Sunday, December 15, 2013
Game Recap: Week #15 at Atlanta Falcons
It's all "noise" from now until New Year's, so let me just cut to the end-of-season scenario I envision.
Snyder and Shanahan will meet.
Each side's media handmaidens will get "their" side of the story out immediately and as convincingly as possible.
Redskins/Snyder stance will be: "Hey, we just finished 4-12, and he refused a legitimate request after 4 years of failure to get more experienced coordinators, fire Keith Burns, and give up final personnel authority. He's stubborn and un-reasonable. We had to make a change."
The Shanahii's take will be: "See, MEDDLING OWNER ALERT!" They will then blabber out offensive stats and ranks to justify Kyle's existence, brag about what a phenomenal "off-season program" Griffin is about to embark upon, then throw in the salary cap penalty... juuuust... one more time as an excuse!
This will all be done via media proxy wars, as the principles will each likely try to stay above the fray.
Remember: Shanny still wants to coach again. Snyder has to hire somebody new who isn't currently sitting in the Tom Cable Discount Bin.
The reason this is slow-walking into January is because Snyder is now actually getting some decent advice from people around him.
Everybody mocked Lanny Davis coming on board to help navigate the tricky PR waters of the name "controversy.
Well, call Davis what you want, but he's really skilled at this stuff.
You don't serve as special counsel to slick Willy and make sure 99 out of 100 bimbos never see the light of day, unless you are very tactically sharp. (Damn Monica! Saved the dress. Bitch.)
No doubt Davis is helping navigate this split, along with Bruce Allen.
The old Danny would have fired Shanny and cut the check without blinking at halftime of the Kansas City disaster.
The new Danny is now starting to play a little chess, instead of just flipping the checkerboard over when things don't go his way.
I have never believed the $7 million (plus staff buyout) was anything more than just a chip Snyder wanted to bargain against. The man has written far bigger checks, for even bigger wastes of money. Besides, the cost to bring Shanny BACK - by way of half-empty stadiums and season-ticket flight - might actually cost more.
The first smart thing Snyder did, was to shut up. No statements. No interviews. Nothing in the wake of all this "noise". The second smart thing was to sit back and let Shanahan play with his coveted 4th round QB toy for a few games before this whole sordid thing was done.
Snyder has kept all of his leverage, and avoided looking like a shitheel in the process.
Truly remarkable, if you think about it.
Plus, he protected the image of the guy he needed to protect most: RG3. The last thing you want to do is validate everyone's belief that you and the QB are "too close."
Griffin looks like a pro. Next coach doesn't worry as much about interference from above. So far, so good.
I simply don't think you can have him on this team next year. Period. Young, viable backups with a future, who can look good in spurts, are a destabilizing presence.
That's not my opinion. That's just how the NFL is these days.
Hooplehead fans start to call for the backup at the first 2 game losing streak, or 3 INT game by the starter.
Nothing against Kirk. I sense he can play a bit in the league, if he finds a good spot. But I refuse to think he's anything more than a properly evaluated mid-round draft pick, who is likely just an average starter.
Whatever pick you can get for him is nice, but don't get hung up on that. Cousins needs to go for reasons of atmospherics, confidence, and stability.
Now, if you want a long shot fantasy, I'll give you one. What if..... a team decides they want Shanahan, but he's not yet fired 48 hours after the season ends? Maybe you could find one sucker team to take Mike and Kyle, throw in Cousins as a package and take a single #1 or #2.
It's a moonshot, I know. But as my dad always said: "It only takes one person, to sell your one thing to, once."
The one team?
Why not the Raiders? They have relatively nothing going on at QB (sorry, Terrelle Pryor) and maybe Mark Davis wants to finally make good on that $275,000 his old man stiffed Shanny for back in the late 80's.
/removes tin-foil hat
Okay, now that we've dispensed with that indulged silliness, here's my best guess for what actually WILL happen.
Shanny and company all get wiped out right after the season, per the PR dance I described above. Nobody has to sue for their money. Clean slate. Bruce stays in some capacity. Semi-conventional coaching search ensues.
New regime shops and moves Cousins before the draft, probably for a 3rd and some sugar (maybe a switch of rounds with said team in rounds 4 through 6).
New coach announces allegiance to RG3, vows to make him great again, with veteran clipboard holder posing no threat from behind.
And a new era begins.
Meanwhile, Atlanta was victorious on Sunday 27-26. Seven turnovers doomed the Skins, as a gambling 2-point try and on-side kick both fail, sealing the loss and dropping the season record to 3-11.
The Dallas Cowboys visit FedEx Field next Sunday at 1:00. Tickets will be available. Please try not to sell them to Cowboy fans.