Are Briles, Shaw in the mix for the Redskins?

Are Briles, Shaw in the mix for the Redskins?
January 2, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Would Art Briles be a good fit for the Redskins?

From what we have been able to gather, the Redskins’ coaching search has focused on NFL coordinators so far. That could soon change.

Art Briles’ Baylor Bears ended their season with a 52-42 loss to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl last night. The loss doesn’t do much to dim Briles’ star, however. He has resurrected Baylor from the dregs of college football to a legitimate and entertaining program.

"I think he'd be open to the Redskins job," said Adam Schefter on ESPN 980 this afternoon.

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If there is mutual interest, there would be a big hurdle. Briles, of course, was the coach at Baylor when Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy. Hiring Briles might be (make that would be) perceived by many as a move proving that Griffin runs the franchise.

But if neither side views that as an impediment, Briles will answer if the Redskins call, at least according to Schefter.

Another coach who is thought to have the potential to move up to the NFL is David Shaw of Stanford. The Cardinal ended their season with a 24-20 loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl. As with Briles, the loss did little to diminish Shaw’s desirability as an NFL coaching candidate.

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According to Schefter, the Redskins reached out to Shaw about six weeks ago via a third party. (As an aside, that would be prior to the report that Mike Shanahan had considered quitting in 2012 emerged. Six weeks ago would be sometime after the loss to the Eagles, so perhaps removing Shanahan was being considered even before the report.)

Here is what Shaw had to say about taking an NFL job earlier this week.

"I have no desires to pursue another job," Shaw told reporters in Los Angeles. "As I said, I have not and don't plan on interviewing with anybody. I think it's really nice that my name gets batted around and that's great, and part of it is because I do have nine years of NFL experience, so it seems like an easy transition for some people."

Let’s parse these words a bit. “No desires to pursue another job” but didn’t say what he might do if someone pursued him. Same thought with “don’t plan on interviewing with anybody”. No plans, but the door isn’t closed to anyone offering to set one up. And the concluding part where he makes sure everyone knows that he has a solid resume to be an NFL coach, well, that speaks for itself.

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What’s more important is what he didn’t say. There is no “I intend to fulfill the rest of my contract.” He doesn’t say “I won’t leave this group of guys.” The words “I would not talk to an NFL team” aren’t there either.

Of course, it’s not as though those words would mean anything if Shaw had said them. Coaches always say they’re staying until the sign on the line to leave. But as far as “I’m staying” statements go, this one was fairly soft. In fact, it almost invited NFL teams to get in touch with his agent.

That doesn’t mean that he’d talk to the Redskins or take the job if offered. But the situation does bear watching.

(h/t to @Manny_PPI for Schefter quotes).