Washington Redskins: Please End The Mike Shanahan Era

By Greg Bradshaw
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In a down economy, it could be considered heartless to ask for someone to lose their job. However, in the case of Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, ending his tenure as head coach a year early is necessary.

I’ve come to this realization after the Redskins’ 34-27 Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. While the Redskins have some talent on their roster, it’s discouraging for their fans to see the team show such inconsistency. If the offense does well, the defense can’t stop anyone. If the defense actually does well, it’s the offense that shows its inefficiency. As for the special teams … well, there’ll never be anything special about this unit.

The loss to Minnesota encapsulates everything that I’ve just mentioned. Those issues rest solely on Shanahan and his coaching staff. Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the head coach’s son, implemented the zone read offense for Washington last season. Quarterback Robert Griffin III ran the system to near-perfection last season en route to becoming the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

2013 hasn’t yielded the same results as opposing defensive coordinators are keying in on the offense.  The results are a predictable offensive game plan that has come up short more often than not.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should be under fire for his porous defensive unit. Washington ranks 29th in the NFL in total defense and 31st in scoring defense. On the bright side (if there is one), cornerback DeAngelo Hall leads the NFL with three defensive touchdowns. While Hall’s exploits on defense are admirable, his touchdowns didn’t make the Redskins any better, considering that Washington’s record is 0-3 when Hall scores a touchdown on defense.

To say that Washington’s special teams unit has struggled under first-year coach Keith Burns is a gross understatement. At one point this season, Burns’ unit had allowed touchdowns in three consecutive games. Other mishaps include two blocked field goal attempts in one game, as well as a fake punt attempt where punter Sav Rocca threw a pass to an eligible receiver that sprinted away from the pass because he didn’t see it coming. I thought the opponents weren’t supposed to see the fake coming, not the team trying to execute the fake.

The elder Shanahan is supposed to have a reputation for being a no-nonsense disciplinarian with little tolerance for inefficiency. Unfortunately, the 2013 Washington Redskins are filled with inefficiency.

Some of the inefficiency can be linked to player personnel, considering that several players possess merely average talent. Washington could acquire talent through future drafts, but the franchise has traded several high draft picks for free agent busts that are no longer with the team (Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth come to mind). Simply put, the Redskins have to win with their current roster.

But I digress. Mike Shanahan was quoted as saying the 2013 season would be a failure without a Super Bowl win for the Redskins. That proclamation is laughable now. Super Bowl contending teams don’t waste double-digit leads to one-win franchises with issues at quarterback like the Redskins did against the Vikings. The loss lies solely at the feet of the head coach. I’m starting to lose faith that Washington will win another game in 2013, much less a Super Bowl title.

I won’t get carried away. The Redskins will win a few more games in 2013. Unfortunately, the Mike Shanahan era has continued the recent tradition of losing football in D.C. Despite last season’s playoff berth, it can’t be reasoned that the Redskins are getting better. For that reason, it’s time to turn the page and find a new head coach

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