Mike Shanahan was fired Monday as head coach of the Washington Redskins.
The decision to remove Shanahan follows a disappointing season of three wins and 13 losses, with an overall record of 24 wins and 40 losses for the Redskins franchise over the past four years with Shanahan at the helm. On Sunday, the Redskins ended their season with a 20 to 6 loss to the New York Giants.
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"Redskins fans deserve a better result," the team's owner Daniel Snyder said in a written statement released by the team Monday. "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."
Shanahan is the Redskins seventh coach since Snyder bought the team in 1999, The Washington Post reported
Within five minutes of when the announcement was made, Shanahan spoke to reporters about the team's decision, expressing his gratitude to the franchise and the team's fans for their support over the years.
Calling the Redskins "a great organization" Shanahan said: "This is the best. When you take a look at what the franchise has done, you take a look at the opportunities that [are] given to you as a head football coach and your staff, you can’t feel better."
As for why the team did not play better, Shanahan attributed the Redskins' shortcomings in part to the NFL's $36 million salary cap imposed by the league, which he argued limited his ability to acquire the players, particularly in defense, that he wanted for his team. At the end of the day, however, Shanahan took responsibility for the team's record.
"I thought we’ve done a lot of good things," the former coach told reporters. "But at the end of the day, you’ve got to win. We weren’t able to do that, and for whatever reason, I’m responsible for that and disappointed we couldn’t get that done."
Shanahan had one season remaining on a five-year, $35 million contract, meaning the Redskins are likely on the hook for the remaining $7 million owed to the 61-year-old former coach, The Washington Post noted.
As for who will replace Shanahan, who previously coached for the Los Angeles Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, and Denver Broncos, the Redskins organization said they have already launched a search for a new head coach.
"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 a written statement. "We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year."
It is unclear how many of Shanahan's coaching staff will remain at their post in his absence in the 2014 season.
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