1. Remember when we couldn't get anyone to take our head coaching job? Surely you must remember. The situation underwent some massive spin control, but when you promote your offensive coordinator-who had himself just been hired-to the top spot, something has gone terribly wrong. So far, there are no signs that this current process will degenerate to the point where we are forced to install a head coach that is not yet prepared for the gig. I do not anticipate that being the case, but let's not overlook the fact that our opening is not the most desirable one available. Respected former coaches like Bill Cowher, for instance, have publicly stated their lack of interest in working in the Washington organization. Chief on the list of reasons why this is the case is the way that our organization is run. Guess what? That way is unlikely to change significantly, so if you have any hopes of landing the kind of coach who is unlikely or unwilling to tolerate the "Dan Snyder Way," it might be time to reset those expectations.
2. Given the limited amount of head coaching jobs, even working with Snyder is not a deal-breaker. Rest assured that we will find a qualified candidate eager to try his hand at guiding this team on the field. The presence of #10 is going to make the job rather attractive to somebody. Though we have gone over 20 years without winning a championship, the tradition and history of this franchise is also worth at least something to potential successors to Mike Shanahan.
3. Look for the Washington Redskins to really turn their coaching search into an "American Idol" kind of production. They have been talking about an "involved" process for some time, but the full list of coaches we will ultimately interview is growing by the second. There is nothing this team loves more than splashiness. Being able to tout a thorough, deep process that will turn out a "winner" is exactly the kind of drama that every NFL coaching search craves. In Ashburn, there is an insatiable appetite for headlines and attention. I don't doubt that Bruce Allen is motivated to find the right guy. I am certain that he has the best interests of the team and its future at the top of his priority list. That said, I still fully expect the coaching search to include all of the regular fixings that go with anything we do: self-inflicted wounds, unexpected twists that put management in a poor light and a sprinkling of absurdity all resulting in an eventual bunker mentality where Bruce and Dan close ranks and plod forward "in the face of great adversity."
4. By all accounts, Ken Whisenhunt is destined to be the next head coach of the Detroit Lions. This makes perfect sense, of course. What offensive-minded coach wouldn't want to take over an offense that features Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush? I had the chance to talk to him during Russ Grimm's Hall of Fame induction reception a few years ago. He played for the Redskins (1989-90), and partnered with Kurt Warner to take the Arizona Cardinals to the freaking Super Bowl. He seemed genuinely surprised when I offered him the opportunity to be our head coach-when his time in Arizona was at an end. Of the potential retreads that are getting looks right now, he would be my first choice. Maybe it is the amount of canned Bud Light I drank that evening at the 5 O'Clock Club tiki bar, or the fact that I genuinely believe he would create the perfect environment necessary for our team to thrive, but I do think he would be ideal for this team. It ain't happening, though. The Detroit job would be pretty hard to pass up.
5. As long as we are talking about our coaching search, here's a tidbit that I feel compelled to share, and forgive me for burying this down here-I figured that only the most diehard Sixpack fans would read this and therefore, it would seem less like I was trying to produce some sensational headlines. A team source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told me that when the players were cleaning out their lockers, Snyder summoned Robert Griffin to his office, where Griffin provided the owner with a list of four head coaching candidates. What I want to stress is that this list could have more than just one, terrible meaning. It does not have to mean that Snyder is letting Griffin run this search. My source said that it was as much about offensive philosophies as it was about coaches that Griffin supported, but that other players definitely saw it. So...there's that...
6. Listen, who expects that Griffin is going to have zero input into this decision? We can argue all day whether it is right or wrong, but we know that Snyder has cultivated a relationship with his franchise quarterback (I suppose there is also the argument some of you have made that he is not a franchise quarterback). We know that Griffin and Shanahan's relationship had its...issues. We know that for the next coach to have a chance to succeed at the highest level, he will need to have the support and loyalty of RG3. I have no doubt that Griffin would be a professional regardless of the coach, but it makes at least some sense to marry him to a coach you know full well he is on board with, even at the risk of making him seem to be more in control of the situation than he is or should be. When I was first told this, all I could see was the negative side of it. All I heard was that other players saw this go down and that this was going to leave a bad taste in the locker room. The truth seems to be that the players already kind of know this is "what's up." I suppose that for the guys looking to win in this league, perhaps they can see the value of not having to weather (another) feud between the quarterback and the coach. I don't know...I am a bit torn on this one. I see the value in ensuring that the team has the best footing possible with a new coach coming in, but I worry about the appearance of including Griffin in the process as much as Snyder seems to be doing. I anticipate some pretty strong comments on this one.