Shanahan on referee: "a little bit unprecedented"
Mike Shanahan said on Monday that he was not aware of the incident between Trent Williams and a game official until after the Redskins’ 24-16 loss to the Eagles.
Shanahan expects to speak to the league in the coming days as part of its investigation into Williams' allegation that umpire Roy Ellison used derogatory language toward him at the end of the first half.
“I was aware of it after the game,” Shanahan said. “People had told me what had happened. I talked to the players today. I will talk to the league over the next day or two.”
After the game, Williams told reporters that Ellison called him “Garbage a--, disrespectful mother ----" as the Redskins were lining up for a play. Video replay shows Ellison walking through the line of scrimmage and seemingly saying something to Williams. Williams turns toward Ellison, as does tight end Niles Paul. Robert Griffin III also turns his head toward Ellison.
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“We had a few players involved with this one, so it’s a little bit unprecedented,” Shanahan said. “One of our players, they were mic’d. So we’ll see if the NFL has any information on that. But I feel very strongly about the words that were used to our players because you have a number of players who say they heard it. I’m disappointed in what had happened. But that’s probably all I can discuss at this point.”
Shanahan recalls encountering a similar situation earlier in his coaching career. But no punishment was handed down, presumably for the player or the official.
“Nothing happened that time,” Shanahan said.
Asked if he would have preferred that Williams kept the incident to himself, Shanahan said he didn’t have a problem with the way his Pro Bowl left tackle handled the situation.
“Well, someone is upset after the game and I think with that type of conversation sometimes people will break out,” Shanahan said. “Could he have handled it differently? Maybe. But he handled it the way he thought was right at that time. It was quite unusual for somebody to use that type of language. …You just really can’t use that type of language to get your point across.”