The Snyder Problem
OK, so maybe that title isn't specific enough. Heck, it probably isn't accurate enough. THE Snyder problem? Too many to count, really. Would you like me to list them chronologically or alphabetically?
All right, enough of that. The problem to which I am referring is the Head Coach of the Washington Redskins. Not Mike Shanahan specifically (though we will get to him in a minute), but just the position of Head Coach in general.
Fans everywhere are clammoring for Defensive Coordinator Jim Hazlett's head right now, and justifiably so in my opinion. The rumbles of discontent with Mike Shanahan have evolved to include the letter "g", and are getting progressively louder as the losses pile up.
Let's play this out. Let's say for the sake of argument that the Skins finish the season with a record less than or equal to 6-10. With three straight disappointing seasons (not even going to discuss the McNacle or Wreck in detail here), even the most patient of fans might allow that perhaps a change needs to be made. Certainly arguments could be made to the contrary, but to say Shanahan's time here has been anything but mediocre is simply innaccurate.
So if Snyder pulls the trigger, who would he hire to replace?
Let's look back at who has worked under Snyder and who hasn't worked. He has tried the offensive genius college coach in Steve Spurrier that ended... uh, ignominiously to be generous. He has now tried two coaching legends in Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan with mixed results. Gibbs did better than could be expected in retrospect with two playoff appearances in 4 years, and one INT drop from Stone Hands away from the NFC Championship game. Mike Shanahan has been incredibly disappointing, with the team being out of contention around Thanksgiving every year. The only one that could fit this description would be Sean Payton, and I'm not completely convinced NO will let him get away. That leaves an up and coming assistant. If Redskins fans can stomach the thought of another Norv, possibly with better results, this seems like the most likely solution.
So start scouring through the NFL coaches ranks, my friends. It may very well be that our next head coach is working on a NFL team already, hoping that he gets picked for greatness.
For everything else we complain about regarding Dan Snyder, coaching has been perhaps his biggest pitfall. With the exception of the Joe Gibbs era, the Redskins have been the punchline far more often than not, a lot of which could be directly traceable back to the head coach.
Dan needs to get this right.