The Redskins 2010 season is over, Johnny. Although 6-10 is disappointing, we're not ready to throw in the towel on Team Shanahan quite yet. Even through all the adversity and drama that was the 2010 Washington Redskins, we think there is a lot to be positive about moving forward. Here is our final, bundled up take on the team.
First and foremost, Mike Shanahan is not to blame for the worthless, fat fuck that is Albert Haynesworth. All the pundits who spent most of training camp and the first part of the season, bitching about how Mike Shanahan was "humiliating" Fat Albert with the conditioning tests- you guys are idiots. Shanahan didn't bring this asshole into Ashburn in the first place, and his hands were tied once the fat fuck got paid, and had pretty much had made up his mind that he wasn't going to play.
There really is not much a coach can do, when a player does not want to commit himself to the task at hand, and that's what Shanahan was up against. And we're pretty sure most of the locker room would agree, and side with the Coach.
Shanahan's first year in DC obviously wasn't perfect. Far from it, in fact. Did Shanahan make his fair share of mistakes? Yes. Do we think that they are as catastrophic as they have been made out to be, by some of the Redskin fans and media? Absolutely not. But for Christ's sake, if taking over a team was poker, the hand he was dealt(courtesy of a dealer named Bug Eyed Vinny) was 7-2 offsuit.
Shanahan was like a 5 star chef who was brought into the kitchen (Redskin Park) and asked to make Filet Mignon and lobster tail, out of dirty diapers and used feminine hygiene products.
We can't believe how quickly people have forgotten just how absurdly awful things were at the end of 2009. It was complete chaos. You had players practicing when they wanted to practice, players going over their coaches' heads to the owner and GM, requesting that certain player's playing time be reduced. We had swinging gates, mountain bike and canoe rides, bingo caller offensive coordinators. It was a total fucking mess.
To hear sports talk show hosts who are angling for listeners even fathom the idea that the Redskins were in better shape at the end of '09 than they are right now, is 100% retarded.
Now it cannot be argued or debated, that the trade for Donovan McNabb was a colossal mistake. It doesn't really matter how it went down or whoever was the one that pulled the trigger on the deal; it backfired on a Richter Scale type level.
It apparently didn't take the Shanahans very long (the Detroit game) to figure out that Donovan wasn't "their" guy, but the red flags should've been recognized back in April. One of the smartest coaches in the league (Andy Reid), along with one of the smartest organizations in the league (Philadelphia Eagles), were willing to trade this guy within the division.
Spare us the argument that they wanted to do right by Donovan, for all that he had done in Philly. Their job- first and foremost, is to do right by the Philadelphia Eagles. And if Reid and company even thought for a second, that McNabb and the Redskins would stick it up their ass this year and for years to come, they would've never made that trade in the first place.
An oversight by Shanahan, Allen, and most likely, Snyder- yes. Does it smart that they pissed away draft picks? Absolutely. But whats done is done. They thought McNabb would work and then quickly realized that he wouldn't, and now they're cutting ties and moving on. We highly suggest Redskin Nation do the same, and quit reacting to this as if you walked in on Shanahan crushing your wife.
By all means, Shanahan's 2nd season- if warranted, should be open to any and all negative criticism. Over his first year, we think its important that he did come in and establish a "my way or the highway" bar. Its something that has been lacking in Ashburn since Dan Snyder became owner. Its shocking to us, that Shanahan's implementation of this tactic, was met by such criticism. As life long Washingtonians and Redskin fans, it was embarrassing to listen to.
Speaking of embarrassing to listen to, Redskin fans at Fed Ex Field last Sunday: If you're team is 6-9, and you've been out of the playoff picture for 3 weeks, and as an organization, you've pretty much been irrelevant for close to 20 years now, why are you cheering at out of town scores that will affect the NY Giants? Its pathetic, and its a subtle part of the Snyder culture, that Shanahan is trying to change for the better. Just saying...
Shanahan's attempt to change the culture, is definitely not the only thing Redskin fan should be happy about. Brandon Banks turned out to be the most explosive player on the Redskins roster, having the ability to change the momentum of a game in a flash. He was top 10 in both Kickoff and punt returns, had a 96 yard KO return and 2 returns called back due to penalty. Pound for pound, the 5'7", 150 lb. Banks is the best player on the team.
Secondly, the Redskins may have found two position players who we feel could contribute in years to come. Anthony Armstrong's 44 receptions were second on the team in WR receptions, and his 19.8 yards per catch, was best on the team- 3rd in the entire NFL.
Ryan Torain showed signs of a player who is ready to assume the role of the Redskins starting back. His 158 yard 1st half performance against Tampa was one for the books. He finished the season with 742 yards rushing, and 4 TDs. For all running backs in the NFL, with at least 150 carries, his 4.5 yds/per was top 10 in the entire NFL.
Jim Haslett's 3-4 defense was under fire for the majority of the season, and deservedly so. When you're ranked 32nd out of 32 teams, that's code for, "you suck". However, if you want silver linings, we got'em. The last quarter of the season wasn't a total disaster defensively. Granted, they gave up over 400 yards and 33 points to the Cowgirls, but Grossman's pick and horrible special team coverage, put the defense in the hole early and often in that game.
Looking at the final 4 games of the season, if you exclude the game in Dallas, the Redskins defense gave up just 17 points/game, and 340 yard/game. Based on end of year statistics for the entire NFL, the 17 points/per would've ranked 4th, and the 340 yards/per would've ranked 20th. It is something to hang your hat on, for a system that we imagine will only continue to get better.
Final analysis: The team is not a total debacle, like many like to think and say they are. We feel Grossman is a short term answer, but not long term. As the Redskins and Shanahan continue to put other parts in place, we feel Grossman will be adequate. Personally, unless the Redskins can move up to the 1st pick and draft Andrew Luck, we would avoid taking a QB early. They should continue to build their lines on both sides of the ball, and continue to focus on protecting whomever is under center, and providing good blocking for their run game, whether its Torain or somebody else. Lets not forget, Shanahan turned a former Marine (yeah I know, Jarheads, once a Marine, always a Marine) Mike Anderson, who did absolute nothing once he got out of Shanahan's system, into an almost 1,500 yard rusher.
Lets also not forget that it took Shanahan two seasons to turn the Broncos around. Having taken over for Wade Phillips after the 1994 season, Shanahan finished 8-8 in his first full season in Denver. In his second full season as the Broncos HC, Shanahan and the Broncos finished 13-3.
Have some faith, haters. All was not lost in 2010. The Redskins lost 6 games by 4 points or less, all while employing a kicker who led the league in field goals missed (11). Do the math.
We expect marked improvement for the 2011 campaign. We've gone on record, with a certain sports radio station PD, to state the 2011 Redskins will win at least 9 games. But if the season turns out to be another lackluster year of off field drama accompanied by 5 or 6 or even just 8 wins, by all means, critics should feel free to have a go on Team Shanahan. And we most certainly will get out our forks, and have a go with our humble pie.
Next Blog: Friday. We killed it against the spread for regular season, NFL football. Our 4 pack of opening playoff weekend winners is on deck. Stay tuned.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
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