By Tarik El-Bashir
After Sunday’s game, Kyle Shanahan sprinted down the tunnel leading to the Redskins’ locker room at FedEx Field. But before entering the locker room, he directed a profanity-laced tirade at a replacement official.
Comcast SportsNet cameras caught Shanahan gesturing angrily toward at least one of the officials moments after the Redskins’ 38-31 loss in the team’s home opener.
On Monday, Shanahan explained his actions in a statement issued through a team spokesman.
“When I overheard the official tell the head coach that the game was over after a false start penalty, I tried to explain that the game was not over. That is what resulted in the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty I tried to get n explanation of how I could get that penalty when half the other team was on the field as well.”
The situation began when Fred Davis was whistled for a false start with seven seconds remaining and the referee mistakenly announced the game had ended because there would be a mandatory 10-second run off. Bengals players and coaches spilled onto the field.
But under the rules, there was no run off and Shanahan knew this. He came onto the field to argue and was assessed a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. The officials corrected their error but the damage had been done: in addition to the 5-yard infraction assessed to Davis, they now had a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on Shanahan.
“I was frustrated, and in the process of trying to get some answers from the officials, I conducted myself in the wrong way,” the statement continued. “I ask our players to hold themselves to a high standard and be accountable and I know that I’m accountable for my actions as well.”
“I know that I need to handle those situations better in the future. My emotions got the best of me and I know its my responsibility. This will never happen again.”
It’s unclear if the NFL plans to discipline Shanahan, the Redskins’ offensive coordinator. Earlier this week, the league issued a memo to coaches and other team officials about berating the replacement referees.