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Washington Redskins fire coach Mike Shanahan, search for new coach again

11:34 PM, Dec 30, 2013   |    comments
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Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan on the sidelines during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
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  • WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Dan Snyder has owned the Redskins for 15 years. With Monday's firing of Mike Shanahan, Snyder will now be searching for a new head coach for the seventh time in those 15 years.

    With the exception of Shanahan's predecessor, Jim Zorn, Snyder has stuck to a pretty steady diet of hiring well-known names. But some suggest it's time to try something new.

    "There are a lot of names out there," said USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan. "What I would like to see the team do is go for a fresh new face. What Dan Snyder has done is - in the seven previous coaches that he got rid of - he pretty much went with a tried-and-true name."

    Tried-and-true like Shanahan, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and Joe Gibbs.

    "The idea of finding the next Joe Gibbs - which I know says a lot because that was a remarkable find by former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke back in 1981 - but if you can find a young coach who is ready to explode on the scene, that's exactly what you want to do," said Brennan.

    Names being tossed around include current NFL offensive coordinators like the Cincinnati Bengals' Jay Gruden, San Francisco 49ers' Greg Roman, former Redskin and longtime NFL assistant coach Russ Grimm and Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, also a former Redskin player.

    Then there's Robert Griffin III's college coach at Baylor, Art Briles.

    But not without a fight from Baylor President Ken Starr, who said in a recent radio interview, "Owners of NFL football teams have told me that you have a great coach. Well, we know that, we're thankful for that but we're going to work to keep him."

    Brennan added that bringing Briles in might not be what's best for the team.

    She said, "You bring in the college coach and it's only about RGIII," she said. "What I think Dan Snyder will do is go with one of the established names - former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, former Arizona Cardinals head coach and current San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. So, I think we're going to see a familiar name get hired."

    Familiar names like super bowl winners and current TV analysts Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher who seem to be initial front runners for every NFL head coaching vacancy, always. 

    But, do any of them want the job?

    "I do think there is a sense around the league that this is a difficult place to coach and that has all happened since Dan Snyder has become the owner," said Brennan.

    What the new redskins head coach will inherit is a 3-13 team with many holes. They ranked 18th in total defense and often struggled to tackle. Despite being fifth in rushing, the team was 23rd in scoring and they had more special teams gaffs than they've had coaches under Snyder.

    "This is a reclamation project. This is starting basically from square one - without a first round draft pick," stressed Brennan. "Wether it's the owner and concern about Dan Snyder and his leadership or whether it's the product that the coach has been given, this is going to be a tough assignment and for fans of this team, they're looking at a couple years that are going to be difficult."

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