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Mike Shanahan Needs To Catch Up Or Kick Rocks

It was only a matter of time before Redskins czar Mike Shanahan flipped the script, forgot what era he was coaching in and said something publicly offensive about his team.

It was only a matter of time before Redskins czar Mike Shanahan flipped the script, forgot what era he was coaching in and said something publicly offensive about his team.

Since returning to the NFL in 2010, Shanahan has shown a lack of patience, decision-making and an inability to adjust comfortably to a new NFL landscape.

Can a revolutionary talent like RG3 really reach his potential with such a volatile and inflexible coach, whose prime was almost 20 years ago? It's like Kool Moe Dee coaching Drake on writing rhymes. While Moe Dee is super- dope for his era, his styles and methods are outdated and would only hold Drake back.

Shanahan’s latest defeatist tantrum adds to a growing list of suspect maneuvers by the two-time Super Bowl -winning guru.


With seven games left to play in an up-for-grabs NFC East, Mad Mike straight Ice Cube’d his squad and wrote their Death Certificate for the 2012 season, following a tough 21-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.


“You lose a game like that,” Shanahan said, “now you’re (just) playing to see who is going to be on your football team for years to come. “

Just three weeks ago , the Redskins had an MVP candidate and playoff dreams. Three losses in a row later and Shanahan is tossing in the towel.

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His comments incited a swell of negative opinion from the NFL community. In response, Shanahan was forced to clarify his powerful statement. Shanahan is acting like Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson, whose mentals got scrambled from a concussion he suffered during an explosion. You wonder where his head is at.


Has Shanahan been watching the past decade? Tides turn quickly in the parity-driven NFL. It’s unlikely that the Skins will make the playoffs, but it’s not a total improbability. Since 1990, three teams that started 3-6 have reached the playoffs: The ’94 Pats (Drew Bledsoe), ‘95 Lions (Scott Mitchell), and ‘96 Jaguars (Mark Brunell). Like the Skins, all of these squads had dynamic signal callers.

Even if this latest swoon sacked Shanahan’s enthusiasm, a great coach doesn’t spit lyrics about quitting. If so, he has to go.


Since returning to the NFL as the savior that was going to propel Washington to its former glory, Shanahan hasn’t flexed winning skills. He’s flexed on some key players though.

Shanahan failed miserably with talented defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, one of the new NFL’s temperamental $100 million ballers. They publicly riffed over Haynesworth’s weight, position and a bunch of other stuff. Shanahan eventually suspended and then traded him to New England in 2011.

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Shanahan also traded for and then chumped 13-year NFL QB Donovan McNabb. Shanahan picked McNabb to lead the Skins through his inaugural year in Obama Town. When that situation hit the skids, Shanahan benched McNabb in favor of journeyman Rex Grossman, and publicly questioned McNabb’s intellect and effectiveness in the two-minute offense.

Perplexing decisions like that, and also exposing RG3 to dangerously being used as a receiver in a game against the Steelers, leads to an uneasy feeling about Shanahan’s ability to coach in today’s NFL. Shanahan’s post game comments were even more troubling : "After looking at that play you feel like a complete dumbass”

Well…Yeah! And people are noticing now, since you brought it up.



Shanahan is good in the hood as long as RG3 is tearing up “Chocolate City”. Since posting a 108.9 QB rating in a heartbreaking 23-27 loss to the Giants, RG3’s rating plummeted to 72.8 in Week 8 against Pittsburgh and then 74.2, in a Week 9 loss to Carolina. His completion percentage in those games (59.1 %) is also well below his season clip of 65.6%. This stumbling block, coupled with the rise of Andrew Luck, has also knocked RG3 out of a Rookie of the Year race he had on lock.


A cellar dwelling 3-6 record, and the recent pedestrian play of the city’s savior, is troubling for D.C. If Shanahan is still legendary, now is the time to prove it.

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RG3 already has the confidence of an all-time great. Shanahan just needs to not mess that up, because eventually RG3 will have Washington vying for Lombardi Trophies again.

And if he’s already packing it in, maybe Shanahan should only get paid half a year’s check . In fact, word is OC Kyle Shanahan and RG3 have some bitchin’ chemistry. Let the younger Kyle run the show. Papa Mike can work in the front office and just call shots, because history isn’t on his side. Super Bowl-winning coaches Mike Ditka (Saints), Mike Holmgren (Seahawks) Joe Gibbs (Redskins), Jimmy Johnson (Dolphins), George Siefert (Panthers) and Dick Vermeil (Chiefs), all failed with their second franchises.

Despite Shanahan’s ugly 14-27 record, unfortunately for RG3, Redskins owner Dan Synder is committed to Shanahan through 2014. They can only hope things improve. RG3 is one of the most important players in Redskins history. If Shanahan is going to be more like the mad rapper than a talent cultivator, Washington needs to go in another direction. Nothing should be more important than finding the right guy to bring the best out of a once- in- a- generation NFL star.


JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.