The Last Crusade

There has to be a sense of hopelessness in Ashburn right now. Shanahan must be reeling; he has coached up a poorly performing football team. With seven minutes to go in yesterday’s game the shot of him on the sidelines indicated a guy who had lost his will to resist, and I think he’s in trouble.  I also think the team knows he has no answers, just platitudes: “Keep on working......doesn’t happen overnight..... we will get there, it’s going to take some time, but we will get there.....I promise you that.”  It is Christmas, and in that spirit, let me toss out this wreath.  No one is outwardly insubordinate yet, save Old Unfaithful.
For Shanahan the offseason cannot come soon enough. His first year in Washington will go down as a boondoggle. Between Bruce Allen and himself they have delivered this franchise into yet a different level of incompetence. At this point, it’s hard for me to see the Burgundy and Gold as a better team than last year, or even as a better organization.
How much of this is Shanahan’s fault is debatable. He wanted the thirty four defense, and he did hire his son to become the offensive coordinator. I don’t think it’s any secret this offense is as bad as last year’s version, the only difference is they don’t have the obvious bungling and intrusion of ownership. But, because it’s not obvious does not mean it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately for the Shanster, just like in every law enforcement bust, they’re always wanting the next guy up the ladder. Until Bruce Allen or he decides to roll over on someone, Shanahan shall remain the fall guy.
I’m not sure if Shanahan knows the depth of his responsibility to the thousands and thousands of fans. If he does not deliver and the slide continues, his misguided stewardship will not only stain his legacy and his son’s advancement in this league, but it will reignite the rebellion that was doused with his hiring. These are tense times in Ashburn and regardless of how handicapped Shanahan might be with the albatross that hangs from his neck, it’s not unlike Indiana Jones in the movie “The Last Crusade”; he must choose wisely. He is definitely in an undesirable position. 


  1. Could be worse.... could be Carolina!

  2. Well stated....and with the way this team is regressing, it's a very good thing there are only 4 games left. If we had started the season 6 weeks ago, we might very well have been left with a worse record than last years.

  3. Even Zorn started, what, 6-2? The worst is that I like to see improvement over the season. It happened with Schottenheimer, and it was Gibbs' business card. Improvement hasn't happened here.

    I'm glad to see Riggins (someone who might actually know) confirm my suspicions that this ain't working, at least not this season.

  4. I too noticed the bewildered and hopeless look on Shanahan's face yesterday. I believe that one image speaks volumes as to the state of this once proud franchise. It was very disheartening as a fan to see that hopelessness. I wonder what restraints the ownership has put on his coaches. And I am perplexed when I think of how a man of his ability and stature in the NFL allows himself to be put in this position. Never would I have guessed that a man like Bill Parcels could work for Jerry Jones, but he put himself there as well. When you know you have a nepoleanic owner, what is the motivation for a take-charge head coach to assume or accept such a position?

  5. I think baby Shanahan was a bad idea, the offensive plays were so predictable not one of the defenses were fooled or surprised. I also think Snyder has a hand in having to show the new coach "mine is bigger than yours" which has been the down fall of this franchise since he has taken ownership of this team.

  6. Riggo,

    Hard to do any coaching when the cupboard is bare, especially on offense.

    Have you looked at the O&D lines lately???


  7. For the Redskins to make significant strides next season DanS will be forced to once again open his checkbook in an effort to sign players to fill the enormous needs of this team. Where are the future players on this team: O-line,(save TW) D-Line,QB,RB,LB,DB,WR,etc? If the Skins had 5 first round picks, they would still need numerous additions by skilled players. The trick will be signing players who aren't here to get money to add a wing to their homes (Dion21), but to contribute to a championship. Like the Skins win loss record over the past several years, the management's win loss record is just as dismal.

  8. At least Carolina will get the 1st pick in the draft!

  9. Riggo,

    I am utterly disappointed at the way this season has turned out. It seems to me that the Defense decided to protest the decision to sit Haynesworth down. The last time this happened we gave up 59 points! This time 31. That's 90 points in two games against division foes. To me that is just unacceptable. How can we be dead last in most defensive categories when just last season we were a top 5 defense?

