A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Pretty Impressive...

    I remember watching this play live, and thinking "why cant the skins ever get a qb that can just make things happen like that"....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wk0FTF0-eo

    if he can do that with friggin freddy mitchell...im cant wait to see what he can do with moss, cooley, thomas and kelly!!

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    One thing about McNabb I think Redskins fans will notice early on is his ability to improvise and execute when doing so. We've had quarterbacks here for a long time who could generally make the play when it was there to be made ... what we've lacked is the quarterback who can not only do that but can make plays on his own at the games' key moments. Those are generally the plays that determine which team walks away with the close 3 point win and which goes home talking about "what if."

    Been a long time since there's been a Legitimate Professional Quarterback at the helm here. McNabb may not be bound for Canton, but he is most definitely a Pro. It won't take long for Redskins fans to begin to understand that once the games start.

    Of course, it also won't take long for many of them to start bitching that it still ain't good enough. It's what fans do.
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    I wonder though. A QB riffing and making a play happen when it appeared to have broken down is as much a function of the coaching staff as it is the QB.

    Brunell was an example of that. He actually had a pretty good feel for the play and an ability to make create opportunities when the scripted play had broken down when he was with the Jaguars. But Gibbs eschewed that sort of freelancing and preached throwing it away rather than taking the risk of a negative play.

    Reid seemed to have more tolerance for QB creativity with McNabb, but I don't know where Shanahan's threshold for that kind of riffing is.
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    James Madison

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    Didn't Cutler have a lot fewer INTs under Shannahan than at the Bears? That would make me think Shanny may want McNabb to throw it away as well, rather than risk something bad happen.

    However, hopefully he is smart enough to realize that McNabb and Cutler are two different QBs.
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    While I don't want to take anything away from McNabb, I notice something else in this play . . . his O-Line stayed in the play and kept working to help him. He got a couple of very key blocks in there to help him stay alive long enough to find Mitchell and get him the ball.

    We have not exactly had great second and third effort from the line to help the QB out when things go bad lately.
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    terry...i get where you are coming from, and it certainly is a valid point...but i see the gibbs /brunell analogy a bit different. gibbs knew that brunell didnt have the legs or the arm that he had with jax...and told him to throw it away so as not to get killed. i think gibbs was more scared of having to play JC than any negative plays (and know we know why).

    as for shanny...it will certainly be interesting how he handles a qb like mcnabb, who is definitely known to improvise.

    as mike mentioned...i think his experience with elway will help a lot in how he deals with mcnabb.

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    I think Terry's point is a good one--QB's who go aggressively off script when plays break down can be both a boon and a liability. The "big play" that comes off an ad-lib can break your heart (Favre in the NFC title game) as well as lift it (Montana-to-Clark). A good coach has to know his QB and give him an appropriate amount of leeway/autonomy to "make things happen." It's not unlike a good director knowing just how much room he can afford to give his mercurial lead actor room to ad lib within a script.

    Shanahan will have to feel his way on that score ... he won't get to see McNabb in clutch situations until they're facing live game situations this fall, so my guess is he'll try to finesse McNabb into playing it fairly close to the vest as they get to know one another and the offense as a whole starts to find an identity.

    The interesting aspect of that will be dealing with McNabb's already being an established star in the league. It'll be fascinating to watch the interplay of ego as coach (Mike and/or Kyle) and QB move forward.

    The second aspect of this is what I was initially thinking about ... the physical part. McNabb brings an athletic ability and QB-specific skill set we have not seen around here in, well, 20+ years. That's the part that I think is going to take a whole generation of young Redskins fans by surprise--they don't know what a Real Pro QB looks like up close wearing the right colors. It's one thing to watch McNabb's highlights wearing that funky green with all the bad connotations. It'll be entirely another to see him Make Plays wearing burgundy and gold.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    The interesting aspect of that will be dealing with McNabb's already being an established star in the league. It'll be fascinating to watch the interplay of ego as coach (Mike and/or Kyle) and QB move forward.
    I think the experience Shanny had working with Elway will help a lot in this regard. Very similar situations.
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    Another factor that I think may play into this-one I have seen as one of the main topics on fan boards I've been checking out across the league-is the psychological effect a warm fan reception will have on McNabb and how he plays. Frankly, with the Iggles he was never accepted, liked or appreciated by the Eagles fan base from the day he was drafted and no matter what kind of public face a player puts on, I find it very difficult to believe that that doesn't have an effect-even if only subconsciously-on how they play. He's getting a very warm reception here now and I'm wondering if he may start playing better than he did, say, his last couple of years with the Iggles because of it.
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    McNabb is probably the best QB weve had since Sonny..... we have not seen anyone in burgundy and gold with his ability, can't wait ....we have to get better at "o"-line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    We've had quarterbacks here for a long time who could generally make the play when it was there to be made ... what we've lacked is the quarterback who can not only do that but can make plays on his own at the games' key moments.
    I don't recall getting that from our QBs. Ramsey, JC, and even Brunell seemed to leave a lot of plays on the field (i.e. missed opportunities). If DM can improvise AND actually take whats given consistently then I think we will really notice it.

