But Griffin was injured in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks and required major knee surgery days later, setting the stage for a year of conflict as the quarterback vowed to return in record time and felt empowered enough to openly challenge some of his Shanahan's decisions.
Griffin returned for Week 1 of the regular season, but he wasn't the same dynamic player who won the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year award in 2012. He was benched for the final three games of the season.
Griffin also declined to answer reporters' questions Monday. In brief remarks, he said that Shanahan "has taught me a lot in just two years."
Also dismissed Monday were eight assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the head coach's son.
Snyder's search for a new coach presents plenty of intrigue. He's tried nearly every angle: the hot college coach with no NFL experience (Steve Spurrier), the franchise icon (Joe Gibbs), the promising youngish coordinator (Jim Zorn) and the established demand-control-over-everything big names (Marty Schottenheimer and Shanahan).
Shanahan demanded contractual control over all football matters when he joined the Redskins, and he repeatedly emphasized the need to run a disciplined organization with a sense of decorum. Snyder met Shanahan's requests to upgrade the Redskins Park facility, spending millions on a new practice bubble and other amenities.
Shanahan weeded out the disgruntled players but ultimately was unable to stymie what he called the "circus atmosphere" that has permeated the Redskins under Snyder.
Leaks, rumors and power struggles were just as bad as before, as were the losses. The Redskins' season-ending eight-game losing streak is their longest in more than 50 years. Shanahan leaves with the same regular-season winning percentage (.375) in Washington as Spurrier and Zorn.
"Any coach, any organization knows in pro sports you need to eliminate distractions," Allen said. "Instead, we created our own distractions. And it distracted from our play on the field."
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