  10. Riggo,

    As a die hard Riggo and Washington Redskin fan, it would be of value for Shanahan to get media support. Media fried Coach when he pulled McD5 - called him a racist and an idiot. Really, is he? I have seen the "O" line gel somewhat and give McD5 time to throw - short, dropped and/or he drops. Receivers, need super glue on their gloves. No matter - I blame players and their agents for the lack of practice~ no coach could imagine the politics that is played in DC, now would/could they?

    Support Shanahan - he's a great coach with as many good players as there are lazy players; perhaps Dan Snyder could take this advice also.

  11. Riggo:

    I really think that it is on the players and not the coaches, witness the lack of fundamental tackling, If the first man that made it to running back yesterday, actually tackled, we would have had a lot of tackles for a loss against the Giants. I know No 5 isn't the long term answer at quarterback, but when he does get the ball to people, they drop a good percentage . Kyles offense isn't the problem or even the plays he calls, it is the lack of talent here, particularly on the offensive and defensive line. I would rather Allen and Shanny gut this team like a pig and let it bleed out the pretenders , and if we lose for three more seasons so what.. . we need to completely rebuild from the bottom up. We need to get Younger, Faster and Stronger, but it's going to take time. Players are ultimately responsible for their execution on the field. I think we need to put our trust in one Coach over several season and stop the endless revolving door, Support Shanahan

  12. Are we not seeing the results of past mistakes and poor investments? For how long has ownership gone with high-priced free agents over the development of young talent? How many draft choices have used to improve the O-line?

    I believe that this is not yet Shanahan's team, and I believe that it is still Dan Snyder who calls the shots. For as much money as has been spent on several big-name free-agents(mostly on D), the D has precious little to show for it.

    We have shown that we have success in drafting defensive players (Orakpo, Landry, McIntosh, Taylor, et. al). Where is the success on the O-line, which has now given us fits for more than a decade. I'm still a fan of Shanahan and Mr. Allen, I believe they can make it IF they have the support and cooperation from Snyder. Snyder must show that he has confidence in his football people to let them run the show, make the hires, picks and acquisitions, as well as the authority to sit and/or release players who are a distraction.

    Until that happens, I believe it doesn't matter how many expensive signings are made and how much off-season buzz is generated, the Skins will be low-end competition.

  13. I was sickened by yesterday's performance! I have been a fan for many, many years and I, too, feel a sense of hopelessness. The "O" line has been suspect for some time, yet very little has been done to shore it up, excluding the acquistition of Orakpo. He is just one man and is being held almost continually...he needs some help. Trading for McNabb, a HUGE mistake, when he isn't throwing interceptions he is tripping and falling.

    I see a lot of George Allen's philosophy in the way Bruce Allen is managing the team. Bringing in veterans who are past their prime for a "FUTURE IS NOW" approach is hurting us.

    Time to do some house cleaning...Haslett is doing a lousy job with the defense and needs to go. My beloved Skins need HELP!!!

  14. Hopefully now the organization will FINALLY rid itself of the "we're only one player away from the playoffs" mentality, and now do what is truly needed, a top to bottom housecleaning Start with Haynesworth, and start stockpiling draft picks to rebuild the interior line, running game and defensive line.

  15. I don't know how fans of the Washington Redskins could expect any improvement from a Dan Snyder Franchise. I have reached a point of numbness that I can't bare to watch any games. It's not going to get any better no mater who the coach or GM is... DAN SNYDER MUST GO!

  16. Snyder ain't going nowhere but if you're a fan of football you will not be able to see it from the home team in Washington. The 80's Redskins are gone, long live the Redskins. If you have the money in your pocket to watch the current team play at Fedex good for you. Personally I choose not to waste my money or very much of my time. On the bright side, I got my Christmas tree put up yesterday afternoon with very little distraction. Merry Christmas to the fans - they are truly loyal.

  17. Shanahan is in a position he largely constructed himself.

    He could have made it a pre-condition of his hiring that Allen and Snyder cut or trade Haynesworth before he took over, just as Bill Parcells did with Jerry Jones regarding Emmitt Smith.

    He didn't want the hastle of dealing with Smith, and Shanahan should have been as smart.

