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Fletcher says to extend Mike Shanahan

12/19/2013

ASHBURN, Va. -- London Fletcher wasn’t asked about Mike Shanahan during his “99-percent-sure-I’m-reitring” news conference Wednesday. But Fletcher made sure to find a way to let everyone know his opinion.

Fletcher was asked about the season being tough, and is his work really done in Washington. Fletcher turned that around to the topic of whether Shanahan should return. Yes, players typically stand up for the coach publicly. Most of them anyway, because the guy who dresses next to Fletcher, quarterback Robert Griffin III, hasn’t done so. After the past two weeks, no one can blame him.

Still, it was interesting to hear what Fletcher had to say unprompted. It meshes with what others have said, privately and publicly.

Here is Fletcher’s take:

“The way I look at it, I think coach Shanahan is a great coach. Any player who played for him, probably 95 percent of the guys who played for him, would love playing for him. I think he’s definitely the right guy. I think [owner Dan] Snyder would be wise to let him see this thing through. Obviously there has to be changes made. There is change that needs to take place, but I don’t think it needs to be with the head coach. He’s the right guy for it. Coach Shanahan will have to have a conversation with Mr. Snyder at the end of the year. Let them get some time, maybe a week or two, let the season get past them and let them get into a room and say, how do we move forward and get this thing right.

“One thing that hasn’t happened since Mr. Snyder owned this team, there hasn’t been any stability at the head coach position. Sometimes when I study the winning franchises, the perennial winning franchises -- I’m talking New England, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, even Baltimore -- they have a sense of stability. They have a plan and they stick with it. With this being said, coach Shanahan is the right guy. You can’t stay status quo in every area of the team. They’ll have money to spend in the offseason. There will be some personnel changes.”

And here’s the kicker:

“It will be hard to do it with just one year left on his deal. You’re looking at the coach as a one-year deal, most people will be like 'is he a lame duck?' You should extend him, as crazy as that may sound, to continue to let him build this thing the right way.”