Redskins fire Mike Shanahan


ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins fired coach Mike Shanahan on Monday morning after one of the team's ugliest seasons in recent memory -- and with too many losses in his four-year tenure.

Shanahan's stint began with a massive rebuild and ends with the next coach facing a tough task as well, needing to at least overhaul the defense.

"Redskins fans deserve a better result," owner Dan Snyder said in a statement released by the team. "We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs."

Also dismissed Monday were eight assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the head coach's son.

The 61-year-old Shanahan briefly addressed the media Monday morning, making multiple references to the Redskins' salary-cap issues during his tenure.

"When we first came here, we knew we were in some tough situations relative to the salary cap," Shanahan said. "When we first came in as a staff, we knew we had to make tough decisions."

The Redskins were 24-40 under Shanahan, the worst record of any NFC East team during that span and the same winning percentage as two of his predecessors, Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn. The Redskins lost 10 or more games in three of Shanahan's four seasons.

"A lot has been done," Shanahan said. "But anytime you take a look at the cap situations we went through, it's always tough to have depth -- and that's what I thought hurt us this year was depth on our special teams, depth on our defense. We didn't have the speed we had a year ago.

"But the thing I felt good about going into this year: We don't have those problems financially and have to worry about us not doing things the right way relative to overspending. I think from now on, the problems with the cap are over with."

The Redskins (3-13) finished with an eight-game losing streak, their longest since 1960.

"We are going to take a smart, step-by-step approach to finding the right coach to return the Redskins to where we believe we should be," general manager Bruce Allen said in the team release. "We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year."

Shanahan's job security became a topic of widespread scrutiny due to his frosty relationship with star quarterback Robert Griffin III, who made a rapid comeback from offseason knee surgery but struggled throughout the season.

Griffin declined to talk to reporters in the locker room earlier in the morning. But after talking to the coaches, he spoke with reporters via a conference call.

He issued a statement, but took no questions, and thanked the three coaches he's worked with the most: Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and fired quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur.

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