ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says jobs are on the line — and his own is on the list.
“I think the players are smart enough to understand that if you are 3-8, everybody is playing for their jobs,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “That’s the nature of our business. I don’t care if it’s players, coaches, support staff. The nature of this game is to find a way to win and if you don’t win, everybody is accountable.”
With no hope for a winning season, the Redskins’ focus is starting to shift to 2014, with the coach implying how the team could be better — assuming he’s back for the final year of his five-year contract. But instead of the usual “Wait’ll next year,” Shanahan’s theme is more like “Wait’ll next offseason.”
Start with Robert Griffin III, who could use a full, healthy offseason to learn how to develop into an NFL-caliber passer. He didn’t get such tutoring this year because he was recovering from major knee surgery, and his play has regressed because defenses have learned how to thwart the zone-read that made him so effective as a rookie in 2012.
“The drop-back passing game takes some time ... It’s not only reading coverages, it’s looking at personnel,” the head coach said. “It’s stepping up in the pocket, getting rid of the football, going against blitzes, different coverages, all the things that go with the maturation of being a quarterback, and that’s something he’s going through right now.”
Shanahan is also eager to get to the offseason to address the team’s depth, which has been hurt by a two-year, $36 million salary cap penalty imposed by the NFL for previous contract maneuverings. The Redskins will finally have money to spend in 2014.
“I’m talking about winning Super Bowls,” Shanahan said. “I’m not just talking about getting to the playoffs, and that’s when you talk about depth.”