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What’s Next in Washington

The last five games the Washington Redskins have played have been some of the most difficult to watch football that I can remember seeing in recent history. After each game I am left thinking, well, it can’t get worse than that. However that debacle that the team displayed yesterday was disgusting, embarrassing, and just plain shameful. Shame on the players, shame on Mike Shanahan, shame on the Redskins’ organization.

So, this is where we are. Shanahan was brought in to change the culture within the organization and for one year(last season), it looked like he had pulled it off, but over the course of the last five games there have been no signs of this change. In fact, after the loss to the Chiefs on Sunday, it would appear that the organization has taken steps so far back that it is worse now than it was before Mike Shanahan arrived.

 

For the record, I never liked Shanahan. I did, however, stay open-minded based on his two SuperBowl victories. In looking back though, from the circus he created in Denver with Dan Reeves, undermining Reeves in playcalling, leaking meeting comments about players, etc. he’s been a circus from the beginning. Dan Reeves fired Shanahan as OC in Denver for a reason. Those reasons came out later after Reeves himself had been fired and he felt he needed to clear the air. Let’s not forget, Shanahan has won one playoff game since he and Elway parted ways, with Elway retiring and not letting Shanahan know beforehand. It would seem that Shanahan has had issues with his quarterbacks for quite some time now. I have no trouble believing that he and RGIII are not getting along. Robert has said from day one that he grew up admiring Shanahan from afar. Obviously, that opinion has changed. Let’s also not forget that Dan Reeves made it to the Superbowl with Atlanta without John Elway. Can Shanahan say that? No. What has Shanahan really done? In the span of one day he has made the Redskins a laughing stock. Not only with his leak that he packed up his office before the Seattle game(which has been disputed by people within the organization), but with what has to be percieved as him losing the lockerroom by what we saw on the field yesterday.
One thing that bothers me the most is that throughout the last five games, nobody has apologized to the fans for the disgusting product on the field, not a word. Well, the fans spoke yesterday, loud and clear.
So, what do you do? Fire Shanahan? it seems like the logical move, but then what? Who takes over? Appearances show that his staff is loyal and more than likely nobody on the staff would would be intersted. Haslett has said he regrets taking an interim position in the past. Raheem Morris? I doubt he would take any chances on it as he still has aspirations to be a head coach and it’s doubtful anyone could turn this team around in three games. I really don’t know the answer, but at this point keeping the Red Lobster around could get very ugly. Obviously Mike Shanahan has no shame and would more than likely take every opportunity he has to discredit the Redskins’ Organization based on everything he has provided us in the past; the Denver fiasco, the Beck/Rex reputation staking, and finally his leak yesterday to Dan Graziano. Like I said, I don’t have that answer, only Dan Snyder does. However, I would really love to see Snyder change his mind on Russ Grimm.

 

I’m one of the few people who have defended Snyder and I don’t have an issue with his relationship with Robert Griffin III. Heck, I’d love to hang out with RGIII. Sure, the lockerrom display after Kirk Cousins’ win in Cleveland last year was a mistake, but outside of that every reference I have seen to Snyder’s relationship with RGIII has been outside of football. There is no bat phone for RGIII to use to talk with Snyder about any possible issues he has with the team, there is no feeling that RGIII would be asked by Snyder who he would like to have as a replacement to Shanahan. For all of the complaints about Snyder, he has backed off. He gave Mike Shanahan final say on player decisions and hasn’t said a word this season and I’m sure that has been very difficult for him.
The other thing that bothers me is the perception that Bruce Allen is just a contract negotiation guy. Bruce Allen grew up on the Redskins sideline and he has been a part of football his entire life. To say he has no clue about what makes a good football player is simply naive. Let’s also not forget that an Allen led team had never missed the playoffs before he came to the Redskins. Was that more Gruden than Allen? Maybe, but then again, that would cetainly lead to some great Gruden to the Redskins talk.
Will Shanahan be here next year? I doubt it. The only issue becomes how Snyder can avoid paying Mike Shanahan the 7 million dollars left on his contract after being fired. I say, let’s give Bruce Allen the true President title and let him bring in a coach. Will it be easy? Not a chance. After all, Shanahan has brought in a group of offensive linemen who could only be successful in Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme, a scheme doubtful to continue after Shanahhan leaves. The defense has been revamped schemewise and personnel(wise) to a 3-4 and has underperformed.
So even though I agree that it’s the end of the road for Mike Shanahan in Washington, in most folks’ opinions, it would mean 2-3 more years of rebuilding, but hey, tell Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh that!

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