    Then instead of trading for McNabb and Brown he could have accepted that 2010 was a rebuilding year and kept the draft picks and done the best he could with a younger roster much like Mike Holmgren is doing in Cleveland.

    There was no easy fix to the Redskins predicament and Shanahan with his experience should have known that.

    But it appears he came in just as unprepared to get off the ground running as Jim Zorn amazingly enough.

  18. This team needs to get back to basics:
    blocking, tackling and catching a football.

    They also lack the will to win and are looking for someone else to make a play.

  19. Right on Riggo,but this has been going on way to long now and we all know why....The Skins will never be a complete team untill Danny boy sells the team..He has made the team the joke of the NFL year after year.SELL THE TEAM DAN....

  20. Riggo I love you but, you have to understand one thing. Shanny was given a turd. I am surprised they have won five games with this staff. Imagine trying to make the perfect cake with the wrong stuff over the last ten years. I will agree the 3-4 failed badly it is awful but many of the problems stem from just bad/haynesworthless/old staff. Shanny knows that this team needs to be blown up. The strike next year will help that I hope. You can't crusify the guy have one year. I think even Joe Gibbs when 5-11 his first year back.

  21. This team has gotten progressively worse;the bottom is dropping out, can I atleast get a victory over the cowgirls before our last breath?


  22. Shanahan deserves blame for the McNabb trade. Shanahan deserves blame for playing a 3-4 defense with 4-3 personnel. However, most of the Redskins problems Shanahan inherited.

    I think firing Shanahan at this point would be a big mistake. Shanahan may not be the genius some thought he was (where some = Snyder), but he is not an incompetent boob. It is time to think about wholesale rebuilding.

    No coach or gm can get the Redskins to the Super Bowl in 2011. Might as well leave the system in place and focus on building in the draft. Perhaps trade away some thirty year olds for draft picks.

    Moss, Haynesworth, Fletcher - these guys still have some value, but they are getting up there. I say go young...

  23. Best thing that could happen is that the 2011 season begins with a lockout, lasts half the season, and allows the Redskins to purge any contract over $500,000. It gives another half year to search for talent, evaluate 2011 college seniors, and $$ back to FedEx season ticket holders -- Merry XMAS 2011 style!

    Should have hired Russ Grimm in the first place for less money..Bet we'd have a good running game!

  24. I grew up in DC, and was a first hand witness to the greatness that was the Riggo/Gibbs era. From that, I formed the idea which I have held onto for the last ten or fifteen years; that The Redskins are a great franchise that is just in a rough patch.
    I hate to say it, but over the last two years I have started to come to the realization that the Redskins are actually a mediocre to poor organization that had a few good years when I was a kid.
    When my children were young I convinced one of them to be a Redskins fan, to provide me with cover so I could watch the games. Now I sit with her every Sunday and watch the heartbreak in her eyes as she slowly realizes what a bunch of loosers she has made an emotional investment in. I am hoping for a strike next year, because maybe a year away would be enough to get her to forget about the team. I feel like a bad parent to have introduced her to the misery of being a fan of this team, misery that I am sure will last as long as Snyder owns them. With that, I am done; with this post and as a fan.

  25. All I have to say is FINALLY. I hope Princess Albert likes his no pay option. May he and his diva inner wimp fall in a vat of AIDS and bleed on his entire blood line. Buh bye Haynseworth, you stinkin loser.

  26. The 3-4? Clearly the staff had to know coming into the season that they didn't have the personnel to play it. But perhaps there is some value added to having the players get a year of experience under the system - and use the draft and free agency to begin to fill in some of the pieces.

    Why didn't they trade Andre Carter in the pre-season? There is value to a pass rushing defensive end in this league. He clearly showed -when San Fran moved to a 3-4 and tried the Andre Carter experiment at outside linebacker - they learned he can't play in space. Unfortunately a season like this has likely diminished his value. To me that was a no brainer of a decision.

    As for the OL? What can you say? The only answer to that is thru the draft and free agency. And a couple of years at least. We have one NFL caliber starting lineman.

    The DL? Regrettably, not much better here.

    As has been mentioned, we need a big wide receiver, someone that can stretch the field, a young running back, and I'm not talking first rounder here, just a younger core of backs with the style suited to a zone blocking scheme. We tried to put round pegs in square holes all year.

