A year ago, Mike Shanahan was putting the finishing touches on his second disappointing season as the Redskins' coach. The team finished 5-11 on the heels of a 6-10 record in 2010, and the conversation had gradually progressed from "Here's the guy who's gonna finally save the franchise!" to "So, who's Dan Snyder going to hire next?"
Then the front office pulled off the biggest trade in team history, drafted quarterback Robert Griffin III and, 10 wins later, the Redskins are division champs and will host the Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend. And while it wasn't as straightforward as "Draft franchise QB, get comfortable for annual playoff runs" -- Washington was 3-6 before reeling off seven in a row -- RG3 has had a lot to do with the turnaround and, with it, Shanahan's job security.
|More NFL Black Monday|
According to the Washington Post's Mark Maske, the organization is seriously considering negotiating a contract extension this offseason with Shanahan.
"One person with knowledge of the team's deliberations on the matter said Monday that Redskins officials were trying to decide whether to work on a possible extension with Shanahan this offseason, with two seasons left on his existing contract, or wait to do it when he's down to one season remaining on his contract," Maske wrote Monday.
In January 2010, the Redskins originally signed Shanahan to a five-year deal thought to pay him approximately $7 million a season.
"I'm very proud of this group because there are a lot of people, when you're 3-6, who find some adversity and they're not strong enough mentally to really go out there and practice hard, give themselves a chance to accomplish goals," Shanahan said Monday. "You have to have strong character to take criticism and not worry about what's being said and just focus on your job."
No, the irony of that statement isn't lost on us.
Either way, Shanahan deserves credit for turning the Redskins' season around. But it's also worth pointing out that, like every successful coach in recent memory, it helps to have a franchise quarterback under center.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.