As he exits, Shanahan points out he inherited a tough situation


Mike Shanahan was fired today at the end of a 3-13 season, but he still believes the team he’s leaving behind was better than the team he inherited when he arrived in Washington in 2010.

Shanahan said he inherited a team made up of overpaid, aging veterans, and he believes he did the best job a coach could do, given those circumstances.

“One of the questions that’s been asked of me the last couple weeks, ‘Is this a better place today than it was when you came here four years ago?'” Shanahan said. “That one is probably asked of me more than any other one. So I’ll answer that: When we first came here, we knew that we were in a tough situation relative to the salary cap, and when we first came here as a staff, we knew we had to make some tough decisions. And any time that you release $100 million worth of players, you’re talking about a lot of football players, a lot of players who have been very successful, and that’s always hard to do. And to do that, a lot of people are involved. You watch a lot of film, you make some tough decisions, and we felt we had to do that relative to the salary cap. And the thing we felt pretty good about was that not one of those players played a full year the next year. So we did make some good decisions, relative to getting back to a base, relative to the salary cap, because we had made some mistakes in the past.”

Shanahan then noted that the team was hit with a significant salary cap penalty before the 2012 season because the league office determined that the team violated the spirit of the salary cap with its payroll structure during the uncapped year in 2011. Shanahan said he takes pride in the fact that the team won the division despite those cap penalties.

“When we got that $36 million hit, we weren’t able to get some of those players we wanted to get,” Shanahan said. “We were still able to win the NFC East.”

Ultimately, Shanahan believes he’s leaving a team behind that’s in better shape than the team he inherited in Washington.

“We’re better off today than we were four years ago,” Shanahan said.

That may be true. But it’s also true that this year’s 3-13 mark ties the worst record for a 16-game season in franchise history.

96 responses to “As he exits, Shanahan points out he inherited a tough situation

  1. I just watched the rat speak, hopefully for the last time, and everything he said was self serving, everything.

  2. I’m sorry Mike but I really don’t remember any new coach coming in that wasn’t inheriting a tough situation. Except for the idiot Chargers firing a coach that went 14-2 most teams are 2-14 when the new guy comes in.

  3. And the next head coach will say at his firing, “I inherited a tough situation, but the team is better off today than it was four years ago.”

  4. I don’t know how on Earth a man can get fired for poor performance and say that the team is in better shape than when he started the job. This guy’s arrogance and revisionist, self-serving history is nauseating.

  5. Taaaale of the Redskiiiins…
    Juuuuust pass the blaaaame…
    “it waaaaasn’t my faaaaault!!”…
    “TALK, to what’s his naaaaaaame?”…

  6. Barely better… if any.

    What replacement coach HASN’T inherited a tough situation?… that’s the reason they are hired in the first place – to take a tough situation and make it better.

    He didn’t.

    I know for a fact Mike is a good guy… but ‘The Mastermind’ title = John Elway in Denver.

  7. Andy Reid inherited a tough situation and did just dandy.

    You created a tough situation by salary cap cheating the moment you got there, and then proceeding with one of the singular worst trades in NFL history to get RGFragileEgo.

    No one to blame but yourself. Hopefully you’re out of the league for good.

  8. Lol…..Shanarat!

    These guys who have their rear ends kissed for so many years get delusional. Unfortunately some bottom feeder like Cleveland or Minnesota will take another flyer on the MasterRat and will find themselves in the same situation in three to five years.

    You are what your record says you are Shanny.


  9. No Shanny, You created a tough situation.. honestly though, Bruce Allen should be following you out the door, The Rams are laughing all the way to the bank at the Redskins expense and will be for awhile.

  10. I think this roster is poised to keep developing and be a contender for the next several years… When he arrived it was a mess with fat Albert and a lot of other wasted money…. The next guy has several key players on offense and a couple on defense and is in a great salary-cap situation…. i do believe this coach and his staff need to be replaced with fresh new eyes looking at the problems, But the next guy has a table set for him to build upon, Thanks to Mike Shanahan and Company

  11. Why does he always look possessed. Hey he had a great QB for many years and a decent group of players. Take that away and he is just an average at best coach. Nevermore!

