Mike Shanahan is quotable after all
Since the Mike Shanahan As Mastermind Era began in Washington, I've watched the team's coach perform at press conferences and one-on-one settings, listened to him do radio appearances and address fans in a group setting, transcribed him talking about football and about his own career. And throughout, virtually none of it has been quotable.
That's no knock at all against the guy -- it's his job to win football games, not craft one-liners -- but it's been a pretty notable part of his tenure.
Well, it turns out that Shanahan is quotable, just not in formal media settings. But on the sidelines, with the NFL Films cameras rolling? Yes, them quotes will play. And thus, this dialog from NFL.com's amazing montage of Shanahan during his Redskins debut. This highlight came after what I thought was a bogus late hit call against London Fletcher, when DeAngelo Hall was wrestling Dez Bryant to the ground but hadn't yet gotten him there.
Shanahan to official: What are you DOING? LOOK at that!!!!
Official: Coach Shanahan, he was being driven back, he came back.
Shanahan: Well that's what you're supposed to do!!! [Bryant] almost made the guy miss!!!!
Official: Coach, you cannot do that.
Sahanahan: First of all, he's not stopped and he's not down. He's almost escaping him, and we ask our guys to finish until the whistle. It was just horrible!! Do you know that [Hall] didn't have the guy tackled? You thought he was tackled???
Official: Forward progress was clearly stopped, coach.
Shanahan: You know what? Then why didn't you blow the whistle? I mean, that's bad. That's the difference in winning and losing a game.
That's the good stuff, coach. Now bring a little of that action to the podium. Or at least keep doing it in these semi-private moments that NFL Films can then broadcast later.
Five more bits of awesomeness from the package.
1. London Fletcher is a ridiculously good leader.
If the pre-game speech wasn't enough to convince you, the post-game speech should be.
"That was my fault for making it that close," Fletcher said when Shanahan tried to congratulate him on the field right after the game ended.
"Ohhhhh no," Shanahan scoffed, seemingly incredulous.
"I busted coverage on Austin," Fletcher said.
"No," Shanahan said. "I'm so proud of you."
Seriously, how many NFL players go up to their head coachseconds after a heart-stopping win and try to take blame for a mistake the coach didn't even know about, and to take blame for a game being too close? Just insanely excellent from Fletcher.
2. Shanahan's post-game remarks.
This came in the locker room, after the win.
"Guys, we talked about it from day one. You've got to find a way to do what? Win. It doesn't matter how you get it done. At the end of the day, we'll go back and look at the things we did good, things we did bad, and we'll correct those things. But hey, you beat a team like that in our backyard, I'm just proud of every one of ya."
According to Samuel Chamberlain of TBD, NFL Films also caught Shanahan going up to Daniel Snyder after the game and saying "If we can win that game, we can win a lot of games."
Shanahan has been steadfastly tight-lipped about strategy, chastising media members for revealing too much, so I'm somewhat shocked he allowed the Network to show him talking about the names of his plays. Near as I could tell, these names included "16 Pop" and "Zebra," which must get confusing for the Zebras out there.
At one point, Shanahan also seemed to object to a certain line of play-calling.
"They've been playing it and it's not there any more," he said into his headset. "They're just beating the [stuffing] out of us. We've got to go to something else, we've got to spread 'em out a little bit more."
4. The End Game was chaotic.
I mentioned this after the game, but there seemed to be a lot of confusion for at least a half-second or a second when that flag came out for holding on that final play. I know there wasn't an instant realization of what happened for a lot of us in the press box and a lot of players on the defense, and it seemed like the same thing happened on the sidelines.
"Game over, right?" special teams coach Danny Smith said to Shanahan as the fog lifted. "Ten-second rule, game over, right?"
"Do they have a timeout?" Shanahan asked, correctly.
"Game over, no timeout, game over!" Smith said, and then they all moved out toward the field.
During this silly debate over women in the locker room in recent days, many readers have suggested to me that having female reporters around half-naked men is just a scandalous violation of the players' privacy.
Well, take that to NFL.com, because they posted video that included this post-game scene. You'll rarely see anything more revealing than this in an NFL locker room, and here's the league, violating that privacy for the entire world to see, not just a few reporters. If this makes you horribly weak-kneed and aroused, I'd be curious. If, however, you're able to concentrate on the words over the images, maybe you can understand why this debate is a bit overblown.
September 16, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories: Media , Redskins
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