Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Redskins hand over control to Shanahan

The Washington Redskins on Tuesday evening hired Mike Shanahan to replace the fired Jim Zorn, according to multiple media reports, putting a Super Bowl-winning coach in charge of turning around the franchise after a season in which it was a playoff afterthought by October.

Shanahan, 57, who coached the Los Angeles Raiders for parts of two seasons and the Denver Broncos for 14, signed a five-year contract worth $7 million annually to coach the Redskins, according to the Denver Post. He won two Super Bowls with the Broncos and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, and has a reputation as a sound offensive coach who emphasizes performance by the offensive line -- a weakness in Washington in recent seasons. The Redskins did not confirm the reports but scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Shanahan's hiring comes the day after Zorn was fired following a two-year tenure in which he went 12-20 and completes an overhaul of the organization's structure under owner Daniel M. Snyder. Shanahan is the seventh head coach in Snyder's 11-year stewardship of the franchise, and he will work with new general manager Bruce Allen -- who replaced executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato last month -- to rebuild a team that has made just two playoff appearances in the last 10 years.

ESPN's Adam Schefter, who co-authored a book with Shanahan, reported that Shanahan will also hold the title of executive vice president of football operations. That would likely give Shanahan significant say over whom the Redskins pursue in both the draft and in free agency. He had similar responsibilities late in his career in Denver, which ended with his firing following the 2008 season.

Shanahan's tenure in Denver brought Super Bowl titles after the 1997 and '98 seasons, four AFC West Division championships -- the Redskins last won a division title in 1999 -- a 138-86 record (for a .616 winning percentage) and just two losing seasons. But Elway retired after the second Super Bowl season, and Shanahan and the Broncos struggled to return to the same level of performance. In 10 seasons after Elway's retirement, the Broncos made four playoff appearances but won just one playoff game.

In 2008, the Broncos needed to win just one of their final three games to qualify for the playoffs. They failed to do so. Denver owner Pat Bowlen, mindful of Shanahan's 24-24 record and no playoff appearances from 2006-08, surprisingly fired Shanahan after the season.

Shanahan sat out the 2009 season, but his arrival in Washington was rumored throughout it. He spoke with the Buffalo Bills about their opening after Dick Jauron was fired midway through the season, but his relationship with Snyder -- the two met several years ago and have remained friendly -- and the lure of a franchise that spends freely and won three Super Bowl titles under Gibbs made Washington a better fit.

Like Zorn, Shanahan has a background in the West Coast offense. A quarterback at Eastern Illinois University, Shanahan coached for nine years as a college assistant, including stops at Oklahama and Florida, where he served as the offensive coordinator from 1980-83 under Charley Pell.

In 1984, Shanahan moved to the NFL when he was hired by Denver Coach Dan Reeves to serve as an offensive assistant. Elway was moving into his second season, and the two forged a close relationship. The following year, Shanahan took over as the offensive coordinator, and Raiders owner Al Davis hired him as head coach in 1988, when he was just 36. Shanahan went 7-9 in his first season and was fired just four games into his second, when the Raiders started 1-3.

Shanahan returned to the Broncos as quarterbacks coach, but that tenure ended after the 1991 season when Shanahan found himself in the middle of a power struggle between Elway and Reeves. He moved on to be the offensive coordinator under George Seifert in San Francisco, which won the Super Bowl following the 1994 season with an explosive offense, directed by Shanahan, that featured quarterback Steve Young and receiver Jerry Rice.

When Reeves was fired in Denver after that season, Bowlen brought Shanahan back, reuniting him with Elway. Though Elway defines that era of the Broncos, Shanahan's offense was run-heavy, and he developed a reputation of being able to plug in nearly any back -- including current Redskin Clinton Portis, drafted by the Broncos in 2002 -- and get production behind his offensive line.

With the Redskins, Shanahan likely will have to rebuild that group. Six-time Pro Bowl tackle Chris Samuels played in only five games this season because of a neck injury, and he likely will retire. Portis also ended up on injured reserve with a concussion, but he appeared to be slowing even when he did play.

And Shanahan's most significant decision -- to be made with Allen and, presumably, Snyder -- regards the future of quarterback Jason Campbell, who could be a free agent if the Redskins decide not to offer him a contract. Campbell improved in his second year in Zorn's West Coast system, setting career highs in touchdown passes and yards passing, but he struggled behind the Redskins' porous offensive line.