  12. “It’s better than when I got here….. And I think our season was better than our record indicates.”

    Mike Shanahan or Jim Schwartz?

  13. I’m not a Redskins fan but I’ve spent time in the area, and I think a big part of the problem is the saturated local media. Area reporters are so desperate for both the success of the team and to win readers that there’s this arms race for every column or radio show (of which there are dozens) to play up some factor. If the team wins a few games, it’s talked up as clear evidence that a SB win is inevitable. If they lose a couple, everyone is the worst player ever and all the coaches must die. There’s no middle ground, and no objectivity. All teams deal with this to some degree, but the Redskins have it among the worst.

  14. Boo hoo … “when we were told we couldn’t write off the Haynesworth contract we couldn’t get the players we wanted.”

    Yeah, the league didn’t let you cheat. If they had then you’d have done better for sure. Too bad you had to play by the same rules as everyone else.

  15. Nothing but excuses, and newsflash, inheriting a cushy job that requires no performance yet pays you millions is a wonderful situation. A great coach could have done so much more, and he didn’t even come close to doing some of the things this team needed him to provide.

  16. This guy is an idiot and I would never want my team to hire him. He is as overrated as they come. Who wouldnt win a Superbowl in Devner with Elway, Davis, McCaffery, Smith & Sharpe?

    He is a buffoon whose true colors as a coach were shown in a “tough situation”. Good coaches make their names by turning around teams in “tough situations”, poor ownership nonwithstanding. They played well for a 6 game stretch last year in a terribly mediocre division against a soft schedue of opponents and it gave them confidence. Nothing more.

    Good riddance, Shannahan. Washington is much better off without you. They’d be better off without Snyder, too, but theres a laundry list of teams out there who’d be better off without their current owner, so get in line.

  17. cobaltdriver says:
    Dec 30, 2013 11:11 AM

    What is it with jobs in Washington that they keep blaming their predecessors??


    Because if you blame the man who’s really responsible, nobody will hire you. Can’t bash the owners publicly, no matter how much they deserve it.

  18. The way he handled the injury to RGIII last season could be a very long lasting mark on the franchise. Keeping a player who was clearly very hobbled out of the field for maybe one more win, tops, was incredibly stupid and ignorant of the bigger picture. Despite what players like Thomas Davis and Adrian Peterson show, knee injuries are incredibly serious to a football player, and almost a full season later, RGIII is still clearly suffering from it. Tough for Redskin’s fans.

  19. Dearest Coach Shanahan,

    Just wanted to say thanks to you and your GM from all us Rams fans out here in flyover country. You traded the following players for RG3:

    Michael Brockers
    Janoris Jenkins
    Alec Ogletree
    Zac Stacy
    Stedman Bailey
    Isaiah Pead

    …and the 2nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.

    So yes, you definitely left a team better than you found it 4 years ago. It was just the wrong team.

  20. what new hire head coach doesn’t inherit a tough situation? Mikie you knew exactly what you were getting into when you took the money! Your ego is your downfall!

  21. Shanny got his $$$, I guess… The problem that’s becoming more apparent every year now, is that nobody cares as much about winning as the fans…. Not the coaches, not the owners, not the players…. It’s all about the money. Only the fans, for the most part, ache and feel the pain of losing.

  22. Yo, Mike – You were paid $7 million a year to fix the tough situation. You didn’t fix it, in fact you made it worse in at least one respect (playing RGIII after he was injured in last year’s playoff game, something from which RGIII clearly hasn’t recovered and from which he may never recover). You’re a whiner – a rich whiner but still a whiner.

  23. 3-13;
    If you actually watched any of the Skins past 10 losses, you would notice a sufficient disparity in momentum swings, ie, officiating that significantly sways in favor of the other team. My question is: would Shanny still be coaching the Redskins, if they had went 8-8?

  24. As long as people like Snyder,and Jones are owners their teams will never win titles. Hope they stick around till they croke.

