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What Should Shanahan and Co. Really Apologize For?


The Legend
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md
Some of the recent pieces in the Washington Post have intimated that media and fans would be mollified somewhat in regards to the situation at quarterback if the coach would simply come clean that the answer all along has been to straddle 2011 with the Grossman/Beck hydra and draft a replacement in 2012 to make up for the spectactular failure of Donovan McNabb to become a solid starting qb here in 2010-2012.

Shanahan isn’t going to do that. No organization does that. Not even when it is obvious that the reason the team is in the position it finds itself is largely of its own making.

Not only did McNabb not provide that bridge to the future with the chance in Shanahan’s mind to win right away, but the failure cost the team two draft picks it could ill afford to lose after all the blown choices during the Cerrato years.

Mike and Kyle didn’t script this for Rex Grossman. The affirmation Shanahan gave Grossman during the preseason was no doubt a hope that enough support would cause Rex to have that solid bridge season to 2012 when the original mistake could be rectified with a minimum of further damage to the reputation of the coach and GM.

Again, I have been around long enough to know that organizations do not admit in public that they have made mistakes on personnel. Those types of admissions don’t occur until the coach or GM is further down the road in another position with another team or in retirement.

But what is ironic is that the real mistake that writers such as Jason Reid and Mike Wise should be more interested in discussing is the original decision to view a 5-11 team that boasted the oldest roster in the NFL with a number of declining veteran players and then make a trade to deal high draft picks to a division rival for a player that the team’s own offensive coordinator (son Kyle) didn’t think was suited to the system being installed.

Recognition of the nature of the 'original’ mistake would not lead to any greater admissions by the team of course, but it would frame what perhaps are some larger issues at play.

One is you have a 60 year old coach who showed by the McNabb move that he is impatient and didn’t really want to engage in team-building the way we have seen it done by Martin Mayhew in Detroit after the Matt Millen fiasco.

The second is that the coach here in Washington hired his own GM and so is accountable to no one in the organization save the owner, who with wilting criticism for past meddling, is in a position now to just watch and wait and see what happens.

In Detroit, the cinderellas now at 6-2, the opposite happened. A team that wasted high draft picks on players under Matt Millen, found a way to extract #1, #3 and #6 picks from the Dallas Cowboys for Roy Williams.

The GM actually hired the head coach and is responsible (with input) for making the personnel decisions. Older players have been let go in free agency or released and the accent has been on developing younger players rather than signing 30 year olds to fill in where depth has been lacking.

Yes, the real 'mistake’ here is not the move for McNabb itself but the motivations behind it and the way in which the decision was made within the organization.

Was Detroit 'lucky’ to get the #1 pick the year a franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford was available?

Perhaps so.

But based upon what I have seen from the ex-Redskin Mayhew at the helm the idea of trading top draft choices for a Donovan McNabb, Jay Cutler or Carson Palmer as other desperate teams have done is not in the playbook.
I'm not sure what your point is, BD.

Was the McNabb move not only dumb, but perhaps an indication that our front office structure isn't necessarily all that great?

Yeah, some of us have been saying that since before last season. :)
Well, it seems that fact has eluded our friends at the Post. Who cares if Shanahan admits he made a mistake or not?

The impetus seems there to do it again.

Even though we are rebuilding we still seem to be starting and playing a lot of filler type 29 and 30 year old players.

Now is the time to get the younger guys carries and catches on offense, to see if they can play and gain valuable experience.

Continue to bring in younger guys from other teams' practice squads that were recent picks and see if we can find some players for the future.

James Harrison was undrafted and started out on another team's practice squad.

I bet there are 4-5 guys out there right now that will have NFL careers.

Let's find them.
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exactly BT, Shannahan doesnt strike me as a "builder" I would also argue that turning what was the strength of the team at the time (the defence which was by no means perfect but also not 32nd in the league) into a weakness that necessitated the use of extremely limited resources, combined with the refusal to sign Olinemen were shannys two biggest mostekas, lets not forget the massive Eff you message that was sent when he picked rabach as the offensive mvp lmao.
I felt during the both offseason's there were soo many holes everywhere on the team. They rolled the dice on Mcnabb and came up craps. Thats forgiveable because as I recall there was an aging unproductive roster and not alot of draft picks to play with. Its way too easy to look back and say it never had a chance using 20/20 hindsight. Some thought it was a bad move from the start. Some were hopeful that at the very least he would improve the position until the team had a chance to draft one.
Kyle had Grossman at Houston felt comfortable that he could produce. I guess Kyle was mistaken. Beck was available not a bad pickup at least has a back up imho.
The Skins filled in some holes left the qb position alone. I agree with that approach and at the same time realise the team won't be a real contender until we get a qb. As Skins fans it's not like we are used to having a probowl calibur qb anyhow... we can wait another year lol
The only thing that makes me feel better about McFlab was that we weren't the only ones that though he had something left. Minny fell for it after Philthy and Washington found out about him the hard way.

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