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NFL notes: Redskins' Shanahan puts new spin on comments

Published November 6, 2012 12:35 am

NFL notes • One day after saying he had lost hope for playoffs, coach changes tune.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A clearly agitated Mike Shananhan gave a new spin to his remarks about the state of the Washington Redskins on Monday, insisting that he hadn't given up on the playoffs.

Shanahan admitted that he perhaps didn't give the "perfect quote" and that his words might not have been "crystal clear" when he spoke in the aftermath of Sunday's 21-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers, who entered the game with just one win on the season.

Shanahan had called the game a "must-win." It turned into the Redskins' third straight loss and dropped their record to 3-6, prompting the coach to say after the game:

"You lose a game like that, now you're playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come. ... Obviously we're not out of it statistically, but now we find out what type of character we've got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season."

Such speeches are common in the NFL, but they're usually spoken in mid-December when a team clearly is out of the running. Redskins players were perplexed that Shanahan essentially was throwing in the towel on the playoff chase with seven games remaining, including five against the NFC East.

Stung by the reaction to his words, Shanahan took to the podium Monday and read his postgame transcript out loud — then made a rambling attempt to explain it.

"The remaining seven games that we have, each game is kind of like a playoff game," Shanahan said. "And what you want to do is see how your players respond. ... We will see how they play from now on for the rest of the season, and we'd better get their best shot because they'll be evaluated every game."

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