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Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

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View Poll Results: Grade Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point
A 6 3.92%
B 68 44.44%
C 51 33.33%
D 24 15.69%
F 4 2.61%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-09-2010, 07:17 AM   #61
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

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Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
I gave Shanny a D, which I realize is a little harsh but after a guy wins the big one (twice) and takes time away from the game I think the grading scale should get a little tougher.

- Don't pretend Shanny took over a franchise w/o any talent or promise. He took over a FO (namely from the owner IMO) that was in shambles and an embarrassment. Roster wise, he got a sub-par offense but a very, very good defense. Shanny decided to blow up the defense. It doesn't make sense for 2 huge reasons. First, we were arguably a player or two away from an elite defense. Build around phat Al and an emerging dominant DL, get Landry to SS and add the best FS available. Maybe upgrade a LB spot. Presto! We're a dominant, well-oiled defensive machine (think the Giants right now). Instead by changing to the 3-4 we missed out on the opportunity to take the defense to the next level immediately. But maybe a bigger issue is the opportunity cost of focusing on the defense when the offense needed/needs so much help.

- Shanny neglected the offense. TO is still one of the best WR in the game. We have a pitiful WR corp and could have grabbed him. Silly not to. Our oline is still a disaster. The interior of the line is among the worst in football and that's all on Shanny. He kept Rabach, and our guards either seem not to fit his scheme or just don't have the talent.

- IMHO Shanny has bungled the two major personnel issues to emerge since he got here: Albert and now McNabb. It's just a matter of pride and ego...hard to think of anyone with a bigger ego than our current HC. His way or the highway...He's always right...etc etc.

- Our QB situation still isn't solid. Won't surprise me a bit if we're searching for a new solution during the off-season.

All that said...I love the fact that we're more fun to watch now! My expectations for W-L are right about where the team is, but I enjoy what I see on gameday
I think our D is not as talented as you think. Our DL is junk, and we don't have a rusher to complement Orakpo (who is junk in coverage). Having a few guys with big statistics can be deceiving as to how good our defense is.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:01 AM   #62
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

A good solid B.

He has taken a group of misled over payed molly coddled whiners and turned it in the proper direction. Cooley said it best with " Mom and Dad are home" .

Haynesworth is playing better than he has since he arrived. Portis and Torain both are running better than I ever expected, and CP is back with fresh legs. As far as the O line there is only one good O line player on our team and he's a rookie. That will be corrected over time. Anyone who thinks we can find a Jacoby/Bostic/ Grimm group again better check into rehab. It won't happen again. Rabach has got to go, Heyer always stinks. Old guys need to hang up the cleats and make way for some younguns.

Andy Reid is a great coach. Sending DMac to us was a skillful move. It's no ones fault we took the bait but ours. MS needed a leader McNabb's a leader. But his overall QB skills are gone. Sure he can hit the big play once in awhile, but he will throw it into the ground on an open receiver in the flat on the very next play. You think Andy Reid would have sent us a QB that could beat him for the next 3 years? We won that game against Philly by defense. Once Vick was gone we had a good shot and took it. Mc Nabb is beat up. He is also a warrior and will keep going until he cannot go anymore. I honestly think that MS did this (benching) to stoke him up so he will beat Philly again. It worked with Elway when he was benched and they put in Kubiak. Next game Elway was his old self. I feel that with the buy week and the firestorm around the benching, the Skins will come out and perform way better than anticipated. I don't want to predict a victory because every time I do they lose. But I will be up for the game and any self respecting Redskin fan will be right with me. Grossman will be okay if he gets enough work but he is not the answer for the long term.

All I need remember is the last 20 years, to have a coach who is in charge and not afraid to make the tough unpleasant calls is what I have been hollering for since Gibbs left the first time.

