Say what you want about whether Haynesworth has earned his paycheck so far this season, but, there’s a guy yesterday that will definitely need rear view mirrors to pick up his paycheck this week. The sad part is he never set foot on the field in St. Louis. He was on the sidelines, monitoring the debacle. I’m hard pressed to believe that Mike Shanahan is not accountable for how the B and G played against St. Louis. When a team is dispirited and loses energy, particularly to a team, they were superior over, it reflects poorly on the person charged with their preparation.
As can happen, Washington started poorly, but from the outset I could see St. Louis was waiting for that moment of “here we go again”. And, it happened right before the half with Washington blocking a field goal after St. Louis held the ball for seven minutes. So, how did Washington allow the Rams to overcome them in the second half without the Ram’s best player on the field? Washington was not properly prepared to play, and that job falls on the head guy.
I watched Coach Shanahan’s press conference immediately following the game; he seemed delusional. He referenced how his team fought back to take control of the game. No, St. Louis was a lame duck team waiting for its opponent to set the pecking order, instead the Rams dictated to Washington. He did not want to acknowledge the fact that his team played with no energy, when it counted, or that they lost focus in the crucial moments of the second half. Washington players seemed fatigued, both mentally and physically.
I don’t think the saga of Albert Haynesworth is all on Shanahan; I think there are external forces at work that Shanahan is powerless to control. But, this lingering malady has to have some affect on this team’s ability to prepare, if only in its collective subconscious. Shanahan should know better, and after this monumental loss now is the time to embrace Haynesworth or send him on his way.
The scary part of this is Shanahan appeared after the game to be someone that had had an omen, and this vision did not please him. It’s as if his last year in Denver was revisiting him, when the team collapsed and lost the last three games to finish 8-8. He seemed to be a man reconciling the truth that only he knew. That, as a coach, he might have lost it.
They are only three games into the season, and in a weak division this year, but as this team corrects the mistakes of yesterday and looks forward to the Eagles, it’s not just the players that have to reenergize themselves. Now is when a coach earns his keep. Coach Shanahan has a vast field of opportunity in front of him. But, Coach; you know the rules, the Glengarry leads are only for closers.