Kyle Shanahan: Report an 'attack'

Updated: December 19, 2013, 6:54 PM ET
By John Keim | ESPN.com

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan doesn't mind getting knocked for his play calling; it's part of the job.

He does not like when the attacks become personal.

And that's how he feels they became last weekend. CBS Sports, citing anonymous sources, reported that Shanahan received favoritism, hired his friends, has too much power in the organization and does not have a relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III.

[+] EnlargeShanahan
John McDonnell/Getty ImagesKyle Shanahan, center, refuted a handful of recent reports that questioned his hiring decisions and relationship with Robert Griffin III.

"I was definitely bothered by it," Shanahan said. "I never had somebody attack me personally, so it definitely bothered me."

Though the CBS Sports report cited one anonymous source within the organization, there was also another source described as someone who worked with Shanahan in Washington. Shanahan called that person a "disgruntled ex-employee."

Shanahan said he brought two coaches with him from Houston, where he served as offensive coordinator -- Matt LaFleur and Mike McDaniel.

LaFleur has been in the NFL for six seasons, including the past four as the Redskins' quarterbacks coach -- though Shanahan is, in essence, in charge of the quarterbacks.

McDaniel is finishing his first season as receivers coach after stints as a quality control coach in Washington (three years) and Houston (three years). He was a coaching intern in Denver in 2005. Shanahan worked with secondary coach Raheem Morris with Tampa Bay.

"Unfortunately, if you're under 40 years old and you're on my staff, you're looked at as my friends because we're young," Shanahan said. "These guys aren't my friends. These are guys who did all my dirty work and grinded and did everything for me in Houston and did the ins and outs like quality controls do. They deserved promotions.

"When I hear people talk about them and say they're not good and they're inept, that offends me. It's so messed up to those guys that because of their age and they worked with me before that they dog those guys. Our staff, it's as good a staff as I've been around. In the [last] two years we've moved the ball better than any offense in the 80-year history of the organization. That's a pretty good accomplishment."

Shanahan said picking apart his play calling is part of the game.

"Not many people are educated enough to know what we're doing, [but] I get that it's part of the territory," he said. "It's bad play calling. It's OK, I can look at it that way, too. When people attack stuff personally and say stuff about people who are good people who have earned their jobs and worked their tail off and people who are ... bitter... I have zero respect for those people."

Shanahan also reiterated during his Thursday news conference what he told ESPN.com after Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons -- that he doesn't want to distance himself from his father, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

The NFL Network reported on Sunday that Kyle Shanahan wanted to separate himself from the stigma of working on his father's staff. Shanahan later called that report 100 percent untrue.

"I came here with the goal to win and I'll keep trying to do that until they don't want us here," Shanahan said. "I'm going to coach here until I'm told I can't anymore."

Finally, Shanahan disputed another report, this one from Bleacher Report, that questioned how receptive Griffin is to coaching.

"Robert's very coachable," Shanahan said. "He came out of a system that wasn't similar to ones in the NFL. He's been awesome to work with since we got him. He's tried everything we asked him to do. We asked him to do things that he hadn't done before until he got here. He did a hell of a job with that stuff last year.

"It sounds like there's a report about everything now. It's pretty boring to talk about our three wins. So there's a lot of stuff out there. Some things, there are partial truths to, but when it comes to working with Robert, no one works with Robert but myself and the QB coach and we love working with Robert. He's great to coach."

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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