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 5, 2010; 9:41 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Multiple reports say Shanahan deal done
Next: Report: Kyle Shanahan to join his dad

Comments

Ok, you heard it here first: Shanahan is gonna retain Buges as Oline coach.

1) he is a great coach
2) he is a bridge to the redskins of yore

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Damn, i gotta figure the Redskins really purposefully boned the Post on this. SOMEBODY with the chops to be IN THE ROOM emailed that .jpg to Schefter and ESPN.

Heck, Schefter may have even taken the picture, LOL.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

FIRST to say that it was a bit snarky to say that Shefter got the scoop because he and Shanny wrote a book together. BUT WHO CARES? THIS IS A DAY TO CELEBRATE! WELCOME to Coach Shanahan and to the NEW Jason Campbell.

Posted by: jaypem | January 5, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I bet the Redskins trade down in the draft.

Lots of OT/QB in this draft.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 5, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

i didnt know shanahan was the oc in san fran when they dominated, that's pretty cool.

Posted by: BMACattack | January 5, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Moe, soups got heart and character and can take a beating like kimbo slice

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:29 PM

You're not being Realness...Kimbo is a tin can while JC is more like Nogueira.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 5, 2010 9:36 PM

If soup ever led DC to a championship, that would be true. Seems more like this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Nogueira

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Good move w/ MS, DC. HTTR!

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse


Ok, you heard it here first: Shanahan is gonna retain Buges as Oline coach.

1) he is a great coach
2) he is a bridge to the redskins of yore

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Kaneohe, I've wondered about that also, since no retirement was announced today.

Posted by: frediefritz | January 5, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Shanny Bio. I did not know he played QB at Eastern Illinois. What a hotbed for offensive coaches, eh? Shanny and Sean Payton.

Posted by: jaypem | January 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I will reserve judgment until the Skins go under .500 for two straight years. If Snyder doesn't freak and fire Shanny, then I'll buy into this.

Posted by: Salinas1 | January 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

when Portis talks it is about as eloquent as watching a broadcaster play RB in the NFL

Portis isn't paid to talk he's paid to play RB, he's good at that

Posted by: pabrian2003 | January 5, 2010 9:43 PM

BS. Portis is paid (better than anyone else on the offense) to be a member of this team. He hasn't delivered what he's paid for. He's done as a RB and instead of owning up to his own failings is blaming everyone else on the team -- the coaches, the O line, and now the QB. He's trash.

Posted by: League-Source | January 5, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan is going to change everything and we can say goodbye to that pop-tart of a running back CP26. he is so soft. i glad the culture is going to change.

Posted by: MGDMaster21 | January 5, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

As for the draft, TRADE DOWN and ACQUIRE MORE PICKS!

Posted by: dovelevine | January 5, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

whoever voted yes to that poll is an idiot.

Posted by: BMACattack | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Ok, you heard it here first: Shanahan is gonna retain Buges as Oline coach.

1) he is a great coach
2) he is a bridge to the redskins of yore

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM |

Why keep him. He doesn't exactly excel as a WCO OL coach. In fact, that was one of many probs that Z inherited from the prev regime when he tried to go WCO.

Posted by: LibertyValence | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Not a big WCO fan, and was hoping for a Grimm hire, but at least Shanny will keep us in the thick of things in the division.

Posted by: jberry73 | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse


Ok, you heard it here first: Shanahan is gonna retain Buges as Oline coach.

1) he is a great coach
2) he is a bridge to the redskins of yore

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Kaneohe, I've wondered about that also, since no retirement was announced today.

Posted by: frediefritz | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

soups got heart and character and can take a beating like kimbo slice it seems but that doesn't mean he now after 50 some starts can read a D and deliver the ball on time to win based on his 35 winning percentage. Ask Bones21 about his wild throws vs. SD w/o pressure. Yes DC should upgrade the line soup excusers. He's a loser; but he won't start here again. So I like it.

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I will believe the turn around when I see the 10-6 record two years in a row...

Until then I will watch every weekend expected the SAME OLD Redskins to break my heart..

Posted by: WRBD | January 5, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

excellent...a control freak coach... why have a gm if the coach is going to president... and don't give me the gm doing the contract bs...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | January 5, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

misleading title on the homepage. somehow i interpreted "redskins give shanahan control" as "snyder gives shanahan control."

that remains to be seen

Posted by: oaxacavine | January 5, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

call me a sucker but i think this was a very disciplined process. never have i seen this org be so disciplined.

congrats RI looks like our team has finally turned the corner and we are gonna matter once more!

