I like Dan Dierdorf as an announcer and generally his analysis yesterday was spot on, but he did make one glaring error. He said this year's defense is much better than last year's because Shanahan addressed it in the off season, and he predicted next year's offense would be vastly improved because Shanahan planned to give it his personal attention this coming off season.
And those observations are accurate as far as they go, but they totally ignore the fact that this year isn't Shanahan's first as the Redskin coach. Last year was. Which means he's as responsible for a bad defense as he is an improved one.
Like every member of Redskin nation, I was encouraged last spring when the team traded back, added draft choices and apparently acquired some nice young players. And if I was sure we could expect more of the same this April, I wouldn't be overly concerned. But which is the real Shanahan? This year's patient, long-term version, or the one that threw away premium draft picks on a burned-out Donovan McNabb, then chucked an entire season down the toilet in an ugly pissing contest with Albert Haynesworth that accomplished absolutely nothing?
More to the point, Jim Zorn was fired after finishing 8-8 his first year and 4-12 his second year, while Shanhan is on track to finish 6-10 and, at best, 5-11 in his first two seasons. In other words, after taking what we'd all agree were the right steps this year, the team will finish with a worse record than it did during last year's cat fight.
Other than firing fatigue, is there any reason Redskin fans shouldn't hold Shanahan to the same standard they did Zorn? Are you comfortable giving Shanahan a mulligan after totally botching his first season when we were assured he'd spent his year of unemployment relentlessly studying film and preparing to hit the ground running when he ultimately got another coaching gig?
To be clear, I'm not necessarily advocating we fire Shanahan after the season. But at this point, considering he's made a lot of decisions I disagree with and relatively few I actually agree with, I'm not seeing any reason why he should have my unquestioned confidence moving forward.