8 coaches. The longest tenure was Norv Turner(6 years). Schottenheimer had 1 year, Spurrier had 2 years Gibbs came back for 4 then the Cerrato Experiment aka Zorn was here for 2 years. The constant theme has been to get rid of coaches asap to find the next best. In most cases there was no improvement from coach to coach.

    You keep Shanahan to have some continuity moving forward. He has done a good job fixing what was a dysfunctional team. He got rid of problem players, brought in high character guys and has brought in some playmakers as well. If you get rid of him, a new coach will have a new system and want different players that fit that system. Everything you have been building will be for nothing.

    The offense is much better than it was before Shanahan came in. Not prolific or great yet, but much much better. The defense on the other hand has gotten worse year after year. If you get rid of anyone, it should be Haslett.

    My 1 cent.

  22. azjam says: Nov 19, 2013 11:13 AM

    Not a big fan of Mike Shanahan or his son as OC. Time for a change.

  23. metalhead65 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:17 AM

    cap penalties along with trading away most of your future picks to take a qb might also explain the fact that the redskins suck. seriously it is a miracle they won as many games as they did last year and that was because teams had not seen the read option before. now that they know how to defend it and rg3 has nobody around him to help him then you have the mess you do today. I am not skins fan but they did get hosed with those penalties,how can you say no salary cap for a year then punish a team for doing it?

  24. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 19, 2013 11:17 AM

    Coach Shanahan and this administration is calm. Quality leadership and you will all see soon enough. Goodell and Mara are crooks. #Weshallriseagain

  25. lizardlickk says: Nov 19, 2013 11:19 AM

    The scapegoat should be Has/ Burns at the end of the year. Someone has to take the fall. If you actually watch this team, it’s much more than RG. D-fence and s.t. have been nail in the coffin week after week. 2 out of the 3 phases are guaranteed to have lackluster play, regardless if the offense is able to get going.

  26. pioniere says: Nov 19, 2013 11:19 AM

    He’ll be gone.

  27. purpleguy says: Nov 19, 2013 11:20 AM

    Yeah that’s the reason for the problems, cap penalties.

  28. thelegendofteabaggervance says: Nov 19, 2013 11:22 AM

    While I wouldn’t put it past Dan Snyder, it would be a mistake to fire Shanahan. He was hired on a five year contract, presumably because he was able to convince Snyder that it would take that long to turn the franchise around. Despite the mess that Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan inherited, they were on track to do that when they got hit with the unforeseen (and IMAO unfounded) cap penalties. Despite those penalties, they still finished 10-6 and made the playoffs last year. If anything, the fact that these unforeseen penalties occured should be cause to EXTEND Shanahan’s contract, not shorten it.

    But like I said, when it comes to decisions regarding the head coach, given Dan Snyder’s record since purchasing the team, although I think it’s a low probability event, the possibility that Dan Snyder decides to go in another direction does exist.

  29. diabetic1010 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:22 AM

    This guy has to go.

    Another example of being stuck in the old school mentality and refusing to evolve with the sport…..plus you aren’t hearing a lot of players standing up for this guy like you are seeing from other franchises…

    another wonderful move by Mr. Snyder!

  30. mantitebow says: Nov 19, 2013 11:23 AM

    Kaep is going to look like Steve Young against the Redskins defense.

  31. dalcow4 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:27 AM

    Hey– get off Shanny’s back– The SEC of the NFL is a tough place to win.

    But seriously– please keep him and his nepotism OC around. It’s fun seeing 5 and 6 win seasons.

  32. bobbyinlondon says: Nov 19, 2013 11:30 AM

    l0glcalv0icesays says:Nov 19, 2013 10:43 AM

    Getting rid of the unjust cap penalties should help, but I’m sure Roger Goodell will find a new way to screw over the Redskins, who are GOD’S CHOSEN TEAM- he always does. #GoodellScrewsOverTheRedskins #Unfair

    Well, your team had “unjust cap penalties” last season, but it didn’t stop you and other Skins fans crowing about their 7 game winning streak to win the East since the turn of the century and getting in the playoffs. They didn’t have cap penalties in 2010 and 2011, what explains his poor record then??

