Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is taking exception to claims he hired friends and doesn't have a rapport with quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Shanahan feels reports have become increasingly personal, a product of the Redskins' three-win season, telling John Keim of ESPN that he hasn't been able to brush off some of the charges leveled against him.
"I was definitely bothered by it," Shanahan said. "I never had somebody attack me personally so it definitely bothered me."
Recent criticisms have largely centered on the makeup of Shanahan's offensive staff, a young group of coaches with under 10 years of NFL experience each. He believes part of the problem is age, and doesn't feel it's fair to target his assistants.
"Unfortunately, if you're under 40 years old and you're on my staff, you're looked at as my friends because we're young," Shanahan said. "These guys aren't my friends. These are guys who did all my dirty work and grinded and did everything for me in Houston and did the ins and outs like quality controls do. They deserved promotions.
Shanahan felt the need to defend himself after early-week reports characterized him as a powerful figure inside the organization, given carte blanche power because his father is head coach. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Monday he has failed to win many fans inside the team.
"Conversations with several people within the organization have revealed a similar perception of Kyle Shanahan as someone who was empowered and enabled by his father, spending an abundance of time in his father's office, given a wide swath of power, and rubbing many people -- players, fellow coaches and members of football operations -- the wrong way."
The Redskins have struggled to score points in 2013, ranking 23rd in the league in points scored despite boasting a top-10 offense in yards gained. There is no indication whether head coach Mike Shanahan or son Kyle will return to the organization in 2014.