Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder turned over the keys to his organization to coach Mike Shanahan, and most of us thought that was a good thing. It seemed safe to assume Shanahan would restore credibility to a team that hit rock bottom in '09. Snyder's actually done a good job of remaining in the background over the past year, but his head coach hasn't had the immediate impact that some had predicted.
Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post spent some time with Shanahan in mid-December and I thought he wrote a really interesting story Friday. It looks like Shanahan actually tried to be proactive in convincing Albert Haynesworth that he needed to be in better shape. In fact, the coach took the player into a film session soon after accepting the job. But there was a quote at the end of the story that really grabbed my attention. Shanahan was asked if he feels like the Redskins are closer to winning a championship than on the first day he arrived.
"Oh, there's no question," Shanahan said quickly. "I've got an owner -- that's his goal. And he's given me the opportunity to do it the right way. ...
"The organizations that I've been in that have been in trouble over the years is when they don't admit their mistakes. They make a mistake, and they keep on trying to cover for it for three or four years, telling people how smart they were for doing it. Well, if it's not working out, it's not working out."
And it's pretty obvious Shanahan thinks that last part applies to quarterback Donovan McNabb. You could argue that Shanahan failed in meeting McNabb halfway in terms of style of play, but it really doesn't matter at this point. Shanahan has basically admitted that the trade backfired on him and he's ready to move on to another quarterback.
And by the way, how do you Redskins fans feel about Cam Newton in the draft?