Norv, Robiskie, Spurrier, Shottenheimer,Gibbs 2.0, and finally Zorn......... I'll take Shanahan over all of that group. It still gonna take some time to purge the Cerratto virus but it will get better.
Next year draft QB first, O-line second and a good receiver or two we are back to glory days.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #63
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

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Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
I gave Shanny a D, which I realize is a little harsh but after a guy wins the big one (twice) and takes time away from the game I think the grading scale should get a little tougher.
Excellent point, and I think the thing that people are missing here.

Prevailing thought throughout the thread suggests that Shanahan is doing well enough with what he has. This is wrong. Absolutely wrong. Haslett, I think, is doing well enough with what he has. Not great, but good enough to keep the team competitive. Lou Spanos, yes. Danny Smith, yes. Maybe even Keenan McCardell, sure.

Mike Shanahan hand built this offense. They traded for McNabb, traded for Jammal Brown, drafted Trent Williams. This administration -- not the previous one -- extended Casey Rabach's contract. This coaching staff added Lichtensteiger and Hicks. This coaching staff kept freakin Will Montgomery over a couple of guards with upside in Rinehart and Edwin Williams. This offensive line was handpicked to start by Shanahan with the lone exception of Derrick Dockery, who hasn't played an offensive snap since Week 2 (and wasn't good anyway). It was their decision to make a move at the QB position that only made sense for THIS season, and go get Donovan McNabb.

It makes absolutely no sense to justify the offensive struggles as a hangover from the Zorn era because all of Zorn's toys are gone. None of the OL contracts from Zorn's tenure exist. That OL is gone. The most targeted complementary receivers last season were Devin Thomas and Antwaan Randle El. They are gone. The running backs who replaced Portis last year: Betts, Cartwright, Mason, and Ganther. All gone (and still in the league, with the exception of Mason). There's no Jason Campbell or Todd Collins or Colt Brennan, Jordan Palmer, or Chase Daniel to blame the offensive woes on.

This IS the offense that Mike Shanahan dreamed up in a year of sitting out from coaching. Look around. This is the final product. There is no great future plan that is being built to. You can blame injuries if you wish, because injuries have cost us Portis, Cooley, Trent Williams, and Jammal Brown for different lengths of time, but still, who is going to be accountable for a largely disastrous offseason? It's Shanahan, obviously.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #64
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

The topic of McNabb's benching seems to be the sticking point for most fans. So I ask, could it be that MS is taking a page out of Bilicheats scripts and used the wrong script at the wrong time?

When he was fired he went to see how the Steeler's and Patriots run their 3-4 defense. He was pretty set on running a 3-4. I think the rumblings about the team maybe running some 4-3 schemes was to throw off other teams game planning. But I still think he (MS) kinda looks up to what Bilicheat has done in New England and is trying to model his coaching style a little after him.

The problem is (I think) MS is not used to fans who are so well knowledged or the media from this area asking such detailed questions for their fans. He even said it after one of the preseason games that the DC media is so much different from the Denver media and he evaded a question which I think he felt might have helped out opponants for our future. I think he might even take offense to our media asking questions which would require him to divulge too much info.

I see the Haynesworth issue as the same sort of thing. He didn't want to divulge too much info for other teams to start game planning around AH. So MS was evasive and kept saying well he'll play if he's fit to play. Then you had AH running around taking offense to the media questioning him about what MS said about him which AH might not have known was said.

I guess basically I see the media as the problem. No offense to any media guys out there but perhaps cutting back on the questions that divulge too much info might be helpful even though its the detailed questions thats news worthy.

