Redskins to start Kirk Cousins

"I said if either one of you is not 100 percent behind my reasoning I'm giving you, I said we won't go there," Shanahan said. "Nothing needs to be said. We'll just keep it status quo. ... I said, 'Hey, Dan, we're not going to go this direction unless you fully support it. Same thing with Bruce. You've got to tell me you're behind this and in favor of it, but I don't want anybody coming back in a game or two and saying, Hey, we should have talked about this. Robert's getting a lot of hits.'"

Neither Snyder nor Allen was available for comment. Snyder is not expected to talk about this situation, or Shanahan's job security, until after the season, if at all.

Shanahan said he wants to return for a fifth season, but doesn't know if that will happen. He said they'll sit down after the season and discuss the situation. The general belief is that Shanahan will not return, especially after an ESPN.com story Sunday that said Shanahan wanted to quit last season over Snyder's relationship with Griffin.

"We may have big differences and we say, 'Hey, I believe in this, you believe in that,' and you go," Shanahan said of his future meeting with Snyder. "Or you say, 'Hey, we're on the same page and let's go forward.' I can't tell you that until I talk with him."

Shanahan said one reason he made the move with Griffin stems from what happened against Seattle in the 2012 playoffs. In the first quarter, while on a touchdown drive, Griffin reinjured his right knee. With the Redskins leading 14-0, Shanahan said his gut feeling was to pull Griffin. But Shanahan said Dr. James Andrews told him Griffin's knee was stable and Griffin himself told him he could continue. Later in the game, Griffin ended up tearing his ACL and needed surgery on multiple ligaments.

"You reflect on mistakes you made during the season with different injuries," Shanahan said.

Shanahan's news conference lasted 28 minutes, and the coach was animated throughout it. He also wanted to be clear on his motives.

"Somebody said, 'Hey, the reason you're going with Kirk is you're trying to get fired and you've got a year left on your contract.' If I'm trying to get fired," Shanahan said, "I'm not going to call up Dan Snyder and ask his opinion on a player. I don't have to. If he says no, I'm not going to go that direction."

Cousins led the Redskins to a win in a Week 15 start in 2012, but has been limited to two appearances for mop-up duty this season. He's completed 12 of 25 passes for 107 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

"These aren't the circumstances you want to be in when you start the season," Cousins said. "But, good or bad, I've got to be ready to go. I can't control a lot of things going on, but I can control my preparation and I can control how I lead my team this weekend, so I'm going to do that. ... Certainly it's human nature you're going to have a heightened sense of urgency now that you know. But it shouldn't change anything that I'm doing to get ready."

The players are doing the same.

"Coach has to make a decision and we have to deal with it," Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon said. "It can boost team energy. It definitely can't hurt us. We're working hard and coach sees something we can improve on."

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