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Shanahan and Player Acquisition


The Commissioner
Aug 1, 2009
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Florida State
This has been debated in various threads as an aside to the original post, but I figured it warrants a little more discussion. I think a lot of your personal opinions on this matter depend on where you think this team is headed. About 3 games ago, I was convinced this team is on the upswing overall regardless of the losses. I am just not sure if that is the case. I am struggling to see whether it is truly a lack of talent across the board or if our Offensive Coordinator should be fired. But here's my take on player acquisition since the Kyle issue is for another thread.


QB - Shanahan has failed miserably on this one! Matt Hasselback is having a quality year in Tennessee having to play an entirely different style of offense under Munchak. We could have brought him in with all his West Coast experience, and if everyone is correct who thinks an average QB would makes us better, Hasseback's play in TN would transfer to at least a couple wins for us here if we'd brought him in. I think he was not brought in because the focus was on John Beck. Terrible! And after the McNabb situation, we are further away from being a better team because we have such a horrible QB situation. And even if a rookie is brought in next year who is capable of winning the starting job, how well is a rookie going to do with the OL we have?

RB - I like Helu, I like Hightower, I like Torain. I think all 3 are backup RB's in the NFL. And do I need to go back a year to Larry Johnson and Willie Parker?

WR - Paul may turn out to be a good value and it looks like Hank will work out. I will give them both a pass this season. It is rare to see rookie WR's come in and perform like AJ Green this year. But over the past 2 seasons there have been veterans like Joey Galloway, Roydell Williams last year and Donte Stallworth this year? And I will admit I like Stallworth when I saw him at camp.

OL - Terrible! With the latest reports Trent Williams is becoming a big head ache for an overall #4 pick! As for this season, I understand we needed to bolster the defense this year if we were to succeed in the 3-4, but Evan Royster, Brandon Thompson, Dejon Gomes, and Aldrick Robinson? We could have had at least 2 OL who would have added to this team had we chosen maybe 3 or 4 with those picks. If Shanahan is the guru he is supposed to be, he should have found us a couple more lineman here! Chester ain't cutting it!

TE - Paulsen still seems like a steal even though he blew a big 3rd down today with a drop and had a terrible hold that cost us a TD! But Mike sellers? We could have had someone younger come in, they should have known or at least planned a backup for the Cooley situation.


DL - OK, this is where he appears to have done a good job. The acquisitions in FA and the Jarvis Jenkins pick seems to all be quality acquisitions. If we do add someone like Soliai this off-season, that line will be more than solid!

OLB - Kerrigan is no doubt the best draft value we've had in a long time. I think he will be better than Brian Orakpo.

ILB - Well... not really sure here.

Safety - Atogwe has only been OK back there when he's been in. Reed Doghty has played more than he has in the last few weeks. Not the instant upgrade we all thought he'd be.

CB - Josh Wilson is not as good as Carlos Rogers and many of us thought he was. 'Los really didn't like playing here. He has proven he is a top flight corner in this league with his play in San Fran this year. Josh Wilson is not playing poorly, but he is not as good as the recovered stone hands.

I am just not impressed with a lot of the players we have drafted, several of the FA's we've brought in or the trades we've made. Shanahan has made a couple of quality acquisitions but between the QB and OL situations, an area he is considered to be among the best, I think we are in trouble. Nearly two full season in and I just haven't seen anything that suggests we are going anywhere any time soon. even with a new QB next year, we have a lot of holes to fill and we desperately need depth!
Yes, the Redskins have flubbed at qb and on the offensive line and that's why the offense can't score any points.

The Redskins are perhaps the second worst team in the NFL right now in terms of how the clubs are playing, including 0-5. Only the Colts are that bad over the same stretch.

Campbell has played better than McNabb, Grossman and Beck and was already on the roster.

On the offensive line, Jammal Brown is a bust. Never should have resigned a 30 year old player with chronic injury problems.

Chris Chester is no better than a fill-in at age 28. Ditto for the 28 year old Montgomery.

At left tackle, Trent Williams is fast gaining the status of a spectacular draft bust. One thing's for sure, he hasn't improved that much from last season and now we know why - he sat on his couch and smoked dope most of the offseason.

