News & Politics

Will Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan Quit or Get Fired?

The sportswriters we polled say, regardless, his future hangs in the balance.

What does the future hold for Mike Shanahan? Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

It’s a familiar scenario in Washington: a public figure is caught in the crosshairs of failure; a job hangs in the balance. Will there be a firing? A resignation? A last minute rescue in the form of a crisis counselor?

We’re not talking about Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, but Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, who finds his job security being debated on this “misery Monday” after a 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, bringing the team record to 3-10.

Three games remain for the Redskins, including a home bout against rival Dallas on December 22, but will Shanahan still be the coach by then?

We polled Washington sportswriters who cover the Redskins to get their takes on Shanahan’s fate.

Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog blogger at The Washington Post

When Mike Will Go: “If not today, then by the day after the season. I’d say today because otherwise the next three weeks would be an even bigger joke.”

Quit or fired: Steinberg said he should wait to get fired, because “what sane person walks away from 7 million bucks?”

Nomination for a replacement: No one, but “my last choice: Art Briles,” currently the coach at RGIII’s alma mater, Baylor, and a rumored favorite.

Kevin Sheehan, cohost of The Sports Fix on ESPN 980 AM

Why Mike Will Go: “He feels cornered by owner, his QB, the QB’s family, and the media.” Not to mention the relationship between RGIII and Shanahan’s son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Quit or fired: “The best result for everyone is some sort of settlement that reduces the noise moving forward.”

Nomination for a replacement: “Not sure if this is an attractive job to anyone, but I’ll say [former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach] Jon Gruden because of his relationship with [Redskins general manager] Bruce Allen.”

Rich Tandler, Redskins blogger for CSN Washington and

Why Mike Will Go: “In year four of his plan they are one of the worst teams in the league at 3-10. The defense and special teams are atrocious, the offense is weak.”

Quit or fired: He should wait to get fired, says Tandler “but Snyder might not make it that easy for him. This is one of those ‘get your popcorn ready’ situations.”

Nomination for a replacement: Jay Gruden, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator (and brother of Jon) “would be a good fit. He’s young, sharp and could get the best out of RG3.”

Eric Bickel, co-host of The Sports Junkies on 106.7 FM

Why Mike Will Go: “His record, but the focus will be on the nonsense.”

Quit or Fired: “It appears [Shanahan] is leaking stories everywhere to make this happen fast,” says Bickel, but Snyder may “make him sweat it out.”

Nomination for a replacement: A person “Snyder will hire and fall in love with,” and who “will fail.”