    On offense - we have two productive tight ends. And not much else. Santana Moss is a serviceable slot receiver.

    On defense... the whole team needs an injection of speed, but nowhere more so than on the defensive side of the ball.

    And we can't tackle. Thinking about that, I am a general believer in scaling back on the level of full contact in camp and during the season. These guys are professionals, but maybe you have to tackle in order to remain good tacklers.

    In short, lets not be so hard on the coaching staff. I do believe that a head coach has more impact on a team than in any other professional sport, but the bottom line is, this team is just not very talented right now.

    And if you don't have the horses, you generally don't win. Some guys tend to get more out of less than some other guys, but we're a long ways from having a talented roster.

    Let's sit back and see how they operate during the off season with trying to draft well and make smart free agency decisions. And its going to take more than one off season. As for me, I will settle for seeing this train headed in the right direction.

  27. Grading the Redskins Offense for the year:

    QB: C-. Donovan Mcnabb has shown falshes of what made him so dangerous in Philadelphia, but also what made him so inconsistent. He still throws an excellent deep ball, and the arm strenght is still there, but his accuracy on the short and intermediate routes this year has been atrocius. Some of that may be from this being the first year with these receivers and this scheme, and he certainly needs more consistent protection from the line. That said, certain mental errors (going out of bounds while trying to bleed clock in the first Philly game, the fumble on the wide open bootleg against the giants) are simply inexcusable from a veteran QB like McNabb. If he is going to lead this team betond 2011, he needs to put in extra work on the throws he struggles with.

    RB: B+. In the face of all the injuries, the running backs have actually been reasonably productive despite inconsistent play from the O Line. Ryan Torain should go into next year as the starter. Clinton Portis can still be productive, and should be considered the team's primary 3rd down back, as he is a fine receiver and excellent pass blocker. Keiland Williams and James Davis provide excellent depth.

    FB: B-. Mike Sellers is shaving a better year blocking than last year, but a couple of inexplicable drops have been painful to watch. Darrel Young looks good as Sellers' eventual successor, but needs to continue to develop his blocking skills. He has shown a couple of bursts that make him a better option as a runner than Sellers, and has shown capable hands in the passing game.

    WR: C-. Anthony Armstrong is the lone bright spot here. He has shown the ability to get open deep and stretch the field, but is still an unfinished product. He neds to be mo reconsistent catching the ball, and tougher once he does catch it, but these can be developed. Santana Moss has been solid but not spectacular, and remains the teams most consistent wideout. Still missing is a big bodied posession type receiver.

    TE: B+. Cooley and Davis have both produced big plays, but Davis needs to upgrade his blocking to stay on the field more. Cooley has had a couple of drops and fumbles that create concern.

    OL: D. Trent williams was the right draft pick, and will only get better in his technique. He just needs to stay healthy. Jamaal Brown is not yet back to the player he wsa in New Orlens before his hip injury, but will be better next year. Artis Hicks is solid, experienced and versatile. Kory Lichtensteiger may be the diamond in the rough out of the group. Stephon Heyer needs to be moved to Guard permanently. Derrick Dockery needs to bring it or go home, and Casey Rabach just needs to be replaced - blown back off the ball way too often.

  28. Wow, Such a negative tone keeps coming from Riggo. It seems like you have serious hate for the Redskins these days. It gets old after a while.

    The team is 5-7, they played some good games earlier in the year and now with injuries you see they have no depth. The team has the least amount of skilled players in the league. O-line is bad. It takes years of poor personal decisions to get where they are.

    I agree that he looked whipped after the last game. What, people cant have a bad game/day? We all have them and probably show similar looks.

    You have to give this guy a chance and stop throwing negativity at everyone all the time.

    I remember you were the same way with Schottenhiemer. Thanks, ya jackass!

    Just turn off the blog and go away. I can honestly say you wont see me on here again. Its a waste of time. also, why don't you use another picture without 44? in my mind you are no longer that guy. anyone want to respond please understand i will not be reading it. It was by accident i found this site and it will be by will that i never go back. True Skin fans will stop the hate and start believing. Dumb dumb Dan has finally seen the light!!!