Kyle Shanahan accepts responsibility for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan accepted responsibility Monday for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the final confusing seconds of a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The son of head coach Mike Shanahan issued a written statement vowing that such an incident "will never happen again." Kyle Shanahan did not apologize in the statement, and the Redskins for the second straight day declined requests that he speak to reporters.
Shanahan was whistled for berating an official as the Redskins were attempting to drive for a tying touchdown in Sunday's 38-31 defeat. Robert Griffin III spiked the ball with 7 seconds remaining at Cincinnati's 34-yard line, and tight end Fred Davis was called for a false start as the offense lined up for the next play.
At least one official apparently indicated - erroneously - that there would be a 10-second runoff because of the false start penalty, which would run out the clock. Cincinnati's coaches and players along the sideline then walked onto the field, thinking the game was over.
That's when the Redskins coaching staff - and Kyle Shanahan in particular - went livid.
"When I overheard the official tell the head coach that the game was over after the false start penalty, I tried to explain that the game was not over," Kyle Shanahan's statement said. "That is what resulted in the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I tried to get an explanation of how I could get that penalty when half of the other team was on the field as well.
"I was frustrated, and in the process of trying to get some answers from the officials, I conducted myself in the wrong way. I ask our players to hold themselves to a high standard and be accountable and I know that I'm accountable for my actions as well. I know that I need to handle those situations better in the future. My emotions got the best of me and I know it's my responsibility. This will never happen again."
The replacement officials - who are handling the games while the regulars are locked out in a labor dispute with the NFL - mistakenly marked off 20 yards for the penalty, instead of the customary 15. There was also the 5-yard penalty for the false start, so the ball ended up at Washington's 41, giving the Redskins a third-and-50, still with 7 seconds remaining.
The game ended on the next play, with Griffin heaving an incomplete pass downfield.
The Redskins have now drawn unsportsmanlike penalties in back-to-back games while trying to drive for a tying score, but Kyle Shanahan's explanation came a day late and in a different manner compared to the previous one.
Receiver Joshua Morgan immediately accepted the blame for throwing the ball at cornerback Cortland Finnegan on Washington's final possession in a three-point loss to the St. Louis Rams a week earlier. The penalty turned a possible game-tying 47-yard field goal attempt into a 62-yard attempt that fell far short.
"I should've kept my calm," Morgan told reporters in the locker room after the game.