Mike Shanahan is known as an offensive mind but today he was forced to defend -- and not just his team's performance Sunday, but also his program overall.
"Do you take blame" (for Sunday's loss)? Shanahan was asked during his weekly Monday press conference. His answer: "Yes, that's what coaching's about. You try to coach your football team in a situation to give them the best chance to be successful."
Shanahan's Redskins came out flat and trailed 24-nothing in what was billed as a 'must-win' game. Star quarterback Robert Griffin III went so far as to say the Eagles knew what was coming. Asked about those comments, Shanahan appeared to run his own misdirection play.
"That's part of the NFL. No matter what quarterback you're going against, no matter what system you're going against, you've got to be able to relate." said Shanahan.
Sunday's rally ended with Griffin's last-minute interception deep in Eagles territory. Today, Shanahan said he stands by his quarterback.
"The sky's the limit for (Griffin) in the future. There are going to be growing pains but there will be growth in what we do with him and as time goes on, I think he'll keep getting better and better."
And then there's the big picture - and it is bleak. Shanahan is 24-and-34 as Redskins coach and has one year left on his 5-year contract. Asked about his job security, Shanahan would only say "I don't talk about those things during the season - for obvious reasons."