Kyle Shanahan said he’s focused on winning a playoff game Sunday – and maybe a few more. Landing a head coaching job is not his priority. However, it’s obviously a goal.
With nine coaching vacancies, the Redskins offensive coordinator said he “definitely” would like to interview for one of the positions.
“Everybody wants an opportunity someday to be a head coach,” Shanahan said. “I really hope someday I get that opportunity.
“I can honestly say I haven’t thought about it too much. But I feel confident in football. I feel confident in any situation that would be presented to myself.”
Shanahan is not allowed to interview for any of the openings until after the Wild Card round. Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that he did not want any of his assistants interviewing for other positions until the Redskins’ season was over.
“Anything that detours your mind from that is going to be a detriment to the team,” Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s pretty easy to lock in. But I’m looking forward to having that opportunity after the season.”
It’s uncertain how strong the interest is in Kyle Shanahan. Two NFL sources said they did not think he’d get hired this offseason. At 32 years old he’s still young and there had been questions in the past about how much of Houston’s offense – from his first stop – and now Washington’s stemmed from him.
But the Redskins’ success in expanding their offense and tailoring it to rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has certainly elevated Shanahan’s status. Griffin’s presence could keep Shanahan, and others in the organization, around. One team source said earlier this week that with Griffin, the Redskins know they’ll be good for a while. So there’s no rush to land a job. They can take the time to find the right one.
Shanahan said one selling point on his behalf is that he’s shown he can handle adversity. In his first two seasons the Redskins’ offense ranked 25th and 26th in points per game. This season, they finished fourth. They ranked 18th and 16th in total yards the first two seasons and now are fifth.
“Here we’ve had a lot of ups and downs and just to be able to learn through that, to be able to handle certain things, how to change your stuff as you go with your players, trying to find ways when you don’t necessarily have the players in certain spots and battle through injuries,” Shanahan said. “Each year as a coach you get a lot more experience. I’ve been confident since I’ve been given a position as a coordinator, which was five years ago, but each year I do get more confidence because you see a lot more situations and feel in everything you do you get better or worse. When you don’t win you go through some tough times. The main thing is to get better from it. I think I’ve learned a lot from experience here and from experience in Houston.”
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said becoming a head coach again is not his goal. Haslett coached New Orleans from 2000-05 and was an interim coach with St. Louis in 2008.
“First of all I don’t worry about those things,” Haslett said. “I worry about this game coming up and that’s the truth. But I came here to win and I like the pieces of the puzzle now. As a player and an ex-player and a coach I’ve done everything I want to do from an individual standpoint. I was rookie of the year, coach of the year so that stuff doesn’t make a difference to me. I want to get a ring. That’s one thing I don’t have. Obviously I like the future of this club.”