However I just have a hard time penalizing him for a crappy offense when he's trying to use the hand he's been dealt. Give him credit he picked up a LT. Now if he goes out and picks up a Center or RT this coming draft it will say a lot to me that he's doing his best to fix the problem. But I still have to give him an "A" at this point for making this team look and play competative each week. Look past the Rams and Lions. Both teams are better then I thought they would be. We beat the Packers who I figured would be one of the play off teams and probably will. We have a close game with Indy. Again another play off team I figured. I think the second half of the season will tell us more about us and our division rivals since we start playing teams they played already.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:32 AM   #65
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

I think Shanahan has done fairly well so far with the exception of benching McNabb last game. Yes, he did hand pick the current starters on the offense after purging a decent chunk of last years roster; however, there was only limited options for him to upgrade with. The lack of draft picks and FA available made this year more of a "do what we can to hold over till next year". Trading for McNabb and Brown were quality moves imo because it gave him a leader he could trust (or was the thinking when he traded for McNabb) and a former pro-bowler to protect him who was seen at the time as a definite upgrade over Heyer.

The WR situation has left something to desire (would love to see Williams and Galloway released in favor of Austin and anyone else, including the new PS addition - Taurus) but I believe that will be addressed in next years draft.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:34 AM   #66
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

Goat,

Your right Shanahan didn't take over a team with out any talent but he did take over a team that had little to no talent on the OL. Everyone has said year in and year out if the OL was better and the QB had time to throw the ball this team would be better. The OL really has not changed talent wise even though they added new pieces to the puzzle. Trent is clearly our best OL. Hopefully MS can make the OL better this offseason cause lord knows he didn't have much to work with and very little OL in the free agency market.

I see the defense as having a similar issue. Our DL is not 3-4 quality. Our LB's although one or two can play in this scheme the rest are not 3-4 quality. So now it goes to fans expecting a HC or DC to totally skip the style they want to run or would like to run and only utilize the scheme for the type of players they have.

I still say had the team came out and said "REBUILD" many fans would be sitting her right now saying "Wow, we are in rebuild mode and the team is 4-4 at the halfway point. " "Give them a couple of more years and we are talking Super Bowl." Instead we see the opposite, fans complaining that MS has ego issues (which sounds very similar to what fans said about Schottenhiemer), He's not playing the right scheme to his strength's defensively, He lied to the media (like Bilicheat has done), and we have only played 8 games.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:42 AM   #67
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

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I think Shanahan has done fairly well so far with the exception of benching McNabb last game. Yes, he did hand pick the current starters on the offense after purging a decent chunk of last years roster; however, there was only limited options for him to upgrade with. The lack of draft picks and FA available made this year more of a "do what we can to hold over till next year". Trading for McNabb and Brown were quality moves imo because it gave him a leader he could trust (or was the thinking when he traded for McNabb) and a former pro-bowler to protect him who was seen at the time as a definite upgrade over Heyer.

The WR situation has left something to desire (would love to see Williams and Galloway released in favor of Austin and anyone else, including the new PS addition - Taurus) but I believe that will be addressed in next years draft.
I have to agree with you. I hoped we would not have been interested in McNabb. I kept seeing injured McNabb and McNabb who throws dirt balls and over throws his receivers, however in hind sight perhaps a really good move cause McNabb probably has kept us in the games we have been in.

The benching issue I have no problem with since Reid even benched McNabb. Shanahan has benched QB's also. As long as he's fair and consistant I have not problem with it, but I don't think I would have done it in the game he did it in. If we are definitly losing a game then take him out to keep him from getting injured and see what Grossman can do. To be down only a TD and take out probably one of the best last minute QB's in the league for a QB that has not played all season and is sitting on the bench cold was not a bright thing to do. But the team did look flat and MS was looking for a spark. To bad he wasn't honest with the media about it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:52 AM   #68
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

I should clarify: I actually agree with you on the benching point. Benching McNabb in general I wouldn't have a problem with if he isn't playing well / games out of reach so avoid the possibility of injury. The timing was my issue, with less than 2 minutes in a 1 possession game.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:59 PM   #69
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