    Of course, his ability to do any of that it going to hinge on whether the team can put together any adequate blocking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaSkin43 View Post
    McNabb is probably the best QB weve had since Sonny..... we have not seen anyone in burgundy and gold with his ability, can't wait ....we have to get better at "o"-line.
    I'm not so sure he is that much better than Joey T. People sell him sort, IMHO, due to the powerful running game and how his career ended. The Skins would have been solid contenders for the next few years if his career had not been cut off by injury. He has something that neither Sonny or McNabb have . . . a Lombardi and he wasn't just a passenger on that train like someone like Trent Dilfer was. He was a legit contributor.
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  13. #13
    kirbster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    I'm not so sure he is that much better than Joey T. People sell him sort, IMHO, due to the powerful running game and how his career ended. The Skins would have been solid contenders for the next few years if his career had not been cut off by injury. He has something that neither Sonny or McNabb have . . . a Lombardi and he wasn't just a passenger on that train like someone like Trent Dilfer was. He was a legit contributor.
    While I agree Joey T was vastly underrated, I don't think he had anything left even before that horrific injury on 11/18/85. That last season, he was playing horribly, and he (and maybe Gibbs) was the only one who couldn't see it. He was definitely a player on the decline. But I give him his due: for those first few Gibbs years, Joey T was something else, and 1984, he was extraordinary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Om View Post
    One thing about McNabb I think Redskins fans will notice early on is his ability to improvise and execute when doing so. We've had quarterbacks here for a long time who could generally make the play when it was there to be made ... what we've lacked is the quarterback who can not only do that but can make plays on his own at the games' key moments. Those are generally the plays that determine which team walks away with the close 3 point win and which goes home talking about "what if."

    Been a long time since there's been a Legitimate Professional Quarterback at the helm here. McNabb may not be bound for Canton, but he is most definitely a Pro. It won't take long for Redskins fans to begin to understand that once the games start.

    Of course, it also won't take long for many of them to start bitching that it still ain't good enough. It's what fans do.
    This is why i think Oline isn't as dire as it was 2 weeks ago. Dont' get me wrong, Oline is still the #1 priority going into the draft. But since DM is so savy in the pocket and able to extend plays, he could be successful when the pocket collapses. Actually most of Mcnabbs greatest plays came when the play was broken down and he had to improvise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by authentic View Post
    ...Actually most of Mcnabbs greatest plays came when the play was broken down and he had to improvise.
    Which brings me full circle... how much does a control freak, like Shanahan appears to be, squirm on the sideline while McNabb checks down to an option that even Shanahan didn't know was built into the play
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Which brings me full circle... how much does a control freak, like Shanahan appears to be, squirm on the sideline while McNabb checks down to an option that even Shanahan didn't know was built into the play
    Makes one wonder what Shanahan was thinking when Elway went Huey in SBXXXII ...

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja69mTbL388[/video]

    My guess? As long as he makes the play, it's all good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Which brings me full circle... how much does a control freak, like Shanahan appears to be, squirm on the sideline while McNabb checks down to an option that even Shanahan didn't know was built into the play
    With all the talk of how football smart Shanahan is, I rather doubt there are any built in options he is not aware of. Just sayin'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I wonder though. A QB riffing and making a play happen when it appeared to have broken down is as much a function of the coaching staff as it is the QB.

    Brunell was an example of that. He actually had a pretty good feel for the play and an ability to make create opportunities when the scripted play had broken down when he was with the Jaguars. But Gibbs eschewed that sort of freelancing and preached throwing it away rather than taking the risk of a negative play.

    Reid seemed to have more tolerance for QB creativity with McNabb, but I don't know where Shanahan's threshold for that kind of riffing is.
    two separate issues: policy...ability
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Which brings me full circle... how much does a control freak, like Shanahan appears to be, squirm on the sideline while McNabb checks down to an option that even Shanahan didn't know was built into the play
    you'll have to break that thought down to what planes Shanahan seeks to control.
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    As I noted elsewhere, Gibbs controlled the riffing capability Brunell had by telling him to throw the ball away should the play break down. The policy was security and predictability even though he had a QB with an ability for improvisation.

    I have no idea what planes Shanahan seeks to control, but in my experience, control freaks tend not to be able to turn that on or off. And for some people it tends to become more pronounced as they get older, though I couldn't begin to tell you if that's the case with him. But he has shown a propensity for it in the past.

    I would only note that he's new to this organization and these players, that he's the current alpha dog, and he's going to pee on everything to show that it belongs to him. My guess is that until these guys have proven themselves to him, micro-management of everything that he can have control over will be his default mode.

    IMO, he will want plays run precisely his way, he will want the check downs to proceed as he designed them, and we will want to force that both as a learning tool and to create scheme memory in the players. At this point in the curve, repetition will be key. I find it hard to believe that riffing will be an option, at least at first.

    I welcome any counter argument to that.
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