The case for Firing Mike Shanahan
Ok I know I am going to get alot of flack for this thread, and I just don't care. I have been very critical of the Shanahan coaching situation from the start of training camp on and yes, last week I finally decided that I am no longer on the fence, I want Shanahan fired. That is right, I am willing to pull the trigger now. Call me impatient, call me delirious, but I have looked at what has happened to this franchise and I find the Shanahan coaching staff wanting. I for one think Dan Snyder should man up, take the PR hit at the end of the year, and make the change needed.
My argument is plain and simple. Shanahan has taken an aging team with a moderate amount of talent and put us in a position where we are getting older and our best players are playing out of position or in some cases not playing at all. While doing this he has failed to get us younger and has actually impeded the few young prospects we have by not playing them. This was all done because of his massive ego.
My support for this argument is broken out into several points below:
1.) The disastrous switch to the 3-4. Alot of ire and rancor is aimed at Haslett, but make no mistake, this was Shanny's call. He alone ordained that you can not win a super bowl with a 4-3 defense and ordered the change despite the Redskins not having the personnel to do so. Instead of phasing in 3-4 looks and getting a few young 3-4 pieces that we could then switch over gradually, he decided on whole sale change. That is fine if you have a ton of draft picks and can get some young players, we did not do that. So we brought in a few aging ineffective 3-4 guys (Carriker, Keamatu) and forced others to play out of position (Orakpo, Carter, Alexander, McIntosh, Haynesworth, and yes even Fletcher). We ignored major glaring openings like the entire back four and made the front 7 as ineffectual as ever.
2.) The Albert Haynesworth Saga. Shanny’s decision to go to the 3-4 caused this issue, but it is his handling of the situation I call into question. It became clear early on that this was not going to work. AH wanted a trade, wanted to play in a 4-3, and Shanny did not budge. Instead of trading him before the season, he ran him through a highly publicized conditioning test when he came back, several times failing him on a technicality, and every time making sure the media knew about it. Then throughout the season inactivated him and continued his war of words in the media. I expected nothing better then AH who is a spoiled millionaire in his twenties. I expect more from a super bowl winning coach. He could have traded him before the season, traded him before the deadline, but instead he decided to exert his will. We as fans may applaud being “tough” with a spoiled athlete, but I ask is our team better off after this debacle? The redskins paid a lot of money for the satisfaction of teaching Al a lesson (a lesson I doubt he will learn since it looks likely the NFLPA will win the appeal IMO) and we have no draft picks as compensation, and most likely will get none.
3.) The Donovan McNabb trade/benching. So much to say about this, so little time. This was handled completely and utterly wrong. I have racked my brain for another example of a team trading for a pro bowl winning coach only to bench him after 13 games only to supplant him with a journeyman QB to evaluate whether that QB will be a good backup next year. It has to be the stupidest decision despite any results from Rex. (And though Rex played ok for about 20 minutes, we still stunk up the joint for most of the game on offense). The timing of it was done after Donovan led the team on a 2 minute drill that should have tied the game if it was not for a botched PAT. Never mind the fact that Donovan was supposedly benched earlier in the year for not being able to do that very thing. Never mind all the reports that this came about as a result of his spoiled son making an ultimatum. Never mind all that. The very way it was done was complete bogus and once again, by all but announcing the fact that we have no interest in keeping McNabb next year, we will get no compensation for him when teams can wait on us to decide whether to pay him his 10 million dollar roster bonus this coming March. They will watch us release him and then sign him in the open market.
4.) Shanahan rather lose his way then win. What became apparent in the post-game pressers against Dallas is that Shanahan did not care about the score of the game, he only cared that people thought that the move to Grossman was the right move. In fact it was only Grossman who seemed dejected about losing. I kept wondering why everyone was so happy? In the very same game we lost our 4th straight game, lost to Dallas our hated rival, assuring ourselves a losing record, and most likely last place in the NFC East. Why the hell was Shanny so happy? Because he got to say he told us so (even though everyone is ignoring that Rex’s turnovers cost us 14 points nad put us in the hole to begin with). Is that the mentality of a winner? I say no. That is the mentality of someone who wants to glorify his name, not the franchise. Can anyone imagine Joe Gibbs holding that type of press conference after a crushing loss to our hated rival? As arrogant as Belicheck is, I doubt he is so happy after losses.
5.) The pushing of youth down to promote aging vets. If Shanahan is remaking this team from the ground up, why does he constantly rely on mediocre vet talent that is not getting it done on the field yet when youngsters remain inactive and not getting experience. It took forever for Armstrong to break the starting lineup at WR and yes, eventually Galloway was cut. But why was he signed in the first place? Why was our off season focus bringing in older vets who washed up at other teams (Hicks, Buchanon, Lichtensteiger) while not promoting our youth. The fact is Shanahan wanted to win now instead of actually tuning over the roster. That is why he traded for McNabb, that is why he resigned vets like Daniels and traded for Jamall Brown. He failed, and now we have little draft picks left to rebuild the franchise and the youngsters who can contribute are stuck behind vet players who are ineffective (Cook behind Rabach, Austin behind Roydell Williams). This may change now that the season is a total failure, but that does not absolve Shanahan from the fact that the season IS A TOTAL FAILURE. He decided to trade draft picks and treasure to win this year yet fans want to pretend he needs time to make over the roster. I agree he does need time, but he is not doing that. I pay for my daughter to go to college because she wants a four year degree, if she decides to party it up one year making a ton of bad decisions, failing classes, do I have to wait until her proposed graduation date to hold her accountable even though I know she has squandered my money and most likely it will take more time to finish the graduating process?
6.) He will cost the Redskins more in money then paying him the rest of his contract. I firmly believe Shanny would be gone this off season if Snyder did not already do that to Schottenheimer. By most accounts Snyder has been hands off this season, in fact he was reportedly in Europe when the decisions about McNabb were made. But I think there is discord in the Redskins Front Office and I think it may boil over if we end the season 0-6. I point to the fact that McNabb got a $3 million dollar apology for the benching in Detroit with his contract extension as evidence that perhaps Snyder and Allen are not thrilled with Shanny’s evaluations. Also there were numerous reports about Kyle’s play calling (which still sucked against Dallas) and I think the Grossman maneuver was made just to try and prove a point, and Shanny’s post game press conference proves that. I feel for Snyder that he can’t make this move this year because of the sins of his past, but only a little because he got himself in the predicament. Shanny has $28 million left on his contract. If we do what he wants, and sell the draft to move up and get a top flight qb (because that is what it will take) we will waste that in guaranteed money alone. Swallow the pill Danny, pay Shanny because he is going to cost you more in the long run.
SO That is my case. Some of you in other threads asked for it so now you got it. We could win next year, make a serious playoff run, if we switch back to the 4-3, put McNabb in a system suited to his talents, and draft some youth on the OL and Secondary. The only way we do that is get rid of the Shanahans. I said last week I am on the fire Shanahan Bus and in the driver’s seat. I know many of you are not there yet, but you will be, eventually. I’ll keep the seats warm.
Last edited by CNYSkinFan : 12-20-2010 at 12:20 PM.
Reason: Edited to adjust from Word conversion