Shanahan revealed Wednesday that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was among his assistants who received contract extensions during the offseason.
Jason Reid of the Washington Post also reports special teams coordinator Danny Smith was extended through 2013. Smith's units have had two punts blocked this season and had five field goals blocked last year.
The announcement's timing was not accidental. Haslett took some heat locally after Washington's 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams. Shanahan is trying to take his guy off the hot seat.
"If I didn't feel very good about Jim and I didn't feel very good about Danny, I wouldn't have extended them," Shanahan said.
Haslett did a commendable job with the New Orleans Saints, but his defenses have almost uniformly struggled in St. Louis and Washington.
The Redskins' defense improved to mediocre last year, but the group has struggled through the first two weeks of the season. Losing Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker for the season won't help matters. The safety position is troubling.
Dan Snyder has fired people with a lot less money on their contracts than Haslett and Smith. Both of their units have to improve.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.