Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Finally, a Redskins offseason in the hands of a competent pair (Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen) instead of a dimwitted duo. A pair that will have a plan, implement it, draft wisely, demonstrate patience, and develop players. Or will they?

We all know that Shanahan (138-90 career W-L, 8-5 Postseason record) and Allen have been successful on their own. But can they coexist together, with Snyder, and within the NFC East? I'm not so optimistic.

The new power structure atop the Redskins organization is bizarre and disaster already foreseeable. Bruce Allen was hired as GM, but all the football decisions are being left to Shanahan. Um, what? Per Adam Schefter, who appears once every 4 minutes on ESPN, Snyder is leaving all football decisions in the hands of his two new hires. Sure, Adam. So basically, Bruce Allen is in charge of the team, except when Shanahan says otherwise, and except when Snyder decides to sign Free Agent Y for $800 million over the next 17 seasons. This is going to be fun.

And I'm not so optimistic about Shanahan as a coach/personnel guy. Shanahan inherited the Broncos Super Bowl rosters, and then after Elway retired built his teams around smaller and quicker zone-blocking offensive linemen, and zero defense. Everyone in DC is clamoring with Hogs-nostalgia for a sturdy offensive line that will take us into the 2020s. Will Shanahan adapt to the bruising NFC East style or try to impose his zone blocking scheme on it? Or will it be an awkward mix that completely fails? One offseason, the last place Browns cut their entire defensive line, and Shanahan signed them all one by one. The Broncos remain one of the league's worst defenses year-to-year, and that's all thanks to Shanahan.

When newcomers arrive in DC, fans become impatient and Snyder's deep pockets tempt those in charge to make the quick fix. But we need something different. We need a team built soundly and developed patiently. This will require three giant egos to coexist, will require Allen and Shanahan to work together towards constructing a sound and deep roster on both sides of the ball, and will require unprecedented patience on Snyder's part. Making it work won't be automatic. It will take time, and it might fail. If recent history has taught us anything, it probably will.

Don't be tempted by the big-name hire. It doesn't mean anything until we see the results.


  1. Here's the thing you don't seem to grasp: the past year was rock bottom. There is no possible way it can get lower than this. So the excitement surrounding Shanahan is similar to the Obama election - change we can believe in. Anything is better than the shit we've seen recently. So the excitement is not only warranted, but probably realistic, too.

  2. No one cares about slight improvement. If they do, they are missing the point.

    The point is Super Bowls. I'm not optimistic about that until I see the change that I'm supposed to believe in. Sorry.


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