Washington Redskins' Kyle Shanahan a Possibility as a NFL Head Coach

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Washington Redskins' Kyle Shanahan a Possibility as a NFL Head Coach
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan with QB Robert Griffin III prior to the Minnesota Vikings game in October 2012. Shanahan is on the short list for several NFL coaching vacancies.

One day after the end of the 2012 NFL regular season, seven NFL head coaches were fired. Among the short list of candidates to fill those vacancies is Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan joined the team in January 2010 when his father Mike Shanahan was named head coach.

Shanahan is still an active coach with the Redskins as the team prepares for their wild card game Sunday, Jan. 6 against the Seattle Seahawks.  

In his first year as offensive coordinator, the 'Skins finished last in the NFC East with a 6-10 record.  In 2011 the team remained in last place in the division, but with a overall record of 5-11.

During those two seasons with Shanahan in control of the offense, the Redskins managed only one game with 30-plus points, and in nearly half of their games (20-32) they did not score more than 20 points.  Many wondered if the 32-year-old Shanahan, one of the youngest in the NFL in a coaching capacity, was in over his head.

After all, his role as an offensive coordinator for the 'Skins was just that—he was charged with coordinating the offense.  That included designing, developing, managing and determining which plays to run, when and how.  His win percentage the first two years was .034.

Then along came 2012 and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Led by quarterback RGIII and fellow rookie running back Alfred Morris, a true diamond in the rough considering he was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, things on offense showed improvements.  

In the first game of the 2012 NFL season, the 'Skins scored 40 points and surprised many with their win over the New Orleans Saints and Pro Bowl QB Drew Brees.  

However, at the mid point of the season the Redskins were a disappointing 3-6 and many, including head coach and father Mike, were talking about next season and making drastic changes on the field and in the front office to see who really want to be a Redskin.

Seven straight wins later and NFC East champions for the first time since 1999, Kyle Shanahan is getting as much of the credit for the Redskins second-half of the season success as Coach Shanahan.

The 'Skins finished the 2012 regular season 10-6 with seven 30-plus games and only three games under 20 points on offense.

With seven vacancies for head coach in the NFL, 20 percent of the league, I am sure Shanahan will consider all offers, and they are coming if they haven't started already.  I hope he follows his heart and not the money, but salaries for NFL coaches today top what many athletes on the field make per season.

Many have speculated that Kyle will stay with the 'Skins to succeed his father when and if that day comes.  However, the fact remains that any assistant coach would be the first to tell you that if offered a chance to become a head coach they would jump at the opportunity.  

Furthermore, if success in the NFL is measured in wins or winning seasons, which obviously is a factor as five of the seven fired coaches and their teams finished last in their division, an offensive coordinator such as Kyle Shanahan and his Redskins-led offense is certainly an attractive and enticing candidate.

Follow on Twitter @JohnBibb 

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