On Sunday morning, hours before the Redskins were blown out at home against the Chiefs, ESPN reported that coach Mike Shanahan was ready to resign last January, in part because of the too-close-for-his-liking relationship between franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III and team owner Dan Snyder.
But after RG3 suffered a knee injury in the wild-card loss to the Seahawks, Shanahan reportedly changed his mind and 11 months later, there's the very real possibility he could be fired.
The timing of the story is curious, mostly because Shanahan has been mentioned as a candidate for recently available Texans job, and skeptics wonder if this is a ploy to expedite his exit out of DC so he can pursue the Houston gig.
(Bad news, if so: According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texans aren't interested.)
"It's not the right time or place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder," he said (via Sports Bog). "It's not the right time and place to talk about something that happened a year ago. I'll get a chance to talk to Dan at the end of the season. And I'll give some viewpoints from me, I'm sure he'll give me his thoughts on what direction we'll go, and so we'll communicate that at the proper time."
And then the Redskins coach went about avoiding subsequent questions on the matter.
When asked why, in recent weeks, the coach had shot down previous rumors but not regarding the ESPN report, Shanahan said, "Well like I said, there's only one focus I have now. ... There's one thing that I'll talk about, and that'll be the Atlanta Falcons, or we'll talk about the remaining three games. So I'm not going to go down that road, because I understand what happens when you're having the type of season that we're having.”
Several other similarly worded questions followed, all of which were answered by Shanahan with some variation of "My focus is on the Falcons."
As for whether Griffin, who was benched Sunday, will start against the Falcons, Shanahan said, “We'll talk about all that later. I would say that about anybody, any position. We'll talk about that -- [after] we look at injuries, look at where we're at, what direction we're going.”
Griffin, meanwhile, admits that the weight of a 3-10 season is wearing on him.
“I'm getting frustrated now, and trying to hold everything back,” he said, via the Washington Post. “Some things are allowed to happen, and we can cut a lot of this stuff out, and it is not being cut out. I don't know what else I can do about that. I come to work every day. I work with those guys every day, and I go to war with them every day. It is very unfortunate, and that is all I can say about it at this time."
And it sounds like he has every intention on playing next week.
"I will be ready for Atlanta," RG3 said.
But will Shanahan?