I want once and for all to get my views on the Redskins down in a coherent manner. My frustrations with the current regime, and my desires for what I want to happen. Due to some ppl on here preferring to get into petty point scoring arguments, rather than discussing the team, and the fact that my posts are bashed out in 20 seconds between doing stuff at work, so occasionally are grammatically incorrect and never researched, I just want somewhere to have my views properly expressed. For example, ppl seem to think that I believe Mike Shanahan is a terrible coach, there could be nothing further from the truth, I know he is a great coach, one of the best in the NFL, I just happen to believe he is the wrong coach for the Redskins at this stage. If Jim Caldwell were to be fired tomorrow, I think Shanny would be the absolute best or at least a Top 3 option for that job. I just don’t think he is right for our team currently.
So why does that matter, because the pathetic point scorers (PPS) on this site, take any criticism of Shanahans work here and go and grab his winning percentage in Denver to back him up, which just completely misses the point.
So below I will try (and remember I am banging this out in 10 minutes while I wait for a report to run) to explain myself clearly.
As stated above, Mike in my opinion is a great NFL coach, a potential HOF coach, with a track record to match. However, his best work, whether it be OC in San Fran or as a HC in Denver has come with a mature team. Other than late round running backs he has a ‘spotty’, at best, record in the draft, and when he was given full control of Personnel matters in Denver it led to his downfall. But really even saying that is missing the point, its not that I don’t want Mike Shanahan the coach having full Personnel control, It is that I don’t want my HC to have full Personnel control FULL STOP. If Bill Belichek, arguably, the best Personnel man of the current HC’s, I still wouldn’t want him with full control, Checks and Balances in all areas of life work, that’s why I wish we had a strong Personnel man as GM, not a contract tsar like Bruce.
Again, if Belichek or Caldwell were to go, and I was a fan of those teams, I would want Shanahan, but I think if you look at his track record, it truly is one of making really good teams into great teams, not making terrible teams into good ones, fluky one playoff win seasons with Jake Plummer notwithstanding.
Undoubtedly an uber-talented young Offensive mind, one of the new breed, with Josh McDaniels of pass happy, innovative OC's. However, there are reasons I believe he is wrong for this particular team.
1. The dynamic between OC and QB is by its very nature one of tension and occasional conflict. An OC believes in his plays and the system and has set ideas on what should work. A QB is out there and often sees things differently than his coach. It is the HC job to mediate these disputes, but when one half of that equation is your son, clearly the whole dynamic is screwed up, and that is unfair on the QB whoever it may be. For those who don’t believe that this dynamic is crucial and exists, go and read a ‘story of the season’ book sometime for any successful NFL Franchise.
2. Mike has traditionally relied on a heavy dose of the run in his offence, but Kyle is much more new school and pass happy. Listen to NFL Networks Sounds of the Game for any Skins game, It is a constant barrage of Mike complaining about not running enough, telling Kyle to commit to the run etc. Now some conflict between HC and OC on play calling is sort of a good think I suppose (that checks and balances thing again) but it appears here that they have different beliefs at times, plus the whole father son dynamic screws up the potential for creative tension to create a happy medium between the two extremes.
Whether it be politics or sport or anything else, I hate ideological obsessions, and as soon as Haslett committed to the 3-4 this year without the cattle to make it happen I was angry. People point to Green Bay, but B-Rak is not Clay Matthews he is a very different player. Plus I just have this horrible feeling, (again PPS, this is a feeling I have no facts) that Shanny spent a lot of last year (where he has told the story repeatedly of that was when him and Jim got together and fell in love with the 3-4) believing he would have the Dallas job, where the pieces actually fit, and then when they ended up in Washington instead, they refused to pivot, change direction and use our players to their strengths. For example Andre Carter had 12 sacks the year before last. Well if you know you are committing to the 3-4 and he doesn’t suit it, either trade him before last year when he has some value, or better yet, look at your Defence and acknowledge that your players better suit the 4-3 and swallow your ideological pride and ditch the obsession with the 'genius' of your scheme, and trust the players by putting them in the best position to succeed.
Overall Strategy and the Draft.
This is the core of my frustration. I deeply deeply believe in the sanctity and value of draft picks (and yes I acknowledge that maybe this is my ideological blind spot, but again I am not running our team) The McNabb trade for me was the original sin last year. Even if McNabb worked out I was against it, because it signified a complete break from what I believed we should be doing. the McNabb trade stunk of 'WIN NOW' when I am convinced that we should have committed to the draft, and accepted that we were 2 or 3 good drafts, with all picks away from truly contending and building a long term contender.
I really hoped that last year we would be the team trading players for picks, for example the 3-4 obsession maybe could have gotten us a 4th rounder for Andre Carter.
I don’t want a one year run, where a couple of smart (lucky) FA pick ups get us to a playoff win, or even a NFC championship game. No what I want is a team built on a solid foundation, with youth at its core, that is set up to compete for half a decade. For that I am prepared to accept some short term pain.
In a different sport in a different country I have been through this process and it is so much more rewarding than one year flashes built of Free Agents, and even the tough times are somewhat enjoyable as you see your young guys and draftees grow into the NFL and learn from their mistakes.
The Main Point however is this
for all the PSS out there, don’t bother replying with your point scoring reasons on why I am wrong, because I WANT TO BE WRONG> (By all means explain your reasoning in an overall way on why you believe Mike will take us to the promised land, but leave the PSS in the locker for once).
Because you see I want Mike Shanahan to be the perfect HC for this team. I want Kyle Shanahan to turn Rex Grossman into the second coming of Peyton Manning and take us to the SB. And nothing will make me happier than for all that to happen. But here is a question for the PSS out there. Even though you love to jump on any perceived inaccuracy or any criticism of the current Skins structure and make bizarre and illogical arguments rather than admit error, just ask yourself this one question in a moment of sober and honest self reflection.
Do you really think this current RedSkins structure, using the same strategy as we did last year, where we trade the middle rounds of your draft for players in the back half of their careers. Do you really think that this will take us to MULTIPLE NFC Championship games, and see us contend in the brutal NFC East every year between now and 2017? That is the question that needs to be answered before you go on another PSS rampage.