Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has just one year left on the original five-year deal for $35 million he signed with the organization early in 2010. But the possibility of missing the postseason for the third time in his first four years in Washington has not yet forced him to contemplate his status.
“Not at all. I’ve got a contract for next year. I’ve got a contract for this year,” Shanahan said at his press conference with reporters at Redskins Park on Wednesday. “I’m concerned about our games. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been in this profession for a long time. Your focus is on your job. I say that with all due sincerity. It’s something I do no think about.”
Still, a lame-duck season would be far from ideal for any coach. Shanahan was earlier asked a similar question about players who are entering the final years of their contracts, too. That question elicited a similar response.
“I think anybody that’s in the last year of their contract, some of these players, they understand the reality of what we’re dealing with,” Shanahan said. “They’d like to put the best performance on tape. That gives them more leverage and rightfully so. We’d like our players to make as much money as possible because they work extremely hard for us.”
Shanahan’s teams went a combined 11-21 during his first two seasons with the Redskins and missed the playoffs both times. But last year a seven-game win streak to end the regular season led to a 10-6 record and an NFC East title before an NFC wild card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This year Washington is again off to a 3-6 start, prompting speculation about whether owner Daniel Snyder will give his coach an extension or force him to play out next season with one year left on his deal.
“Any time I talk about a contract, whether if it’s a player or a coach, it’s always after the season,” Shanahan said. “Once we get started we don’t talk about it because we got to focus on each game and if you don’t focus on the game you take away from what you’re trying to accomplish.”