Many of us are sitting on the fense about Mike Shanahan! I've been giving him the benefit of the doubt for a while.
The rest of the season will ultimately give a final verdict on a contract extension for him.
There is no question Shanahan has made huge blunders. He hasn't had a single season in Washington without at least two major mistakes.
There is also no question that he is professional, experienced coach. He is clearly not in the upper echelon of coaches in the NFL that manage to produce long term winning teams like the 49ers, Ravens, Saints, Packers.
I think the ridiculous clock management against the Cowboys and the pathetic excuses after the debacle has pushed me to the more suspicious side of the fence, even if the Redskins somehow win another 7 games this season. Another factor for me was seeing what Andy Reid has done in Kansas City and how Sean Peyton has reignited the Saints after his return.
Picking coaches is a lot like picking stocks on the stock market. A famous study demonstrated that throwing darts against a newspaper company listing to select companies to invest in yields the same results as the so called 'expert' investment banker stock picks (See Burt Malkiel's 'Random Walk Down Wall Street' if I remember my economics education correctly). It's hard to get a top tier coach; most of the time you have to shuffle mediocre coaches after a few years of mediocrity until you get lucky. In the meantime you pay high stock trading commissions if you shuffle stocks too often and similarly, you lose good players and fans if you shuffle coaches too often.
The defense won those last 7 games last year. The offense had a freak new offensive scheme that let them get away without having to make big adjustments on the fly. This year, the defense again went back to fundamentals, adjusted and has shown marked improvement. The Shanahan's offense has needed to learn blocking as much the defense needed to re-learn tackling. It's quite frustrating to see that time lag to the way the Shanahans can adjust the offense. It's clearly behind the defense and the defense wasn't exactly lightning fast to adjust either.
I think the Redskins are in a situation with a mediocre to good head coach. If he didn't hire his son Kyle, it might be possible to keep him after this season even with a weaker finish to the season. The way they doubled down on last year's offensive line and offensive strategy – may bring them both down in the end.
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