Posted by: dealer1 | January 5, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

this is just right back to where we started.. hire a GM then the GM will be working for the coach...

when will they ever learn that Bill Parcells is the ONLY guy who can do both jobs and be successful????

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Moe, soups got heart and character and can take a beating like kimbo slice

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:29 PM

You're not being Realness...Kimbo is a tin can while JC is more like Nogueira.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 5, 2010 9:36 PM

If soup ever led DC to a championship, that would be true. Seems more like this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Nogueira

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:45 PM

Posted by: Realness1 | January 5, 2010 9:51 PM

I was complementing JC's ability to take a punch by referring to him as "Minotauro", it's evident to all that he can't throw one accurately.

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 5, 2010 9:50 PM

Posted by: Diesel44 | January 5, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

call me a sucker but i think this was a very disciplined process. never have i seen this org be so disciplined.

congrats RI looks like our team has finally turned the corner and we are gonna matter once more!

Posted by: dealer1 | January 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

this is just right back to where we started.. hire a GM then the GM will be working for the coach...

when will they ever learn that Bill Parcells is the ONLY guy who can do both jobs and be successful????

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse


Mr. Snyder:

I probably speak for 10s of thousands of Redskins fans when I say "thank you!" There are those who continue to doubt, but I believe you will FINALLY prove them wrong. WE THE PEOPLE will hold you to this committment

I watched my first Skins game in 1972 and their first Superbowl in 1973

I probably have missed fewer than a half dozen games since that time, even during my time in the Army

I have purchased DirecTV Sunday ticket every year it has been in existence and watched the Skins in every city in which I have lived.

My wife gives me Redskins merchandise at least twice a year for birthday and Christmas presents. I could wear Redskins clothing three times a day for several weeks and not commit any fashion faux pas

In short, I epitomize the diehard fanatic that comprises Redskins Nation and keeps your franchise in business

As such, I can also tell you that I have been openly critical of your meddlesome ways, especially for the last five years. Honestly, like many, I was finally on the verge of giving up. The Redskins have been nothing short of disgraceful, particularly in the last 25 games, but even during part of Joe Gibbs' return

Indeed, I attributed most of the demise to the caustic environment brought about by Vinny Cerrato's oversight and, to some extent, your interference in football matters. To underscore that point, note that the coach you hired with the winningnest record (Marty) did not have to deal with Vinny boy.

SO when Cerrato finally left and Bruce Allen was put in place, my hope has been restored. I finally believe that you have realized the err in your ways and will leave football matters to competent, football personnel.

Soon, when Mr. Shanahan comes on board and changes the direction of this team permanently, Redskins fans will once again have a reason to celebrate this team and the incredible tradition of this franchise.

BRAVO, Mr. Snyder! Stay the course!! Stick with this approach, even if it doesn't yield immediate results! Give it time, and the Redskins' Spirit will prevail. FEDEX field will transcend RFK...the electrified crowd will energize our team.... our proud tradition will be restored!!

SuperBowl here we come!

THANK YOU!!

Steven C. Ferguson

Posted by: chief_redskin_fan | January 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

whoever voted yes to that poll is an idiot.

Posted by: BMACattack | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM |

Thanks phukbag. I love it when people lump whole groups of people together and then generalize them. Hmmmm, sounds familiar, I bet your a rascist too, and probably a democrat also.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | January 5, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

this is just right back to where we started.. hire a GM then the GM will be working for the coach...

when will they ever learn that Bill Parcells is the ONLY guy who can do both jobs and be successful????

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

this is just right back to where we started.. hire a GM then the GM will be working for the coach...

when will they ever learn that Bill Parcells is the ONLY guy who can do both jobs and be successful????

Posted by: joek443 | January 5, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

whoever voted yes to that poll is an idiot.

Posted by: BMACattack | January 5, 2010 9:57 PM |

Thanks phukbag. I love it when people lump whole groups of people together and then generalize them. Hmmmm, sounds familiar, I bet your a rascist too, and probably a democrat also.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | January 5, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan:
- Ranked 32nd all time (50+ games) winning percentage.
- Winning percentage higher than Holmgren, Noll, Parcells, Stram, Levy, Ditka, Knox, Johnson, Billick, Fisher, Gruden, Reeves, and Vermeil.
- Only Martz, Cowher and Shottenheimer (Marty) are available and have a better winning percentage.

