Excitement for the Redskins comes Monday, not Sunday

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan

After a bad seven weeks, no one but the players expect the Redskins to win in New York against the Giants. Seven straight losses defines a trend.

We want to know what happens after the game, or rather what happens after what happens after the game.

Even Mike Shanahan knows that his run is over. If Daniel Snyder is any kind of executive, he has already shared Shanahan's future with the coach and his lieutenants and gave them leeway to manage their exits with grace and dignity.

That would show growth in maturation on Mr. Snyder's part. His dismissals of Norv Turner and Jim Zorn were outrageous. They cast sympathy for the coaches we might not have felt. It reinforced Snyder's image as a football laughingstock.

Turner, Zorn and Shanahan know more about football than Daniel Snyder. There is no shame in that. Nor is there shame in getting fired in the NFL. Dismissals and releases  are how it plays out in almost every NFL career. Joe Gibbs and Jimmy Brown chose their own time to exit. Few others walk away from dream careers.

Who's next?

We are guessing here that Snyder will turn to the college ranks for his next head coach. There are no names bigger in the NFL than Shanahan. Anyone Mr. Snyder turns to from pro ranks will be a step down.

Bill O'Brien (Penn State) and Art Briles (Baylor) are popular choices. Hog Heaven looks askance at the notion of hiring a college head coach for the pros. College football and pro football are the same sport, but they are not the same game.

We can live with a choice of O'Brian because of his NFL background prior to Penn State. Plus, he stuck with the Nittany Lions in the face of scandal and made something of the pile of PSU-doo he found there. We like the character of the man.

Art Briles would be a disaster. He lacks NFL experience. NFL defenses are on to his offensive concepts. It's not the football, however. It's the dynamic of coaching Robert Griffin III again.

Nothing good comes when the inmate runs the asylum.

Briles has been successful enough at Houston and Baylor that we can expect some measure of success if given enough time. We don't think he will get the time to instantly gratify some Redskins fans who would expect the Baylor magic Briles created with Robert Griffin III.

Florida State's Jimbo Fisher would not have to live with the super-hot RGIII dynamic that would tag Briles. He would bring all of Briles' other disadvantages, however. One suspects that the Texas Longhorns are courting O'Brien, Briles and Fisher as we speak.

Hog Heaven is on record as pointing to Nick Saban as a target. Saban is just the celebrity that Snyder goes for every time. Jim Zorn was the only non-celebrity hire and only because every celebrity turned Snyder down.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban

And don't give me that stuff about Saban being locked in with Alabama. Without reading his contract, I'm certain Saban has an NFL out-clause in his deal with the Crimson Tide. Saban must look at what Pete Carroll is doing in Seattle and wonder "what if."

Failure in Miami is unfinished NFL business to Saban who would sell more Redskins tickets and jerseys than either O'Brien or Briles.

If Shanahan built it, they will come

The question cwazy wabbits around here ask a lot is, "Why would anyone come to coach the Redskins?'

Despite his coaching moves, Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen made some good front office moves. He leaves the Redskins with pieces to work with.

Begin with the fact that the Redskins have the talent to win eight games every year.

Left tackle Trent Williams just made his second Pro Bowl. Williams is a worthy successor to Chris Samuels. Williams is the only lineman who could break into the Hogs line-up of the Joe Gibbs glory years. Pro Football Focus and some other observers say that Tyler Polumbus is not the unmitigated disaster fans believe him to be.   

Offensive skills include Pierre Garcon and Alfred Morris. I am not yet sure that Jordan Reed is sturdy enough for the pros. He shows potential to dominate defenses.

The Redskins get salary cap in 2014. Hog Heaven praised Snyder, Shanahan and Allen for using the no-cap year to clean up the Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall contracts. We wrote at the time that they should have made those moves even if they knew sanctions were coming. So, we don't knock them now for drawing the wrath of the NFL Management Council.

Talk about poetic justice, how about the year John Mara's Giants are having. Is that fitting or what?

Ryan Kerrigan is on the Redskins roster and Blaine Gabbert is not.

At quarterback, the Redskins are in the same position as were the Eagles at the start of the season.

We only think that RGIII can transition to a traditional pocket passer because he is super smart and hard working. but nobody knows what the future holds.  Griffin carries the same injury risks as Michael Vick. Who would have guessed that Nick Foles would lead the birds to a climactic battle for the division? (Liar. Liar. Pants on fire.)

The new guy might not be so quick as you think to trade Kirk Cousins.

Finally, there are only 32 of these jobs in the whole world. Too few of them open every year.

Come Monday, Daniel Snyder will write the next chapter. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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