  33. dlr4skins says: Nov 19, 2013 11:34 AM

    Temper yourself on Chippy’s offense until an offseason has been had.

    $30 million in cap can explain some short comings like secondary, special teams, OL.

    Haters keep hating.

  34. gibson34 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:38 AM

    this guy does look like a rat and his son looks like rat jr. team is horrible and in last place in the worst division. worse record than zorny and excuses, excuses excuses….that is a sign of a loser. you don’t hear the cowboys coaches crying about their cap hit……..

    7 million for this garbage performances….if I were the fan base I would boycott the games.

  35. themonkeyman says: Nov 19, 2013 11:46 AM

    What has this guy done without John Elway?

    ZIP is the answer.

    His son is awful as OC & since it is his son, nothing can be done about that. Shanarat isn’t going fire his son. It’s painfully obvious that RGIII isn’t going to allow himself to be coached by Kyle.

    Shanarat is one of the most over rated coaches currently active in the NFL. And Kyle is in waaaay over his head as OC. Another fantastic hire by Dan Snyder, far & away the NFL’s worst owner.

  36. getyourownname says: Nov 19, 2013 11:48 AM

    The cap penalty may have hurt in the abstract, but as local writers have pointed out, the team has not suffered nearly the amount of injuries as other teams, which means their depth has not been tested as much, which means the adverse effect of the cap penalites has not been as great as Danny and Mike would like you to believe.

    Also, I think any cap analysis has to being with the QB postion. Teams with established QBs are forced by the market to pay much more than teams with QBs on their first contract, which means the difference in the amount left over for the rest of the team is not as great as the “raw” cap figure seems to indicate. Once those young QBs get their contact renewal, the cap figure constraints become more meaningful.

  37. therealtrenches says: Nov 19, 2013 11:59 AM

    After Elway and Terelle Davis moved on, Shanahan won only one playoff game. ONE.

    Before Shanahan was canned in Denver, there were suggestions that he was more concerned with his golf swing than the playbook.

    And that sure was an impressive November tan he had on Thursday night a couple weeks ago.

    Now he’s blaming Salary Cap-gate for his team’s losing record.

    This nepotist needs to rent property in Del Boca Vista and forget about stealing money from the NFL.

  38. gpry says: Nov 19, 2013 12:02 PM

    Shanahan is mediocre at best!! What has he done without elway as QB?? Nothing!! Joke of an owner, joke of a HC, and joke of a franchise

  39. radrntn says: Nov 19, 2013 12:19 PM

    funny you lost 36 million from cap, and that is more than what the Raiders are paying all of their entire active roster……no excuses, shouldn’t have cheated in the first place…something tells me Snyder would be the Steinbrenner of the NFL…he would just try to buy a Superbowl by overpaying for a bunch of players if he could……sorry this is not some messed up league like MLB whose ratings are now the worse of any professional sport, but the NFL….

  40. realfootballfan says: Nov 19, 2013 12:20 PM

    Lol, he actually thinks he’s going to be around to spend that money. What could only make this whole thing funnier is if Vinny Cerrato is brought back immediately (again) in January after Shanahan is fired.

  41. xsherr says: Nov 19, 2013 12:25 PM

    And that’s why the skins will always suck.

  42. anonymous135 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:30 PM

    So much to Critique!! lol

    Would be classic if Shanny was fired and the team gets $32 million back in retro cap space.

    Would have been nice if the article included something about the cap space for next season with committed contracts and free agents likely to be retained, etc, etc..

    Last year was a nice surprise, and yes they mortgaged the future on RGIII with the draft compensation. Well worth it until he was injured.. AP left the unrealistic expectation that a dual threat qb was going to be back to where he was (Shanny too) when a half season grace period should have been given..

    They need to upgrade the receiving core and it never hurts beefing up the line. Jordan Reed is a monster and was scoring quad td games @ Florida and should be used like he was there in a Hernandez role. Having another TE1 across from Reed can let them be as creative as the Pats were in their glory days.

