ASHBURN, Va. – It wasn’t quite the same intensity of his father one day earlier. But offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s news conference Thursday lasted 22 minutes and included a few good nuggets, including a reminder to everyone – and perhaps future employers – about what he has done as a coordinator in Washington.
He spoke about dealing with turmoil involving his father, coach Mike Shanahan. And about what people think about him as a coordinator. And about how he’s at times unfairly attacked and how he copes.
“When you’re not involved in something to say you’re in the center of, it’s a little bothersome,” Shanahan said. “I learned I can’t control that. I don’t even want to give an opinion on this stuff. I’m a coordinator. It’s 100 percent about football to me. I’m not trying to battle with whatever.”
He said he understands the role of the media and the need to paint a picture of a chaotic situation. He just doesn’t want to get caught up in it. Of course, Shanahan’s name is part of the issue because of questions surrounding his relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III. But Shanahan doesn’t want to address everything.
“Once I start hearing something that’s wrong and gets out there, ‘No, that’s not what happened, this is what happened,’" Shanahan said. “That’s not my job. Now I’m trying to win a PR perception battle. If I’m focused on doing that, whether that helps me with perception or not, I wouldn’t want to coach if I had to deal with that. It’s not what I got into the business to do. I’m dealing more with this stuff than I expected to do. But what I love is coaching.”
It’s an odd situation for Shanahan because his father, too, is embroiled in controversy – centering on his relationship with Griffin and owner Dan Snyder and whether or not he wanted to quit last season.
“I’d be lying to you if I said it’s the same as any other situation,” Shanahan said. “If we were going through turmoil in Houston or Tampa bay, I definitely didn’t feel it as much as I do here. I’ve learned how to deal with it better. It’s something I do have to separate myself from. No matter how much people want to involve me, I do hear people talk about the Redskins and they always put an 's' on the last name of the Shanahans. I can’t help that. I understood it would be like that when I came here. I made a tough decision four years ago to leave Houston to come here and left a situation I liked a lot in Houston.
“After my dad was let go from Denver I felt strongly before it was all said and done I wanted to coach someday with my dad. If I never would have done that, I think I would regret it. I’m happy I’ve been able to do that.”
And then there was perhaps lobbying for future jobs by reminding everyone – prompted by a question – that he has been a good coordinator. The Redskins rank ninth in total yards offensively, but 23rd in points per game. They’re second rushing the ball after being first last season and fifth in total yards.
“Everybody would like to get compliments and everyone to see what you have done,” Shanahan said. “It’s not like I can sit up here and pump myself up and try to tell you guys my stats. You guys can read those for yourself. It would make it easier if everybody loved me. But that’s not the real world. I get that. But the thing I feel good about is people who know football are the people I work with, the people I coach and the people that hired me. I don’t think people who will dictate my future and give me job offers are going to go off what talk shows say or what articles say. They’ll go off what I put on tape and what I’ve done for my career and how I deal with players, how I coach. I feel confident in that. I’ve been a coordinator for six years, I played with seven different quarterbacks. I’ve done some good things statistically. I know statistics aren’t everything, but they do say a lot. You can put my statistics with anybody’s and I feel good about that.
“I would love it if all you guys focused on that instead of my last name, but I understand that’s not your job, either. The main thing is coaches and GMs want to win games. They’re not trying to win a PR battle. I think I put that out there that I’m a pretty good offensive coordinator.”