Martz is brilliantly insane and not a good fit for this dysfunctional team. Shottenheimer would not do a redo. Only Cowher would (arguably) be a better choice. It is a very good day for the Skins.

Posted by: amaranthpa | January 5, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Control freak + meddlesome owner = disaster for the team.

Someone will be fired or quit after two seasons, and it won't be the owner.

Posted by: MisterE33 | January 5, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mike Shanahan,

I am not expecting miracles.

I am expecting that our beloved Redskins won't embarrass us as loyal fans on any given Sunday.

I don't care if you won or lost with or without Elway. I do know that your record is better than anything we've had since the first coming of Saint Joe.

I do expect that you'll teach our lineman to teach NFC East Fat Asses to stay onsides instead of cheating the snap count and should we get a chance to zone block their asses off the field, so be it!

I do hope that you buy some RAID and get rid of the Portis bug. He's worn out his welcome and even Stevie Wonder can see he's a blowhard of the first order and in this all for himself. Don't even consider him to pick up jockstraps off the ground. He isn't worth retaining for even that.

Could you please keep Jason Campbell around for one more year? Get him a decent offensive line so that we can see if he's really a toad or if he is just shell-shocked from the beating he took this year. I know he isn't John Elway, but he isn't the pouter, Cutler either.

All in all, I respect you and hope you get this bunch of prima donnas to kick Iggle, Gnat, and Cowpuke ass. You do that, and we Redskin fans will build you a cathedral right next to Saint Joes.

Posted by: laserwizard | January 5, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

WOW, Life returns to the SKINS! I only hope Shanahan's people constructed the contract in way as to keep Snyder's meddling little fingers out of the pudding!

Hail

Posted by: Spanglerg | January 5, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

excellent...a control freak coach... why have a gm if the coach is going to president... and don't give me the gm doing the contract bs...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | January 5, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

___________________________________

I see a few of these post... ARE YOU THAT DUMB?? Mike Shanahan had the exact same setup in Denver & he did fine EXCEPT he had horrible defensive coordinators.... IF we get Mike Zimmer, sky is the limit... You can't ask for a better set of coordinators in Kyle & Zimmer to go with Shanny... Both guys are coordinators of playoff contenders & ranked #3 & #4 this year for their teams... A control freak is what this team needs... Think Parcells, think Marty, these guys demand respect or the player won't be here... how did we get Portis in the first place??

He got a big head & didn't want to practice... then that became our problem & the owner supported it... If Shanny says practice or don't play, they'll know he means it!

Posted by: tony325 | January 5, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

1. It's been documented all around the league that coaches with final player say, don't succeed.

2. He had Elway, but he also had Terrell Davis. Does he even have one guy here to play a role?

Posted by: peauxsucent | January 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I hope Shannahan and Allen put their heads together and see that this team lacks grit and gets some gritty dudes with passion on the roster to lead these creampuffs somewhere. Club Med is over!!

Posted by: scottmando1 | January 5, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I am glad there are a lot of positive folks out there. I am not one of them. Shanahan has never proven he can handle both roles. Snyder has never proven he can hand over the reins. From this biography, when has Shanahan ever rebuilt a team from scratch? And, the skins are lower than scratch right now. Somebody make me feel better and tell me how good Allen is and how much say he is going to have.

Posted by: PASkinsFan1 | January 6, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

1. It's been documented all around the league that coaches with final player say, don't succeed.

Posted by: peauxsucent | January 5, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Where do you guys come up with these "facts"? Your statement reminds me of people who attempt to make a point by saying "They've done studies."

Are you suggesting the GM should be deciding who plays? That sounds like the wrong way to do things. I suppose you liked Cerrato's approach to organizational functionality.

I am convinced that posters on this site will simply find a reason to complain regardless of what unfolds, which is understandable since they are not winning. But some of you seem that you dont WANT the Redskins to win because you despise the owner's character or think Redskins fans are rubes, etc.

And who the heck is soup? Campbell? Very lame nickname, IMO. I suppose he's earned it, though. Sure can't call him "Touchdown" Campbell... At least not yet, I hope.

Posted by: jboogie1 | January 6, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"... putting a Super Bowl-winning coach in charge of turning around the franchise after a season in which it was a playoff afterthought by October."

yet again.

Posted by: Redskinrex | January 6, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I am looking forward with guarded optimism.

Football people having the last word
Vinny is gone
Dan says he admits mistakes.

Maybe thing can start looking up

Posted by: dwdave67 | January 6, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company