    They’ll be good next year..

    It’s unfortunate Shanny couldn’t be getting credit for finding a bunch of diamonds in the rough young guys vs using cap crunch as his crutch. His son’s playcalling leaves a lot to be desired

  43. granadafan says: Nov 19, 2013 12:31 PM

    Stop cheating and maybe there won’t be penalties. You’re like U$C. “Waah waaah waaaaah, the big bad NCAA is unfair for penalizing us! So what if we cheated to win national championships and received hundreds of millions in TV, donations, merchandising, ticket sales, brand new facilities for today’s players, etc! Why should we be punished? Waaah. “

  44. hendawg21 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:48 PM

    First of all when the decision was made to bring in Shanahan I wasn’t for it, that being said I don’t think it would’ve mattered who got hired the team was dysfunctional and needed to be blown up that was part of year’s 1&2, then a BS salary cap penalty stunted everything. Instead of being able to bring in top notch quality players Shanahan and Allen were left scouring the leftovers…with the exception of Trent Williams there isn’t a true starter on that O-line, the secondary although they’ve drafted a few young guys one’s on IR, another is still learning the NFL and then there’s Amerson who looks pretty decent…D Hall is actually playing well, however, Josh Wilson, Reed Doughty and even the old Captain Fletcher are liabilities. On offense again the O-line can’t pass protect and the O-coordinator refuses to move the pocker or roll RGIII out, other than Garcon the receivers aren’t much to brag about….and then there is the rookie TE Reed he’s a beast. That run last year was proof they could compete, however there needed to be some serious upgrades to which they couldn’t due to the last year of the cap penalty…I have to agree with Shanahan with no cap penalty and plenty of loot to spend they’ll be a far better team next year…

  45. hendawg21 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:54 PM

    Now here’s a genius…

    metalhead65 says:
    Nov 19, 2013 11:17 AM
    cap penalties along with trading away most of your future picks to take a qb might also explain the fact that the redskins suck
    _______________________________

    I can see why you go by metalhead65…first and foremost they didn’t trade away most of their future picks…
    1. They swaped places with St. Louis in the 1st round of 2012 – still a 1st rd pick, they did give up a 2nd rd that year net loss one 2nd rd pick.
    2. They did give up a 1st rd in 2013 and a 1st in 2014 that’s two picks net loss over 2 years 2 picks.
    3. Last time I checked there are 7 rounds so there are picks in rounds 2-7, plus not every 1st round pick is a guarantee hit…so giving up those picks are a crap shoot.

  46. sidepull says: Nov 19, 2013 1:08 PM

    Don’t forget who fired big Shot and hired Zorn and Spurrier. Watch what you pray for. You get rid of the Shanahan circus, then who? I don’t know, it is just scary to think of the possibilities that buffoon owner can conjure up.

    And by the way :

    gibson34 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:38 AM

    this guy does look like a rat and his son looks like rat jr

    I don’t know what your issues are Gibson but you sound like you spend too much time checking out and evaluating what other guys look like. Who cares? It looks like it does to you.

  47. somekat says: Nov 19, 2013 1:13 PM

    Half the league has 18 million in cap space. As much as it sucks for the skins to have the penalties, who’s fault is it, that they are that close to the cap, while having a mediocre roster and their best 2 player (Morris/Griffin) getting paid a fraction of what they will be getting in 2 years? (JUST those 2 will account for your 18 million when their rookie deals are up)

  48. joetoronto says: Nov 19, 2013 1:27 PM

    He won the 2 Super Bowls in Denver by circumventing the salary cap.

    That’s how the rat rolls.

  49. eatitfanboy says: Nov 19, 2013 1:27 PM

    I think he’s gone.

    They certainly aren’t going to let him come back as a lame duck and he hasn’t earned an extension.

    And there’s one other little reason- if you follow DC media, RGIII doesn’t appear to like him or his son very much. And he ain’t going anywhere.

    So there’s that.

