Things people used to complain about:
Players coming here for a big pay check at the end of their careers
* Mike Shanahan has changed that he has made it clear thru his handling of Haynesworth that this is not a team that will bow to players past performances. Like it or not, what Shanahan has done here is publicly state this is no longer a team that will pay you for what you have done. This is now a team that expects you to try just as hard as everyone else despite what your past accolades have shown. You want to play for the skins, we don't care, you want to work for the skins then we want you!
Drafting skill players instead of addressing the needs of our O’Line
* Mike uses our number 4 pick, not on Dez Bryant or Jimmy Clausen or any other sexy pick. No, he goes out and gets Trent Williams “The SilverBack” an immensely talented LT who with some good coaching, his natural talent and a little luck to shy away from injury could become one of the most outstanding LT’s to play the game. Mike then goes on to use two more late round picks on Strong Safeties… NO wait that was the old regime Mike picks up two interior linemen with good size and speed in hopes to develop them into players that fit his system.
We don’t have a team we have a bunch of me guys who want to get paid and get stats.
* Mike has shown again that you are responsible for how far you go in this organization. You train as a team, you practice as a team and you win as a team. No one is above the team no matter what you may have done in the past. If you don’t succeed in this organization it is because you tried to put yourself above the team, you thought you were too naturally talented to have to study the play book (DT) you thought you were too much of a beast to have to practice with your team mates (AH). Football is the ultimate team sport, it takes 11 men working in perfect unison to win games and the patriots prove that year after year, they don’t need Randy Moss who can sprint down the field (when he wants to) and out jump anyone for the ball, no they need Deon Branch to come in run routes downfield, over the middle or wherever the TEAM needs him to be.
Our Defense never gets turnovers and we’re not aggressive enough!
* Mike implements the 3-4 an aggressive defense that while it does give up big plays it also makes them. No team transitions smoothly into the 3-4 because the personnel needs are so different. I don’t think we’ll see this defense return to greatness for at least another 2 years, I believe next year our defense will be in the low 20’s and the following year middle of the pack. But we will see an increase in turnovers and sacks each year and an increase in hard working D'linemen. 10 years of deterioration cannot be fixed in 1 year it probably can’t be fixed in 2 years but what we will see is improvement thru continuity.
Why do we keep trading away picks!
* Okay this one may not be cut and dry. Mike gave up several picks for Donovan McNabb and Jamaal Brown. Both of these guys could be seen as busts if we parted ways with them today and stink of the old regime. But lets not forget that the old regime would have probably offered a 1 & 2 for Donovan not a 2 & 4 (as it looks to be) and the old regime probably would not have even tried to get a discount deal on a pro-bowl tackle in Jamaal Brown to keep the newly acquired QB in the upright position. Has it turned out well, No, Not yet. But lets not forget that we were dealing with a 4-12 team that has been devastated over the past ten years by poor drafting, poor trading and a lack of any kind of continuation of coaching staff. Give Mike another year to address the inside of the line. Give Jamaal another year of rehabbing that knee during the offseason, adjusting to the shift from left to right tackle and one more year of getting comfortable in the ZBS that did wonders in Denver. Lets give Donovan the same benefit of the doubt we gave Campbell, Shakey O’line, new system and less than stellar receiving targets.
Over the past ten years we have seen Snyder run the franchise into the ground. Bruce and Mike are righting the ship, is it easy, hell no it’s a big F’ing mess. Are we going to see what they are doing, no good teams are run in secret (and the media hates this), this is a game and you never give away your strategy. Mike was dealt a shitty shitty hand and inherited a low chip stack. It’s not going to happen overnight. It starts this year by changing the culture and it continues by demanding discipline, accountability and an understanding that the team comes before everything else. We’re going to turn this thing around but it’s going to take time, don't buy into Snyders next media blitz "The future is now" "it's our time!" "A return to greatness". BS this mess is going to take more than a year or two to fix but what you should buy into is: "We're getting the right people on board" "We're working hard to improve" "We will be great if we stay the course".
I’m hoping that between this year and next we see improvements on both sides of the trenches. I’m hoping we see Donovan calling audibles often (a sign the coaching staff Mcnabb and the Line are on the same page) and I’m hoping to see less media firestorms on malcontents and more reporting on hard work and buying in.