Mike Shanahan came to the Washington Redskins after a one year sabbatical, having been fired from the Denver Broncos after the conclusion of the 2008 season. He came to D.C. with high expectations, promising to restore the Redskins to its former glory.
Thus was not the case. Despite improvements in the front office and handling of personnel, the team still only finished two games better than it did the year before, at 6-10.
Liza Drabick of 106.7 the Fan joined me last Wednesday on my radio show and had these comments to offer about Shanahan.
“He was funny, he was affable…and he didn’t dis-enjoy reporters. He ultimately stopped enjoying reporters. He would say to reporters “If I talked to Albert it would have been the first time today.” He was always funny and sarcastic.
“He then stopped enjoying taking questions. He stopped talking questions. Always snarkly like “I don’t take those kinds of questions.”
“I think the PR was such a disaster.”
The theme going around all season had been that the media animal here was way different from what he had experienced in Denver. Clearly, any head coach faces the fury and scrutiny of whatever media outlet covers it, but larger cities with larger media and more networks will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
Over the course of the season Mike Shanahan had been very coy with many subjects, namely the handling of Albert Haynesworth and the playing status of his quarterbacks. That is his right as a coach, but as the season progressed he looked to be outwardly lying in press conferences when asked about these topics.
Shanahan must take a different approach in 2011 when addressing the media. I am not suggesting that he forthright about all subject matter, but he should put out fewer decoys. Players continually talk about scrutiny in the media towards them, but that is all spun off from what is given to reporters. Thus, I feel in order for less distractions in press, Shanahan should tackle situations like this head on and not give writers fodder to totally make stuff up.
The audio can be heard here. Please pardon the low quality.