  50. mogogo1 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:30 PM

    I thought he was a great hire at the time, but it’s turned into just a continuation of the end-times he had in Denver: Offense is the high point, defense is always in a state of upheaval both on the field and with coaching, results are mixed but on the whole worse than they probably should be. Only now he’s got his abrasive son in the mix, which isn’t an improvement.

  51. nebster21 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:43 PM

    First of all THERE WAS NO CAP. So there was no cheating. Second of all Lets look what that 18 million would give you.

    One Peyton Manning
    OR
    One Drew Brees
    One Clavin Johnson
    One Jimmy Graham
    One Joe Staley
    One Andrew Whitworth
    One Chris Myers

    and still have money left over. So do not say ohh what is 18 million. That type of moeny will change a team.

  52. Mr. Wright 212 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:51 PM

    The team in first place in the division has spent the least.

    What’s the next excuse?

    Objectively speaking, this guy has been riding Elways coattails for nearly 20 years now, and then to bring nepotism into it and his predictable son’s play calling?

  53. greymares says: Nov 19, 2013 2:14 PM

    As an Eagle fan i am much in favor of the Washington Ratskins keeping the head rat.

  54. dirtydrynn27 says: Nov 19, 2013 3:03 PM

    Haters!!!!

  55. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Nov 19, 2013 3:29 PM

    first of all, the nfl told dallas and washington not to put all that $ in the uncapped year or they would have to pay later. they did so anyway, thinking that the union would not allow the nfl to enforce the penalties due to collusion. sadly, they miscalculated and are now paying the price of the miscalculation. Anyone who otherwise is a lawyer (the reason we can’t recognize pass interference or pass completions anymore is because they write the rules now) or a whiner (lots of that these days in old d.c.).

    as to the excuses of shanny, it really doesn’t matter. the ship has already sailed. danny will be forced to decide between him and griffin, and shanny loses that election….

  56. fan72redskins says: Nov 19, 2013 4:17 PM

    We are not at $$liberty$$ to go out and sign free agents to make the team better from week-to-week when a player goes down. Team(s) go out on a regular basis and bring in a veteran who can fit the exact role or position as the injured player can. It helps to have the money. If Washington was capable of going out and signing players they would be much better.

    The cap penalty is not an excuse but definitely a pain in the you-know-what.

  57. thatwasntsological says: Nov 19, 2013 6:21 PM

    l0glcalv0icesays says:
    Nov 19, 2013 10:43 AM
    Getting rid of the unjust cap penalties should help, but I’m sure Roger Goodell will find a new way to screw over the Redskins, who are GOD’S CHOSEN TEAM- he always does. #GoodellScrewsOverTheRedskins #Unfair
    «««««««««««««««««««««««««««««»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»»

    I’m sorry, did Roger Goodell throw that heave to Brandon Boykin in the end zone? Because if he did, you’re right Roger really has it out for you guys.

  58. davereckon says: Nov 19, 2013 7:25 PM

    He’s probably right. If they had that cap money, they EASILY would have had 8 yards passing in the first half last week. Totally new ball game at that point.

  59. wirelessjesus says: Nov 20, 2013 7:20 AM

    I’m tired of hearing that silly cap space penalty excuse. 18 million? The Philadelphia Eagles, who embarrassed them on Sunday, are close to 20 million under the cap this season…..so what’s going to be the NEW excuse for that poorly run football franchise in Washington?

  60. lorcanbonda says: Nov 20, 2013 10:24 AM

    I agree with his complaints about the cap — in a league that values parity, this is a huge blow. Salary cap space is what gives teams the flexibility to replace players in free agency. That is why the the second worst defense in the league last year has a 38 year-old linebacker and rookie defensive backs. All of the special teams “stars” had to be let go.

    Eagles aren’t really 20 million under the cap, because they are beneficiaries of the NFL’s largesse.

    The Eagles total salary is $120 million — slightly above average. The Redskins total salary is $106 million — the 2nd lowest in the league (the Bengals are lower.)

    As a fan, such favoritism disgusts me — if Shanahan was bad, does this prove it? In a fair league, I would say, “fire him.” How can you judge Haslett? I think he’s the worst coordinator around — but look who he as to work with.

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