One thing's for sure, he's no Chris Samuels who came in as a #1 pick and quickly established himself as an anchor on the line.

There isn't ONE player Shanahan has gone out and acquired in the draft or freee agency for the offense that has turned out to be a an anchor/playmaker, whether we are talking draft picks or free agents.

It's been a case of middling picks and average veteran free agents like Gaffney and Hightower that are basically placeholders until better talent arrives.
Can't undo ten years of roster mismanagement in a year and a half.

I truly believe Shanahan mis judged the talent here when he first took the job.

I can't blame him for that because the fans of this very team have been doing the same thing for the last decade.

Trading down, acquiring more picks and starting to turn the roster over was just the beginning last April.

I'm very interested in seeing what this April brings and then we can judge exactly what's going on.
Trent Williams, Jammal Brown, Chris Chester, Kory Lichtensteiger, Erick Cook, Maurice Hurt, etc. are all Shanahan selections. The retention of Will Montgomery was their decision.

At some point we have to stop blaming Cerrato for moves that Shanahan himself made.

The REASON Shanahan got the job was poor management.

But there has been enough time now with the new regime in place to take responsibility for moves that have been made for McNabb and others.

Shanahan never seemed like he has been as organized here as he was in Denver.

There he seemed to control events, here events are controlling him.
Wow, I'm kind of feeling like a half-full glass kinda guy around yall tonight. I'll go with dieselp44. "You can't undo 10 years of roster mismangement in a year and a half".

Yall want your cake and to eat it too and you want it now. Sorry no cake till you choke down a few more of those brussel sprouts! The thing is, go ahead and get a new coaching staff... Nobody is gonna come in here and keep the OL players that shanny targets. His system his players.

Can he succeed? I don't know, but I feel better that he blew the damn thing up. Winning the same amount of games with the illusion that we had "talent" was pure bs and we've been doing this for yrs.

I feel better today seeing that hank can play. I feel better thinking Perry Riley might have turned the corner at 23 yrs old! God knows London's been looking his age for a change... I feel like Niles Paul looked better than Hank before he got hurt... Maybe He just needs the reps too? Yeah we need Oline.. So do other bad teams. We're getting there. Slowly but we are getting there.

Take a deep breath and... Chew dem brussel sprouts!!!! Hail!
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I find it amusing that people brush off legitimate concerns about the ability of our coach to acquire top notch players when he has made the type of moves he has while here. Did you read the list of players I posted? Oh and the ones I forgot, like Kemo, Anthony Bryant, Artis Hicks.

I know it was/is gonna take time to build a team, practically from scratch, but how many players that Shanahan brought in are gone after just one and a half seasons in? I mean seriously, look at the starting lineup from last season's opener against Dallas and look at our roster now of just the players Shanahan brought in. I know injuries have not helped, but that's a significant turnover.

We do not look like a team that has a chance to compete in the next few years. We are not competitive this year. We will not be competitive next year either since we are likely to have a significant change on the OL and a new QB, probably a rookie running for his life. If we are lucky, we will see some change in the 4th year of Shanahan. Other teams around the league are improving well within a 4 year time frame but we will be lucky to be by then.

Shanahan brought in McNabb setting us back a year. He didn't acquire someone like Matt Hasselback or a Ryan Mallette of McElroy this past off-season instead relying on Beck/Grossman setting us back another year. If he fails in the next off-season to bring us a viable QB and improve our offensive line, where does that leave us. He has made such a cluster**** of this offense, I do not trust this off-season will change anything. I just don't have faith in his eye for talent.

I will say this in closing. There are only 14 players left on this squad left over from Vinny's tenure. Not one is a QB and only one is an offensive lineman. You cannot put the offensive disaster on Vinny's plate any longer. 10 years of terrible Vinny have nothing to do with the current roster problems!
Trent Williams, Jammal Brown, Chris Chester, Kory Lichtensteiger, Erick Cook, Maurice Hurt, etc. are all Shanahan selections. The retention of Will Montgomery was their decision.

At some point we have to stop blaming Cerrato for moves that Shanahan himself made.

It seems preserving "The System" is more important than everything else.

