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

Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Disagree Disagree:  0
Post of the Year Post of the Year:  0
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    BGObsessed
    Join Date
    07-19-09
    Location
    Bethesda Md
    Posts
    6,757
    Post Responses
    Thanks, Likes, & More
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)

    Default The Redskins and Jim Harbaugh

    For all those that are looking wistfully at the run of the 49ers to 13-3 and the NFC Championship Game under new coach Jim Harbaugh remember that Harbaugh came into a good situation in San Francisco.

    The 49ers team he inherited had the best talent in their division. Indeed the biggest question in re San Francisco is why they had not progressed faster under former coach Mike Singletary. That put this team in a much different potential trajectory than the Redskins team that Shanahan inherited. No one thought Washington had competitive or contending talent in 2010.

    The 49ers on offense had a feature back, Frank Gore, who was a consistent 1,000 yard rusher still under 30 and productive. The line had high picks like Staley that were younger vets who had already proven themselves as starters. Outside, the 49ers had Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, two top ten selections in the draft.

    Other than Fred Davis, can anyone really say Shanahan came in and lucked out in finding a talented skill player whose underproduction in the previous regime he could exploit?

    Was there even one proven, younger vet on the offensive line to anchor the rebuild around prior to the selection of Trent Williams?

    The quarterback, Alex Smith, who had worked with 5 coordinators in his first 6 years in the NFL was himself the first overall selection in 2005. While he had not performed at that level in the NFL consistently prior to Harbaugh’s arrival, he did come with a strong downfield arm and good mobility on a 6’4 frame. To his credit, Harbaugh wanted to see for himself and didn’t pre-judge Smith until he had a chance to talk to him and review his career to date. Did Shanahan do a good enough job of evaluating Jason Campbell? Donovan McNabb?

    On defense Harbaugh kept the same system. Shanahan did not. But Harbaugh also had pro bowl caliber players in key positions who he could build with for the future. The Redskins defense, while more productive than the offense through the 2000’s, was aging with several starters over 30 and another in Haynesworth who as it turned out was well on his way to being out of the league.

    Patrick Willis, Whitner, Justin Smith, etc. The 49ers had productive mid-career veterans who were healthy and signed to futures contracts.

    Did San Francisco luck into some circumstances? Sure. Carlos Rogers, after spending the first 6 years of his career booting balls that hit his hands, all of a sudden became an interceptor and pass defender. The irony is that while Rogers was angry that he never seemed to fit into Washington’s long-term plans, if he had played here as well as he did in SF in 2011 it would never have been an issue.

    As mentioned before another key circumstance was the team’s placement in the NFC West. The teams in the division were awful. And while the 49ers only lost 3 games and played well on the road during the season coming East on several occasions, the ability to backstop these games with contests against St. Louis, Arizona and Seattle was a luxury teams like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New Orleans did not have.

    It makes interesting conjecture to think about what direction the Redskins would have taken if Harbaugh had been named the coach here in 2010.

    My guess, though, is that given the talent base here and the lack of previous year’s drafts to produce any depth of note, Harbaugh would have struggled to the same 6-10 type record Shanahan did in that first season.

    The one difference I see is that Harbaugh would probably have addressed the qb situation differently. There would have been no Donovan McNabb trade or a trade for a similar late career veteran without a younger, developmental qb on board. There would have been no free agent signing of an undistinguished passer like Rex Grossman.

    Most likely we would have drafted a quarterback in 2010 or 2011, perhaps going for a Ponder, Dalton early or a Mallett late as New England did.

    I would not have been surprised to see Harbaugh go into free agency and bring in a Hasselbeck or Kyle Orton to bridge and give a rookie breathing space to become acclimated to the NFL. But that veteran would have been looked at as a short-term answer only.

    THAT is the one potential significant difference I see. Harbaugh would most likely have been more PATIENT in looking at the options at quarterback and less likely to trade away draft choices for an older player.
    0 0 0 0
     
     

  2. #2
    BGObsessed
    Join Date
    09-15-10
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    294
    Post Responses
    Thanks, Likes, & More
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Navy

    Default

    They remind me of the niners of old, that in the 80's benefited from pathetic teams in the West.
    0 0 0 0
     
     
    Never Get into a Fight with an Ugly Person. They Have nothing to lose. :)

  3. #3
    BGObsessed
    Join Date
    07-19-09
    Location
    Bethesda Md
    Posts
    6,757
    Post Responses
    Thanks, Likes, & More
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)

    Default

    except those teams in the 1980's didn't go 1 for 13 on third down conversions in the NFC Title game

    Again, San Francisco had decent talent this year but was not dominant. They won games by limiting points on defense and by not turning the ball over on offense.

    Funny, how that formula worked out to 13 wins while the Redskins embraced Rex Grossman and his penchant for creating turnovers.

    Those turnovers and not necessarily a lack of talent (although that is obvious at certain positions as well) was the reason this team was 5-11 and not 7-9 or 8-8.
    0 0 0 0
     
     

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Skins Quotes 11/02/11: Shanahan, Beck, Harbaugh, Rogers
    By Boone in forum Sons of Washington
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-05-11, 04:32 AM
  2. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-27-10, 04:51 PM

User Tag List

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •