Thom Loverro: Here's Shanahan's number; call him maybe

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Photo - Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Mike Shanahan has a 14-27 record in 21Ú2 years as the Redskins' coach, including a 3-6 mark this season that includes three consecutive losses entering the bye week.
Joe Sargent/Getty Images Mike Shanahan has a 14-27 record in 21Ú2 years as the Redskins' coach, including a 3-6 mark this season that includes three consecutive losses entering the bye week.
Sports,NFL,Redskins,Thom Loverro

Mike Shanahan, it turns out, is just a phone call away.

As the Redskins coach explained the comments he made in his postgame news conference after Sunday's loss to Carolina -- the ones that sent everyone into a frenzy when it sounded like he was waving a white flag for the 2012 season -- he told reporters Monday afternoon that if they weren't clear on anything, they should just give him a call.

"If something does come up like that in the future, I'd appreciate it before somebody kind of goes into their opinion of that if you guys would ever give me a call if you're going to write something like that, especially that strong," he said. "I would appreciate at least a text or a phone call to explain before some of the attacks like that."

1-900-Mike Shanahan -- let's talk about it.

Ignore the wall of arrogance and aloofness he has constructed in the nearly three years he has been in Washington.

Few are willing to give Shanahan the benefit of the doubt -- not the media and perhaps not the fans as well -- based on the outcry. After Sunday's loss put his team at 3-6 going into the bye week, he said, "Obviously, we're not out of it statistically, but now we find out what type of character we've got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season."

This is becoming a biannual ritual for Shanahan -- putting his foot in his mouth following a loss going into the bye week and then doing a lousy job trying to get it out. He faced the same situation two years ago with his ill-advised comments about Donovan McNabb's conditioning and ability to grasp the offense.

Shanahan has done little since then, though, to connect on any level. He has not gained the benefit of the doubt two years later, although he seems to think he has earned it somehow.

"The only thing I was disappointed that if I've got somewhat of a relationship with somebody, then at least give me the courtesy to say, 'Hey, what did you mean by this?' instead of just going in one direction," he told the press corps with which he thinks he has this relationship Monday. "I was never contacted by anybody."

Of course, earlier in the day he spoke with ESPN.com to clarify his postgame statements -- hours before he met with the local media -- further distancing himself from those who cover the team every day.

If you are going to operate like Shanahan -- distant, detached and defiant -- you better be good and have the results to back you up. A 14-27 record won't do that. You have a record like that -- with no goodwill banked -- you wind up having to explain yourself a lot -- and not finding a lot of sympathy.

And answering a lot of phone calls.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.

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Thom Loverro

Sports columnist
The Washington Examiner