Shanahan upset with Williams-ref exchange

Updated: November 18, 2013, 9:50 PM ET


By
John Keim | ESPN.com


ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he was disappointed to hear what umpire Roy Ellison allegedly said to left tackle Trent Williams in Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Williams accused Ellison of calling him a “garbage-ass, disrespectful m—–f—–” late in the first half of a 24-16 loss. Shanahan was made aware of the situation after the game.

“I feel very strongly about the words that were used to our players because you have a number of players that said they heard it,” Shanahan said. “So I’m disappointed in what had happened but that’s probably all I can discuss at this point.”

Shanahan said he spoke to several players Monday about the matter. Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger said after the game that he heard Ellison’s comments.

Lichtensteiger also was wearing a microphone for NFL Films, and there’s a chance the exchange was caught on there. The exchange appeared to take place after the ball was set but as the Redskins were still walking to the line. In one screen shot, Ellison is seen saying something that prompted Williams, tight end Niles Paul and quarterback Robert Griffin III to turn and look at him.

Shanahan said he has not spoken to the NFL, which said Sunday night that it would investigate the situation.

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen said during “Monday Night Countdown” that Ellison has a pre-existing history with the league.

Fox Sports analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said he has personally dealt with Ellison swearing at players.

“Years ago he allegedly shouted and swore at players, and it was a big issue that I had to deal with,” Pereira said on Fox Sports 1’s “Fox Football Daily.” “I actually had to talk to him in the office to make sure that none of this is going on.”

“So the fact that this happened twice now with the same individual has to really concern the league,” Pereira sad. “And I know that they’re taking a strong look at this.”

Pereira said no discipline was meted out at the time because the league had no audio evidence.

“You just really can’t use that type of language to get your point across,” Shanahan said.

Some of Williams’ teammates tried to get him to stop talking about what Ellison said, notably receiver Pierre Garcon. Shanahan did not have a problem with it.

“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 is quite unusual for somebody to use that type of language.”

  • Covered the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and other media outlets since 1994
  • Authored or co-authored three books on the Redskins and one on the Cleveland Browns

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