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.