Six Reasons Why Mike Shanahan Won’t Be Able to Turn The Redskins Around

While most of us are gearing up for the NFL playoffs, Redskins fans are probably glad that their dismal season is at an end.

With the announcement of Mike Shanahan taking over the reins of head coach, fans can’t help but be excited for next season. Afterall, this is the same coach who won not one, but two, Super Bowls with the Broncos. So yeah, there should definitely be optimism in Washington.

However, despite Shanahan being a damn good coach, I just don’t see him turning things around for the Skins anytime soon.

Wanna know why?

6. Is He Actually a Rebuilding Coach?

Shanahan has a very impressive NFL coaching resume. One that most coaches could only dream of. But, he had many of the pieces for success already in play when he took over from previous coaches.

When he landed the head coaching gig for the Raiders in 1988, he was replacing the legendary Tom Flores. Granted, Shanahan’s stint was brief in L.A. – his success there, however, never matched that of Flores, and that of his successor Art Shell, despite having a solid team.

When he went back to Denver, this time as a head coach, he essentially acquired the team from Dan Reeves and Wade Phillips. We all know how that eventually ended up.

So, does Shanahan actually have the ability to rebuild the Skins? Judging by what he had to work with before, I don’t think so. For me, he’s not a rebuilding coach like Bill Parcells or Marty Schottenheimer.

5. History Is Not on Shanahan’s Side

In sports, we fans devour all sorts of ridiculous stats and facts. Here’s a great one from ESPN.

There have only been 12 coaches to win multiple Super Bowls. Six of them moved on to another team. Did any of them win a Super Bowl with their new teams?


Vince Lombardi didn’t do it with the Skins. Tom Flores couldn’t find success in Seattle. While Bill Parcells went to not one, but three other teams, and helped rebuild their franchises, the Super Bowl still eluded him. George Steifert couldn’t even produce a winning record in Carolina. Finally, Jimmy Johnson couldn’t repeat his success with Dallas in Miami.

4. Can Players Adjust to Yet Another New Coach?

It doesn’t matter how great of a player you are, when you constantly have to change coaches, you’re going to struggle.

Once the Norv Turner regime ran it’s course in 2000, the Skins have had six different coaches. You read that correctly. Six different coaches in the last nine years.

  • 2000: Terry Robiskie (3-1)
  • 2001: Marty Schottenheimer (16-8)
  • 2002-2003: Steve Spurrier (32-12)
  • 2004-2007: Joe Gibbs (64-30)
  • 2008-2009: Jim Zorn (32-12)
  • 2010-Present: Mike Shanahan

With that kind of pattern, what makes anyone think that Shanny will be the exception?

3. Holes in the Offense

There are a lot of holes in the Skins offense for Shanahan to address. First up is Jason Campbell.

Campbell had a great year and played with a lot of dignity, when the organization was searching for a new QB during the offseason. However, is he anywhere close to what Shanahan knows? This is the coach that had guys like Elway, Plummer, and Cutler. Didn’t think so.

Then there’s the running back situation.

It could be interesting to see Shanny and Portis reunited, but let’s be honest here. Portis does more running with his mouth nowadays then he does with his legs. For a coach that loves the running game, does he actually have someone to carry the load, like a Terrell Davis, Tatum Bell,¬† or Clinton Portis at his prime?

Shanahan will also have to deal with a receiver squad that was inconsistent, to say the least, this past season. I should also remind you that players like Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El aren’t getting any younger.

Finally, do I even have to mention that offensive line?

2. They’re in the NFC East

We could have a debate on whether or not the NFC East is the best division in the NFL, but that’s not the time or place.

The fact remains, that the NFC East is a tough and competitive division. Especially, when you consider that the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles are not only teams that can easily make the playoffs, their also teams that are capable of reaching the Super Bowl.

Then, there’s the Redskins.

Since 1990, they’ve made the playoffs only six times, which included a Super Bowl victory in 1991.

In the last decade, they’ve never won the NFC East title, only making it to the two spot. They’ve actually spent eight seasons in the 2000’s towards the bottom of the division at 3rd of 4th in the division.

1. Daniel Snyder

Al Davis, Jr. certainly is the root of the problem in Washington.

He’s the same guy that has constantly switched coaches since he bought the team in 1999. Leaving fans scratching their heads with some crazy ass moves. Remember when he axed Marty Schottenheimer for Steve Spurrier?

And, he’s been known to step on the coach’s toes, with the exception of Schottenheimer, and that ended badly, and Joe Gibbs, but who’s going to question him? Snyder just gets in the way.

I know that he says that he’s giving¬† Shanahan complete control, but do any of us actually buy that?

I see these two butting heads and becoming bitter enemies, like Shanny and Al Davis.

Snyder is also known for snagging up older, and expensive, players instead of going after younger prospects. Not a very wise move when his team is in dire need of rebuilding.

Another huge impact that Snyder has is the backlash of fans. A lot of fans want him out. Losing the fan base, by switching coaches, suing season ticket holders for not being able to pay during the recession, raising ticket/parking prices and banning signs in the stadium, only creates more discontent between the team and their most important asset, the fans.

With an owner like this, could any coach actually have a chance of success?

Leave a Comment

  1. guest says:

    Agree wholeheartedly with all points (ESPECIALLY #1) except 3. Is Portis a great RB?, probably on the downslope, but Ladell Betts could be a very good back, and Moss is the real deal. Randle El is a 3, not a 2, and the 3 recievers they got last year are pretty much a bust, though Kelly may emerge. Apparently, Cerrato didn't know that Michigan State is where you go to find kickers, not receivers. Basically, address the line, which Shanahan will, and many of the problems start to disappear

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