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Kevin Sheehan - Here We Go Again


You won't find a bigger Redskins fan, or a smarter one in my opinion, than Kevin Sheehan. This post not only makes me sad, but also seems to sum up the entire situation perfectly.

Here We Go Again

Here we go again. We've been here, done this before.

There were Norv Turner's final few hours in December of 2000 which included the absurdity of Eddie Murray attempting a field goal from a distance he told the coach he couldn't make in a 9-7 loss to the Giants. Hours later, Norv was fired and Terry Robiske (aka Robinski according to Deion) took over with a little help from Pepper Rogers.

The next year ended with no "gleam men". Marty Schottenheimer had changed the entire culture of the organization in less than a year but despite an 8-3 finish with Tony Banks and Kent Graham at quarterback, he knew his final hours in a monsoon at Fed Ex against the Cardinals were numbered. His team won that game but he was fired the next day because at least one person in the ownership group didn't like him. Like that should’ve mattered. His 2001 team was as well-coached as any Skins' team in the last 20 years and he was on the verge of turning the Skins into winners again.

Then you had the 2003 snap shot of Steve Spurrier bundled up in the sleet and rain at Fed Ex Field during a late-season 27-0 loss to Dallas. He looked so unhappy and cold. Coaching any team north of Myrtle Beach was never going to be an option for him again even though he had two years left on his contract...."5 and 11, not too good."

The debacle of Jim Zorn and "swinging gate" against the Giants on a Monday night in 2009 with a former Bingo Caller in the booth calling plays was pure comedy.

And then there was today. A 2-time Super Bowl-winning coach seemingly positioning himself to get out of town with a planted story about wanting to leave a year ago because of the quarterback's relationship with the owner. Whether true or not and it's hard to believe that it is true doesn't really matter. He's gone. Add the embarrassment of a borderline unprofessional performance from his team on a snowy Fed Ex Field in front of hearty few; this day fits perfectly with those mentioned above.

This organization has been a freak show for a while now. Sure there have been a few moments here and there. Joe Gibbs 2.0 included two thrilling late-season runs to the playoffs. Last year's first division title since 1999 felt like an organization that had reached a good place. I was convinced the franchise had finally found solid ground. Good culture, franchise QB, division champs....it's still hard to fathom that a franchise could fall apart so quickly in less than 12 months. I mean seriously. How the hell did we get from division title and the feel-good of the win over Dallas to where we are now in less than a year? Even the Shanahai haters didn't predict this.

On another note, I don’t believe that Mike Shanahan had made up his mind that he was going to leave before the playoff game against Seattle. That story makes no sense. His personal popularity among the fans had just reached its highest point. It's ridiculous if he thinks anyone would believe that he had decided to quit after beating Dallas to win the division. There is a perfectly reasonable motive for the story if it came from the coach. He wants the "not my fault" narrative to reign. But that's not fair. He was given a lot of autonomy to do the job and if he got persuaded to do things like play a quarterback that wasn't ready or trade for Donovan McNabb, that's on him.

I certainly buy that at some point since that playoff game against Seattle he’s thought about leaving. For eight months he had to deal with a marketing campaign that pushed for his starting quarterback to come back earlier than he should have. He had to deal public and private suggestions from the QB’s family about his offense and his son’s play calling. Then he was pressured and perhaps even manipulated into playing Griffin in the opener against his better judgment. But he had the power to stop all that and didn't.

He wasn't leaving last January. But it's obvious now that this season and the future of this coaching staff was compromised the second Griffin took the field unready to play in the opener against Philadelphia. And that decision and everything that came after it lays at the feet of the head coach. He's a good coach and he'll coach somewhere else, maybe even next year, but it certainly appears to be over here.

In the end, Robert's enormously successful rookie season blinded all within the organization and falsely led far too many people to believe that this team was ready to compete for an NFC crown, when they were still years away. I've stated many times in the past that just when you think you are turning a corner in this league and on the cusp of success, that is when you often times need to exercise the most patience and see things through properly and carefully. We didn't in regards to Robert Griffin and it bit us in the ass.

Did Mike Shanahan truly believe that despite the roll the Redskins were on a year ago, that they could legitimately beat the likes of the Falcons, 49ers, or Packers in the playoffs? I would contend that it likely would have served us better long-term had the Redskins thought long, hard, and cautiously regarding Robert's first stint of injury last year (following the Ngata hit in the Ravens game) and allowed Kirk to play as long as he needed to. Strike one.

The fiasco of the Seattle playoff game was the second decision making blunder in terms of quarterback and team management. Strike two.

Having Robert rushed back in 2013 was the third in a string of player mismanagement. Coming into 2013, the Redskins were essentially the same team from a year ago, with clear holes on the roster that hadn't been filled to allow them to realistically compete with the conference heavyweights. What would have been the harm in playing Cousins coming into the season? Strike three, Mike.

A taste of success sometimes has a cruel way of making you feel way too good about yourself.

In addition to that, it's sad knowing that the Head Coach seemingly showed through his decisions such a limited sense of belief and confidence in his team that made such huge strides last year, and believed they would be helpless and screwed without #10 behind center.

Sheehan asked in his piece how things could possibly crumble so quickly in less than a 12 month span for this franchise. It ultimately comes down to the trickle down effect of the poor management and handling of Robert Griffin by Shanahan.

Mike is approximately 12 months too late with making the right decision to shut the player down for the season - "handling with care" would have been the more appropriate forward-thinking decision in the midst of team success, despite the backlash it would have likely caused among many fans starving for a winner.

It's easy to make the decision at 3-10.

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