Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Nobody Wants to Upset Shanahan"

From the excellent Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports...

But at some point the hunger to win overtook common sense. Griffin was allowed to run free even as danger lurked. When disaster happened in the 340-pound form of Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, Shanahan wasn't careful enough with RG3. He let him try to finish the Baltimore game and he allowed him to play too long against Seattle. Now Griffin's knee is damaged. He may miss significant time. The quarterback, whose long-term value to the franchise was so great that it took three first-round draft picks to get him, may never be the same player. He may never have that great, galloping burst that shot him past linebackers and safeties. We may have seen his finest days as a passer and runner. The player who returns might need to be more of a pocket passer.

And yet nobody apparently told Shanahan to get Griffin off the field. Nobody dared. To work for Shanahan is to all but sign a pledge of complete acquiescence. Questions are rarely asked. Decisions are never doubted.

Yet the biggest problem remains the culture of Shanahan in which no one questions the man wrapped in the big burgundy jacket and wearing the headset. No leader in the NFL – not Jim Harbaugh, not Bill Belichick, not Tom Coughlin – demands complete compliance the way Shanahan does. This is a trend going back to his days in Denver when he sat in his office and watched live feeds of his assistants' position meetings from a split-screen terminal. Several of those who have worked for him in the past worry about what they say lest he seek retaliation. Those who will talk of their time with him either offer gushing accolades or speak so cautiously as to reveal nothing.

Nobody wants to upset Shanahan.

As Michael Scott would say: "Boom. Roasted."


  1. Maybe Shanahan's paranoia results from his own efforts to undermine Dan Reeves when Shanahan was an assistant with the Broncos. That's how he got his head coaching job with Denver, and now he is looking over his shoulder.

    At the same time, one cannot overlook the influence of Snyder in this mess. If you were ultimately responsible to a whimsical, inconsistent, PR seeking, gadfly with a big checkbook and little regard for the long run, you would act paranoid also. You would run as tight a ship as possible, always bracing for the moment when your owner would decide to shake things up on another whim.

  2. The bottom line is he has no fear of being fired...he already made his millions. He is not interested in building a long term plan for success...his legacy is all but set. He has but one goal and that is to win now. 1 more Super Bowl guarantees enshrinement. It puts the rest the talk that he is nothing more than an average coach who got lucky with Elway. Every move he has made since taking over has been with his mind on the present and a middle finger extended towards the future.

  3. He may have no fear of getting fired, but he must fear all of the other Snyder-esque BS - (1) Synder grabbing some other washed up free agent for too much money that Shanahan doesn't want but must keep because Snyder has too much money invested for Shanahan to trade or cut; (2) undermining Shanahan by bypassing the chain of command with players that might otherwise be in Shanahan's doghouse, etc.

    These things create distractions, undermine morale and make it impossible to win consistently.

  4. Yeah, who the fuck wants a coach committed to winning? I know Lombardi's primary concern was player health.. Nice hypocrisy Czabe, rip Yahoo in one post, praise them in the next.

    Who the fuck are you?

  5. @Unknown... let's see how much he wins next season without Griffin. What's the point of using four picks if you intend to run your franchise player into the ground in just one season?