Monday, December 2, 2013
Gonna be really, really hard to bring this guy back next year after last night.
While it's generally a stupid idea to base hiring/firing decisions on largely meaningless games at the end of lost seasons, the fact remains that particularly bad losses can often prove fatal to head coaches.
If you still had faith as a Redskins fan in The Shanahii, then surely your faith has been shaken to it's core.
In short, it's hard to make a list of what the guy does WELL any more.
Certainly not roster assembly. Certainly not motivation. Certainly not in-game tactical decisions, clock management, or instant replay challenges.
Yes, his offensive concepts, by and large, remain a proven commodity. But what in the hell is he doing with this particular quarterback? It remains a mystery to me.
If he, or his son Kyle really thinks we'll be running zone-read-option-pitch plays 3, 4, 5 years from now, then they are fucking crazy. Those who have screamed that this is the "offense of the future" continue to miss the point.
Winning in the current, modern NFL, is predicated on essentially one thing: the ability to pass the ball downfield. As efficiently as possible.
The better you are at downfield, vertical, strikes, the easier it becomes to win.
And this doesn't even account for injuries to your most valuable player, the QB. Even if RG3 were an indestructible zone-read robot, this offense would still be a waste of time.
It doesn't mean I don't want all traces of it scrubbed from the playbook.
Keep these pistol, zone-read "looks" in there, and then use them judiciously. Goal-line. 4th and 2. Not as a obligatory pre-cursor to play action passing in the first quarter on your own 30 yard line.
So I now have to wonder: "What DID the Shanahii see in RG3 when they loaded the sacrificial pyre of #1 picks and light them on fire for him?"
Did they claim to see "the future" of NFL offenses, and wanted to run zone-read-option from the jump, and stick with it for years and years and years?
Did they see a 2-3 year "project franchise QB" (if there is such a creature) who would need to be slowly nursed into a pocket passer?
Or were they surprised at some things he could not yet do, and have been "winging it" ever since he landed here in town?
I don't know, and I'm not convinced that THEY know either!
And of all the sins a coaching regime can commit in the NFL - Shanny's pathetic 24-36 record not included - the worst sin is not having a coherent and sensible PLAN for your most important player.
Whatever that plan is, I'm sorry, I don't see it.
Worse yet is the relationship seems hopelessly poisoned. Part of which, may well be the fault of an image obsessed signal-calling diva.
It doesn't matter. He's who you got.
You need to coach him, mold him, manage him, and even suffer him through it all. You bought him. He's yours. Too late to complain if he's not compliant enough for your liking.
At the least, Griffin needs a truly independent offensive coordinator to be his best friend and mentor, a "good cop" counterbalance to the "bad cop" of big Mike.
That "obviously" (as Shanny likes to say) cannot be the coach's under-resumed son. It just can't. Sorry, Kyle.
Sadly, all of this only represents a portion of the team's problems. The roster is too stuffed with bad ideas, patches, and purchased, aging free agents. Watching this team run around, compared to watching other teams in the league run around, the only word that comes to mind is… "feh."
So do you really want Shanny back for a 1 year "prove it to me" final installment of his original contract?
But I'm also not convinced this owner and this franchise even knows HOW to make a decent hire. Aside from pushing a massive pile of money at a recently fired coach with two Super Bowls, the last time they tried to hire somebody they ended up with Jim Zorn.
Can they hire a hungry, non-celebrity coach (ala Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy) and then stand back and let him do his thing, create his culture, and operate the team without undermining him?
I have my doubts. But I am pretty sure we're about to find out.
When you have gone 0-5 on night games, when the stadium is half empty, when you have a 14-0 lead on a truly fetid opponent like the Giants and get swamped 24-3 after that…. well… then next year becomes a distinct MARKETING problem if Mike Shanahan is still on your media guide cover.
And there's one thing we know about this franchise: marketing always has a say at the table, no matter what might look like a purely "football" decision.