C, the jury is still deliberating. The team still have some of the same problems as last year; weak offensive line with thin backups, poor third down conversions, poor defense on third and fourth down situations and sporadic offense. Is Shanahan completely to blame? I would say NO. He inherited a dysfunctional team and is doing a fair job to turn it around, BUT I have to question his methods. What little talent and team unity is being completely torn down by some of these head scratching soap-operas. The decision to keep Larry Johnson, Willie Parker through training camp as competition for Clinton Portis and then eventually letting Johnson and Parker go, is a head scratcher. Starting Joey Galloway and releasing Devin Thomas, is a head scratcher. Starting Kory Lichtensteiger over Derrick Dockery, is a head scratcher. The whole fiasco with Albert Haynesworth, is a head scratcher. The handling of Donovan McNabb is the biggest head scratcher of all. What coach in his right mind sits down his healthy starting quarterback when the game can be won. I don't care how bad of a game he is having. Would the Colts sit Manning, would the Patriots sit Brady, would the Chargers sit Rivers...hell no. I'm starting to see why the fans in Denver turned on him!
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:18 PM   #70
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

While I agree completely that MS benching McNabb with 2 minutes to go and the game on the line is baffling, I can tell you that there are a lot of Broncos fans (perhaps a majority) who would love to trade coaches with us...
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:36 PM   #71
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

Benching McNabb was a horrible decision. Even with that, we are 4-4 so I don't see how I could give anything lower than a B relative to last year.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:38 PM   #72
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

Some of the people here giving Cs and Ds are always going to give low grades and will never be satisfied. No point trying to convince them otherwise.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:45 PM   #73
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

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While I agree completely that MS benching McNabb with 2 minutes to go and the game on the line is baffling, I can tell you that there are a lot of Broncos fans (perhaps a majority) who would love to trade coaches with us...
good point
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #74
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

This is a great thread!!!

The posts are insightful and well written and the differences of opinion very interesting. At the very least Shanny has made it fun
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:23 AM   #75
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Re: Analyzing Mike Shanahan at the Midway Point

I gave Shanahan a "D" and here is my humble opinion as to why.

I know what we were getting when we got Shanahan. And unfortunately it wasn't someone that was going to completely rebuild and start from scratch, and sacrifice a losing season in order to be better in the future. I know what I just said is easier said than done (hell just about everything we say here is), but I still think we got someone that wants to try to win now, while trying to rebuild (which I think is a bit impossible).

Now, Shanahan's accomplishments with the team should not be overlooked. He and Bruce Allen have brought professionalism to the front office. I think they have been a welcome change in attitude and discipline to the team, that was lacking after two horrendous years with Zorn. However, I think this is the key to evaluate Shanahan. Zorn's short tenure was awful, as was Vinny's long tenure. And I feel that as fans it is easy to criticize any criticism of Shanahan, because compared to what we had he is leaps and bounds better.

I also like to mention that I think Shanahan's work with the Redskins alumni was genius. He drafted our Left Tackle of the future, and made some nice acquisitions that are working out well. The change to the 3-4 I see both as a positive and a negative. You can't ignore the fact that the team is taking the ball away more often and led the league recently in takeaways. The defense is more aggressive and physical than it ever was with Blache. And I think it has brought the best out of Landry, Orakpo, and Hall.

To wrap up, here is my criticism. I feel that the Haynesworth drama and the latest McNabb drama could have been handled differently. I really hope he didn't spend two draft picks to evaluate McNabb. If so, he should've just used those picks to improve the offense in other ways, and stick with Campbell. We probably would have a losing record right now, but for the sake of rebuilding I would be fine with this (probably not, but in the long run yes). I feel that the change to the 3-4 was unnecessary. While yes, it may be a trend, we didn't have the personnel for it and that wasn't the biggest issue with our team. I feel that any efforts into change our defense into a 3-4, should've gone into improving the offense. And improve it not for the sake of winning right away, but maybe set it up to win in the future.

So we move on to the second half of the season. I truly hope that at the end of the season I am eating crow and taking everything that I say back. But at this moment, I feel that we are middle of the road team, with a lot of question marks for the future.
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