So, if he's not going to adjust to the talents at hand, then he needs to do a better job of getting players for that "system".

To date, this offense is less capable than Zorn's, under the supervision of a ****ing Bingo caller.
El, I mostly agree with you. Shanahan's choices have been, at best, questionable, and in some cases, disastrous.

The only excuse I'll throw his way is that he has not had a "normal" offseason to work with yet. His first off season here, everyone knew there was going to be a lockout, so teams did some funny thing to prepare for that. Then the lockout this year. I'm thinking this summer will be the first chance he has to acquire players normally, and then also bring them in for offseason workouts.

Again, there is no defense for a lot of his picks. Not arguing with you there.
It's like I stated in the other thread Brian, he doesn't just suck here, his talent evaluation has always sucked. For those waiting for it to get better, it never does. He had 13 seasons in Denver, and his draft picks and free agent acquisitions never improved.

So while you all say he can't undo 10 years of roster mismanagement in a year and a half, he's proven he can't do it in a decade and a half either. He's a contributor to the problem, not a problem solver.
When you turn over the team as much as we have over the past two years, especially when that turnover includes a lot of rookies, you are going to lose a lot.

We all know this. We knew this going in. We only have 14 players on the roster from two years ago and that's proof that we should be winning? Really?

When I said "I can take losing if we can build the team the right way" I meant it. This is that type of losing. I honestly don't have a problem with it. Do I wish we had addressed the QB sooner? Sure. Do I wish we hadn't wasted most of last year trying to 'win now' with the crap we had on the roster? You bet.

Water under the bridge. We drafted twelve players this year and they all made the team. That's a big deal. It's also a big deal that the biggest difference-makers yesterday: Helu, Hankerson, Kerrigan, Riley ... are all draft picks from this year or last year. The older players on this team suck. I don't know why people are complaining about them. They are filler ... place-holders, because we don't have a lot of home-grown developed youth yet. But if we keep drafting like we did this past offseason, we will.

Patience. It's not just a slogan.
El, I'm with Henry on this one. I also have to wonder how you can say that all three backs are only back up quality. How do you evaluate a back with no line so to speak of ? Adrian Peterson couldn't run behind this line, so I don't think you're being fair in this assessment.
I expected us to be 6-10 this year Henry but I expected to see some progress, I see very little. It just doesn't seem like a rebuild that is going in the right direction. I didn't expect a lot of wins, but I sure didn't expect this.

Our offense is so terribly inept after 2 years with Shanahan in control, I simply don't see it getting much better if the players Shanahan has brought in so far have been as bad as they are.

edit: Miles, I have nothing substantial to base the assertion I made about the RB's except in Torain's case he almost didn't make the team because he was injured all pre-season and Hightower played on a team that was a Super Bowl contender and they went out and acquired a couple other pieces to the puzzle when he was there. TH showed some flash here, but didn't cut back when the hole was there instead trying to hit the corner every time he was out there. He had his ups and downs this year, but I don't see him going out and starting on too many teams. The jury is out on Helu. While I say not a starting RB, I should say he is more of a situational player. He can run the ball and receive well out of the backfield, but is he and every down back who will run 20-25 times a game? I don't think so. But in regards to this thread topic, I was referring to the fact that we have had about 12 RB's on this team run the ball over the past 2 regular seasons. 75% of them were not very good at that point in their career.
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My confidence level for Shamahan is at ZERO.

Unfortunately, we MUST allow him until the end of 2012 to show signs of progress.

But, if I forgot to mention it, my confidence level in him is at ZERO.
We have seen progress...major progress on defense and special teams, and even (minimally) on offense at RB and some promise at WR. We've allowed the fewest points in the NFC East. If we weren't also leaders in fewest points scored, it would be an entirely different story. The McNabb debacle robbed us of precious draft picks, and set us back 2 years in the rebuild, plain and simple. Other than that, we've drafted pretty well. I don't know why Shanahan has waited on focusing on offense. I think we should have foregone some of the picks last year and started rebuilding the O-line. But progress isn't just about wins.
Having a top 5 pick for a QB don't mean squat if you pick Heath Shuler.

With his record of QB's here, so far, drafting the next Shuler would seem to be right up Shanny's alley.

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