  25. It would be easy to win in washigton. Just steal other teams signals and somehow get the refs to hand you calls at in critical moments in every close game. Look at the pats.

  26. Really don’t know where to start after reading all other comments. It is a FACT that this team is better for having Mike than before he got here. This years record was indeed bad but do you think that had anything to do with our star QB being hurt and not admitting that he wasn’t 100% as he claimed? Or the cap penalty? Or the drama that surrounded team since Jan 2012? Ok, I guess Mike had to go but anybody team gets to replace him is gonna be a downgrade! About Mike didn’t win SB without Elway and Davis? Well if my football memory is correct, they didn’t win a SB without Shanahan either! It’s a sad day to be a Redskins, for me no matter what anyone says, sad day and yes it’s been a sad year! But for Snyder to let Mike speak after he was fired tells me this wasn’t as easy decision as everyone thought! Snyder has never let a coach speak after he fired them to my knowledge! Love my Skins but if Snyder hires Briles, I’m gonna be disgusted! HTTR

  27. Mike Shanahan:

    “One of the questions that’s been asked of me the last couple weeks, ‘Is this a better place today than it was when you came here four years ago?’”
    So I’ll answer that: When we first came here, we knew that we were in a tough situation relative to the salary cap.
    So why didn’t you do what you did in Denver? Circumvent the salary cap like you did between 1996 – 1998. Oddly enough, Denver’s best 3 year stretch in franchise history.

    Maybe you would have won SB’s in Washington then.

  28. After trying to get fired this year (and succeeding), why would anyone ever give Shanahan a head coaching job again? He’s overrated and his behavior was disgraceful. I hope this is the last we ever hear of this slimeball.

  29. Wonder if Mikey remembers all the DCs he fired in Denver? The ones he hired and fired after one year because everything must have been their fault.

  30. Guess what Mike, you got the job in the first place because things were not going the way ownership wanted, You’ve had what, 4 years, to prove yourself. If it was such a difficult situation you shouldn’t have taken the money and waited it out for something else. Right. Admit it, $7 million/year, greed, looked you right in the eyes and you said the heck with it, if I get fired, fine, I still get that $35 million payday! Phony.

  31. …And the thing we felt pretty good about was that not one of those players played a full year the next year.

    Really? He felt good about cutting players, who didn’t play a full year in the next year? That he decided that those guys couldn’t play in the NFL? Did he cut those guys with a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes?
    I don’t know whether to applaud him for his honesty or shake my head at his attitude.

  32. Dan Snyder aside for the moment, Mike Shanahan was paid millions of $’s and granted numerous perks and concessions to improve the Redskins, and after a four year tenure, they are arguably worse off than when he took over. It appears that the Snyder/Shanahan match was a bad one, and likely doomed from the start…
    Of course, given the track record of the franchise under Snyder’s ownership, there appears little reason for much optimism that things will change much there, with yet another coaching change.

  33. Mike shanahan is an overrated joke of a coach. He has never done a thing without john elway playing qb for him. Buyer beware if an other team wants to hire him. I wouldn’t have him as my teams coach for free.

  34. “I’m sorry Mike but I really don’t remember any new coach coming in that wasn’t inheriting a tough situation. Except for the idiot Chargers firing a coach that went 14-2 most teams are 2-14 when the new guy comes in.”


    George Seifert took the reins of a Super Bowl winning 49ers team.

  35. He knew when he signed here the situation. That’s his fault for taking the job. And the cap penalties were unfair, but they were also a result of his actions. The defense has been bad but yet you kept Haslett regardless of how bad we were. Sorry Mike no one to blame but yourself.

  36. There’s been one constant throughout all of your teams mess and that is one Daniel Snyder… problem starts at the top. does not matter who ends up coaching there, it will be the same result…

  37. dstep24 says: Dec 30, 2013 12:06 PM

    But RG3 is still your QB. That’s the bigger problem.

    Are you a troll or really just football dumb?

    RGIII when healthy is a top 10 QB who will improve. His stats proof statement. I guess, winning a Heisman, ROY and setting records for Rookie QB rating, winning the division on one knee just show he sucks, eh?

