After two years out of football, former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan may be getting closer to getting a job.
The 49ers’ interest in Shanahan, who was fired in Washington after posting a 24-40 record over four seasons, has “ramped up considerably” since they interviewed him earlier this week, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
Both Shanahan’s record and the ugly ending in Washington, as his relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III deteriorated and was splashed all over TV and the Internet via various media leaks, have worked against him. And his age—he will turn 64 before the 2016 season starts—may have played a part in the reluctance of teams to seriously consider him for a head coaching job.
But perhaps the 49ers are hoping that Shanahan can have some of the same success he had in an earlier stint with the organization. He was their offensive coordinator in 1994 when they led the NFL in scoring and capped the season by scoring 44, 38, and 49 points in a playoff run that ended with a Super Bowl win over the Chargers. That got him hired as the head coach in Denver and he went on to win two Super Bowls there.
But that was a long time ago. In 14 seasons after that he won just one playoff game. The Redskins did make the playoffs with him in 2012 but they posted double-digit losses and last-place finishes in each of the other three seasons under Shanahan.
A potential issue in San Francisco might be about roster control. General manager Trent Baalke has it now but Shanahan likely would want at least some say in personnel. It could be a deal breaker or perhaps Shanahan is desperate enough to get back into coaching that he will forego control of the 53-man roster or agree to some sort of compromise.
The 49ers could be getting somewhat desperate, too. According to many reports, the 49ers’ first choice was Hue Jackson but he has signed to be the Cleveland Browns’ head coach. They interviewed Tom Coughlin earlier this week but he may be headed to Philadelphia. They appear to want an experienced head coach after admitting that they made a mistake in hiring Jim Tomsula, who was fired after one season. Their options are running out so even though Shanahan may not be an ideal fit he may be the best they can come up with.
NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.
Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.
“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”
The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”
“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”
Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.
“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.
In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.
It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.
Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?
Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.
The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.
So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?
And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards.
How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance?