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Mike Shanahan

9/1/11

Eagles, Broncos and Redskins Pretend They Don’t Know Who Their #2 Quarterback Is

The Denver Broncos Continue to Treat Tim Tebow Like a Red-headed Step Child

It’s the last week of the pre-season and three teams are keeping up a ridiculous quarterback sham. The Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins are still telling everyone who will listen that they don’t know who the #2 quarterback is on their team. I have to be honest, I’m not here for that. I prefer when teams keep it real.

YOU LIE ANDY REID

The Philadephia Eagles have former Tennessee Titans STARTING Quarterback Vince Young as well as never-taken-a-snap-in-a-game-that-matters-but-definitely-seems-like-he-could-possibly-one-day 2010 4th round Eagles draft pick Mike Kafka. Young has a similar playing style to their starting QB Mike Vick and performed well enough to attend two pro bowls in the past. And before he was dramatically benched last year, he was having a pretty respectable season.

But the Eagles don’t know who their number 2 QB is? Oh okay, well let me tell you. IT’S VINCE YOUNG.

The ShanaSCAMS

The Redskins are just as pitiful with their situation. After benching a superior QB in Donovan McNabb for a spotty middling one–Rex Grossman–it seemed like the Shanahans were prepared to make a commitment to the QB (that most football watchers thought was exiled forever after leaving Chicago) until they could get a better veteran. But then the Shanahans (Head coach Mike and deeply offensive coordinator Kyle, his son) spent the entire lockout and first week of the pre-season raving about former Bringham Young QB John Beck. Beck, a man who 99.999999999% of football fans had never heard of. After no one took them seriously, the Redskins belatedly created some sort of “friendly quarterback competition” that is for all intents and purposes a complete sham.

Why? Because John Beck actually has a chance to be the Redskins QB for years to come. Grossman doesn’t. Everyone knows what Grossman can do. I can’t name a team in the league that would want to sign Grossman to a long term contract as a starter even given the dearth of talent that exists right now. You can’t rely on him to be a starter based on history and you can’t use him to train a new QB. Barring injury, the Redskins should be giving Beck the start, giving him intensive EXCLUSIVE tutelage, and figuring out what the hell he can do. Not having him split snaps and engage in some dumb ass competition with somebody who likely will spend the rest of their career as a backup.

The league is full of rookie quarterbacks and guys who have never been a starter before. They all will be learning the hard way this season. Perfect time to test out a newbie. You know what you (don’t) have in Grossman, might as well see what the deal is with Beck and stop confusing the hapless Washington media.

Ladies and Gents, Your Denver BRONCnos

Finally, the Broncos have made a mess of this entire quarterback situation. To be clear, Tim Tebow probably never should have been drafted as a quarterback in the first place. When I watch Tebow play, I feel like I’m watching a guy in a vicious battle with genetics. He knows what he needs to do but his body just won’t let him. He not only struggles with his throwing motion, simply dropping back with any sort of speed and fluidity is a test for him. The Broncos gave him the ultimate insult when they leaked to the press that Tebow just has “no football sense.” HOW LOW CAN YOU GO.

Just a few weeks ago, fans in Denver were SO TEBOW-CRAZY, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd said that the Broncos would probably HAVE to start Tebow just to keep the peace. Now here we are a short time later and Kyle Orton is the clear starter. And the Broncos are telling us that they just haven’t decided who would replace Orton if he goes down (which, he will–I’ve already put him on “ankle watch 2011″).

Brady Quinn is their number 2 and Tebow won’t be with the Broncos next season. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still in the league. Quinn was highly touted and then fell completely off the radar. From all accounts, Quinn has regained some confidence and looked more promising than Tebow in the professional system. This is not to say that Quinn is the Broncos QB of the future–or anyone’s QB of the future. But Quinn isn’t fighting with his DNA just to get the ball of out his hands. And if the Broncos want Tebow to be number two breaking him down publicly like this is not the way to ensure his best performance. And Quinn can definitely tell Tebow a little bit about fan hype and disappointment.

Long story short, all these teams know who their number 2 is and I’m not in the mood to play dress up with them. Have at it.

11/2/10

Week 8 Recap: Is Favre’s Play a Miracle? Is Shanahan mentally sound? Is Belichick in the Illumanati?

Back in Shakesperean times, women weren’t allowed to be in performances. Men played all the parts in the dramas. Today, we call that football. Football is an all male Young and The Restless with enough drama for everyone from the casual watcher to the maniacal fanatic.

Week 8 served up plenty to talk about, and it’s always interesting how story lines are covered by different news outlets.

To start, the Washington Post’s Redskins blog rounded up all the reactions from people around the league regarding Shanahan’s what-the-fuck decision to bench McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman with 2 minutes left on the game clock.