    If you want to use his play this year when coming off major knee reconstruction and on a horrible team as “proof” he sucks, then you don’t understand football.

    Ask, a healthy Kirk Cousins how easy it was to win on this crap team this year.

  38. Actually, he left the franchise in a slightly worse situation. The team was 4-12 in 2009 with aging, overpaid veterans, and the 2013 Redskins went 3-13 with a roster full of aging, overpaid veterans.

  39. “Yes, I was given full authority over all football decisions, given unlimited money and was even allowed to hire my son. However, I was not responsible for our double digit losing record for three of the past four years. Did I mention we were hit with a salary cap penalty?”

  40. Bad salary cap, no draft picks due to RG3 trade, and a very tough divison most years.

    Shanahan had a lot of issues to deal with and I think he didn’t want RG3. That trade is going to be worse then the herschel walker trade. The Rams have already gotten 2 top 5 picks out of the deal.

  41. Bad owners in the NFL – Dallas, Washington, and Cleveland. Those owners impair any chances their respective teams have of winning.

  42. As much as I dislike Shanahan’s coaching style and decision making, he is the Shanarat. Tony Romo might be his John Elway. Shanahan and Kubiak in Dallas.

  43. I hope we have seen the last of Shanahan. He is a lousy coach and GM. He made horrible personell moves over the years, Haynesworth, the RG3 trade, etc… I am sure the Rams will be eternally grateful. They will never win with RG and Snyder.

  44. Wow very brutal fan base why does nobody talk about the owner forcing RG3 on Mike…that’s not mike MO he is a coach with a pocket passer. Just saying lol
    Come to Oakland once again we will take him back

  45. edzo82270 says:
    Dec 30, 2013 11:06 AM
    Taaaale of the Redskiiiins…
    Juuuuust pass the blaaaame…
    “it waaaaasn’t my faaaaault!!”…
    “TALK, to what’s his naaaaaaame?”…


    Seriously, is anything ever Mike Shanahan’s fault?

  46. It was Snyder who wanted Bob Griffin, not the Shanahans. When incompetent owners force their pet players on coaches, it makes for a horrible situation for fans: Al Davis and Jawalrus Russell, Jerrah Jones (the man the myth the GM), Snyder, etc.

  47. Shanahan needed his head checked last year in the playoffs when RGIII was playing on a bad knee in the playoff game against Seattle! The man was clearly only to play at half speed and it completely took any chance of winning that game away from the Redskins! On top of that, he probably messed RGIII up for the rest of his career by allowing him to play and further damage that knee! Foolish pride……

  48. He inherited a bad situation and left the next guy a bad situation. He added very little value and risked a promising career in the process. No team will go anywhere near Shanahan now.

  49. It’s never a good idea to let your coach also be personnel director.

    But even that is better than the owner making personnel decisions.

  50. I think that from a personnel standpoint shanahan is correct they are better off. His issue was coaching, or the lack thereof. That’s ultimately where he failed.

  51. patriotinvasion says:

    Cheated the salary cap in 1997* and 1998* (sorry Denver) and tried to CHEAT again in 2011. Filthy CHEATER!

    in 2011, the Uncapped year, he tried to cheat the cap?? that is just ridiculous and there is a reason everyone who knows what they are talking about says that the skins were screwed over by the collusion of the other team owners. the Skins were accused of trying to gain a competitive advantage for over spending (dumping dead money from old contracts into that year) when other teams like the BILLS and TAMPA were 40-50M under the previous cap number. They made no effort to spend and be competitive and took advantage of there being no Cap Floor to spend very little and pocket as much money as was possible. Every team used the Uncapped year to their own ends, but the Skins took the hit.

    Really tired of hearing this old argument… You would think a Partiots fan would understand, after listening to all the Spygate nonsense for years.. a patriot fan recklessly throwing around the term “cheater” I simply find amusing..

  52. Funny and true post tridecagon, the shanny’s left the rams a lot better. Atleast if the rams can do something with the players then we won’t hear about the Hershel walker trade for the next 20 years.

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