No one wants to hear the coach for the team they root for say in the 1st week of November that the time has arrived to start judging the line-up for next season.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan insists that he’s not giving up on his team’s 2012 season, and that a postgame quote that indicated as much in the wake of Sunday’s loss to the Panthers is being misinterpreted.
“To insinuate that I was giving up on the season is completely ridiculous,” Shanahan said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. “We’ve got 5 NFC East games still on the schedule. Any time you have division games, you have a great opportunity.”
The loss to Carolina Panthers dropped the Redskins to 3-6 as they head into their bye week. Before the game, Shanahan called it a “must-win,” citing historical stats showing how difficult it was to get to the playoffs after starting 3-6. So after the loss, he was asked about the “must-win” comment and what it meant that the Washington Redskins had lost.
“Obviously very disappointing,” Shanahan expounded. “When you lose a game like that, now you’re playing to see who glaringly will be on your football team for many years to come,” Shanahan said in his postgame press conference. “Now, we’ve got a chance to evaluate players and see where we are at. Obviously, we are not out of it statistically. Now we discover what kind of character we have got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season.
Sounds like the evaluation process for 2013 is well under way.
On Monday, Shanahan claimed it was not his plan to suggest the Redskins were no longer playing for 2012.
“What I meant by this is, any time you have adversity, now you seem to have a opportunity to see all these fellows play every game the rest of the way like it’s a playoff game,” Shanahan said in the phone interview. “What you would like fellows to do when there’s adversity is to play harder and play better, and that is when you see what type of guys you have in your locker room.”
Some Redskins players were surprised when Shanahan’s postgame comments were relayed to them Sunday afternoon. Reports said that 2 players who requested anonymity stated that they were bothered by their coach’s comments.
Lorenzo Alexander went on record to the newspaper, expressing his disappointment at Shanahan’s affirmations.
“I’m not thinking’ about next year. That’s an offseason thing for me. But you know it’s hard when you see yourself in that kind of position and your head coach is saying those types of things. It’s disappointing,” the 29-year-old LB, in his 6th season with the Redskins, said. Odds
Asked if he felt the need to explain those comments to the players, Shanahan said he did not know.
“I’ll see how it is going today,” he claimed.
Shanahan also said that he was not planning on making any coaching staff chances during the bye week as Eagles coach Andy Reid did 3 weeks ago when he fired his defensive coordinator.