The reactions were mostly angry. Actually, I was surprised at how angry they were. The only  mild reaction was the best one in my opinion. Michael Irving said:

“It wasn’t just taking Donovan out. It was bringing Rex Grossman in. All of our eyes have seen enough of Rex Grossman.”

Basically!

Michael Wilbon, Mike Ditka, Tony Kornheiser et al were more thorough in their statements, but Irvin’s sentiment was shared by all.

Unless you’ve been hiding inside Troy Polamalu’s luxurious locks the last 24 hours, you’ve probably heard that Randy Moss was unceremoniously waived by Vikings Coach Brad Childress. Not only was he waived, but he was the last to find out.

Jason Cole at Yahoo Sports didn’t like Childress’ decision one bit:

In announcing the team’s intentions to release Randy Moss(notes), Childress confirmed what many in the Vikings organization have believed about him for years: His management of people is questionable, his willingness to listen is nonexistent and his reaction to criticism is punitive.

This only confirms the growing tension that already existed in the Minnesota locker room before the season. Everyone in Minnesota knew back in training camp (and actually long before then), that Favre and Childress don’t get along. Favre doesn’t respect Childress, viewing him more as geeky impediment rather than a sophisticated football mind.

The difference with Favre is that Childress knows he needs Favre to have a real chance. Once Childress got Favre, there was no turning back. Make no mistake: Favre runs the show in that battle of alpha males.

When it came to Moss, Childress wasn’t going to let another player run roughshod over him. When Moss criticized the coaches Sunday after the loss to the Patriots, that was the tipping point.

I’m not fan of my-way-or-the-highway Coaches, I wrote about it when I gave my reaction to McNabb’s benching. So overall I don’t disagree with Cole. However, I don’t agree that “Childress knows he needs Favre to have a real chance.” I think it’s pretty clear the Vikings don’t have a chance with Favre. They’d probably be just as well to have Jackson QB with an experienced and prolific WR like Randy Moss to throw to.

I do agree that Favre is winning their battle, unfortunately there’s nothing to be won.

Who gets Moss? Guesses?

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter said various league sources indicated the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and the Bears could be possibly interested in making a claim for Moss.

The receiver will enter waiver process Tuesday, and there’s a good chance he could join a new team soon after he’s officially waived, considering his representatives — according to reports — have already been contacted by the Dolphins and Seahawks. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of owning the worst record in the league, get first dibs on Moss, who will be awarded to the team with the worst record to put in a claim.

The fact that the Patriots are on that list just shows how odd the NFL can be sometimes. In terms of the list of interested teams, Moss might make a good choice for the Raiders and possibly the Seahawks, but Moss is gonna be a pain in the ass for any team that isn’t winning. Not sure how he’d be all that useful for the Dolphins. Unless he can gain 70 lbs in a week and get some blocking skills, the Skins should stay far away. And as far as I’m concerned the Jets need to work with what they’ve got.

(more…)

10/31/10

Shanahan Benches McNabb and I Bash, Question, and Second Guess

Shanahan's Signature Look

If you missed the Redskins/Lions game yesterday than you know that ‘skins coach Mike Shanahan decided to bench McNabb in the last 2 minutes of the game in favor of starting former Chicago Bears QB Rex Grossman. Grossman has a speckled past to say the least, and even if you think he’s an awesome QB most of us wouldn’t consider him to be preferable to McNabb.

After the game, Shanahan stated that he felt that Grossman gave them “the best chance to win” due to his knowledge of the 2-minute offense. (It’s important to note that McNabb stated that he was very comfortable with the 2 minute offense) When asked about whether or not the Skins’ offensive line was lacking, McNabb said “I wouldn’t say the offensive line let me down.”

Even casual fans should be able to tell you that the Skins haven’t had a good offensive line in at least 6 years. And RB Clinton Portis’ workhorse nature was many times the only thing between former Redskin QB Jason Campbell and death.

But that’s McNabb…classy to the end. Mind you, Grossman got into the game and was on the field for all of about 8 seconds (I should replay it and count) before things went terribly awry.

Brian Mitchell said of Shanahan’s decision to bench McNabb:

“You basically made your quarterback look like a scapegoat. You made your quarterback look like he was the guy that caused all the problems today, and that is definitely a problem.”

Already this season, Shanahan has had a public falling out with the team’s new highly paid defensive tackle (Albert Haynesworth), unceremoniously cut a WR (Devin Thomas) and now has benched one of the most talented QB’s to play the game. What’s next? A slap fight with Dan Snyder?

When Coaches make rash moves like benching a starter, it messes with team morale especially when there’s no clear reason for doing so. It further encourages a feeling that nobody’s job is safe–not that jobs in the NFL are ever safe–but benching without apparent warrant makes guys nervous about their own value and rightfully so.

I think Shanahan could stand to learn a lesson from Giants Coach Tom Coughlin. He tried the my-way-or-the-highway reactionary approach a few years back. It didn’t work. He came back the next season with a new attitude and the Giants have been contenders ever since.

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