This is the 5th season that the Washington Redskins are led by head coach Mike Shanahan. Kyle Shanahan is the son that gets added onto the storylines, he also happens to be the offensive coordinator of the Redskins. For the record, I have no problem typing that word and do not think that sudden protests against a name that was established in 1932 should change anything. In short, society being temperamental and obsessive over political correctness is out of control.
As for Kyle the son, he admits leaving the Houston Texans to join his father in Washington was a goal of his. You have to take once in a lifetime opportunities when they are presented. As for Kyle the coach, just go down to Houston and ask Matt Schaub if he wished Shanahan stayed with the Texans.
Under Kyle Shanahan in Houston, Schaub made a pair of Pro Bowl appearances, winning MVP in his second visit to Hawaii. 2009 was the last of three seasons played for the offensive coordinator, Schaub led the NFL in yards passing. His quarterback rating in each season from earliest to most recent: 87.2, then 92.7, finishing at 98.6. He carried the momentum of that production through the next couple of years, before shuffling in and out of the lineup, throwing pick sixes for a living. Between Shanahan and Schaub, if one moved on from their current team or Shanahan became a head coach, it would not be surprising if they reunited.
Reiterating what Coach Shanahan shared at his press conference in regards to Robert Griffin III being shut down for the season, it was very hard for him to leave a situation that he loved. I am looking forward to the day that Shanahan becomes a head coach, appreciating his ability to separate his father relationship from coaching. My reason may very well derive from being in a similar situation, coaching basketball at my high school alma mater with my father. Shanahan is developing into a media darling, keeping it real to win over some die-hard fans.
I studied every potential Xs and Os play and issue possible. I spent my whole life working on that. My goal was that any question a player could have about anything on the field, I’d be able to answer it.
Putting the team into focus, Robert Griffin III is the second round pick that will spectate the final trio of games. Head Coach Mike Shanahan is on the hot seat while Owner, Dan Snyder, is looking forward to spending the money for desired players and coaches. Patience may ware thin before the father Shanahan can see his 5-year plan through, and whenever that day comes expect him to suit up for television.
On paper the defense should be a lot better, but it appears that age and injuries have caught up to the second worst unit in the league. Only Washington and Minnesota give up 30 points each week on average. Griffin III has played under center in all 13 games up to this point, with backup quarterback Kirk Cousins relieving twice in blowout losses. Mike Shanahan stated that preserving Griffin’s health on a 3-10 team as the reason for ending his season. Rumored to be playing in pain, he now gets ample time to rest after taking the third most hits among quarterbacks.
Kirk Cousins gets his number called to start the final three games, showcasing himself in a few unique ways. For starters, justifying the franchise’s decision, trading three picks to St. Louis for Griffin III with the second selection. The outcome is far from resolved, the Rams used those picks on defense: defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and linebacker Alec Ogletree. On top of that they receive Washington’s first round pick that is destined to be top 5, while St. Louis is in line for a top 10 pick of their own at 5-8. In that same draft with the third pick, Cousins instantly became the backup plan in case of injury or losing. Both in their second season, Griffin III is the unanimous franchise quarterback that will be watching on the sidelines. Cousins gets an opportunity to start, to show the Redskins and the league what his value is. He gets the nod this Sunday at Atlanta, a matchup of 3-10 teams that made the playoffs last year.
Aside from the Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan speculation, how Cousins plays will have a hand in several offseason decisions for 2014. Who is the future quarterback? Do you keep both signal callers on the roster? Does one get traded, especially in a draft without a first round pick? Who is the backup quarterback that you could depend on? Teams have figured out how to stop an offense that made the playoffs a year ago. The front office has to decide if they put together a talented roster to make the postseason again. They have to figure out if they believe in the head coach, or the offensive and defensive coordinators for that matter.
Mike Shanahan has had a controversial stint with the Redskins so far, relationships with players blowing up in the media and now deactivating a first round quarterback. General Manager Bruce Allen should get evaluated, nobody escapes this chaos, especially a team missing a lot of pieces. The team as a whole has struggled. Opponents have won most weekly battles against them on special teams, referring to returns and field advantage. The defense allows the second-most points and 10th most yards. The offense led by the Shanahan coaches and Griffin III scores about 22 points per game, around the league average. That side of the ball leads the team, ranking 7th overall in the NFL: top rushing attack in football, 16th through the air which is around the average production.
Since Kyle Shanahan has been professional throughout the process, I would turn to him as the next head coach. You simply do not want your coach to allow negative publicity to hit the headlines with regularity, and he has been at the center of all of it: Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth, Robert Griffin III. Most would probably side with Mike Shanahan because he does not let players walk on water. More of that is needed in sports, and the real world actually, but the old school approach has not meshed with new age media unfortunately. Enter his son, who coordinates the lone bright spot on a disappointing team. Young blood but seasoned, he is a coach’s son that played college football. He relates to players at a high level, getting production from offenses and quarterbacks. Kyle Shanahan is in a very intense and challenging position on the sidelines and in front of the cameras, he has handled himself the media exceptionally.
Houston Texans Defensive Coordinator, Wade Phillips
Wade Phillips has been the defensive coordinator for the Texans the past few seasons, since Kyle Shanahan departed. He has been promoted to interim head coach after Gary Kubiak was let go. A former head coach and long-time defensive coordinator, Phillips recently invited Big-12 officials to practice in an effort to diminish penalties. Anyways, Houston will be interviewing external coaching candidates, and Phillips could be available again if they replace him with a defensive coach. He could still be retained by the Texans if they hired a new head coach, one that is focused on the offensive side of the ball. If made available however, Washington should keep their eyes on that situation to improve and stabilize their defense.
On the flip side, if Kyle Shanahan moved on from the Redskins, whether he gets let go with his father or gets an opportunity elsewhere, could be a candidate to return to to the Texans. Shanahan could reunite as offensive coordinator, or get the promotion to head coach with Phillips settling in his home state at coordinator. Much like Steelers defensive coordinator, Dick Labeau style. Less stress, less media, strictly football X’s and O’s at an older age. That of course, could heal the wounds of the struggling Matt Schaub. The alternative, could be to rid his contract to coach up the young QBs on the roster, or bring in a new leader from a quarterback-heavy draft.