A Lionshare Share of Blame to go Around

In week 8 the Redskins dropped their second consecutive game to the terrible Lions. Redskins fans will recall that last year the Skins gave the Lions their first win after 19 straight losses. This year the Lions came in a little better  — at 1-5 for the year but only 1-9 over the previous ten games.

There were many people, including local sportswriters,Matt on the last podcast, and the Redskins themselves thought that this game would show the difference between this year’s team and last year’s.  This time the Redskins weren’t going to play down to the competition. This year they were going to beat a team they should beat decisively. They weren’t going to commit stupid penalties, weren’t going to give up big plays on D, and the offense was finally going to start clicking.

Well, it ended up being deja vu all over again. The Redskins once again couldn’t protect the ball, didn’t commit to the run, and made penalties in crucial situations. Yet again their defense played well enough to keep them in the game but couldn’t win the game for them. Special teams almost did, but a penalty negated one of the two return TDs. This year’s Redskins aren’t looking that much different from last year’s Redskins.

Two years ago after the Jim Zorn slide began, I wrote an article instructing which Redskins player and personnel I thought should be let go. I don’t feel quite as strongly this year, but some heads should roll over some of the poor play and decisions that have taken place this year. So here’s who should be replaced if an upgrade comes along.

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

How long to we have to wait for the younger Shanahan’s system to work? In the 8th game of the season it looked worse than ever. Kyle Shanahan seems incapable of adapting his system to the players instead insisting the players adapt to his system. Which could work if the O-line wasn’t terrible.

Kyle has stated that in this offense you set up the run by getting in a rhythm with the pass. That is never going to happen behind in this offense. The line doesn’t protect well enough and the receivers aren’t sure-handed enough. Another flaw of the Shanahan’s’ systems is the pass reads. Apparently, QB Donovan Mcnabb is supposed to read the deep routes first, then the middle, and then the shallow routes last. In a more traditional West Coast offense it would be the opposite.  Reading routes this way sets up more big plays but gives the QB less time to complete an accurate pass.

No one knows for sure if the 2-pt conversions and the benching of McNabb were Kyle’s decisions, his Dad’s, or a combination. However your go-to-guy on a conversion can’t be Fred Davis. Oh, and if your QB doesn’t know your 2-minute offense you’re  a terrible OC.

The whole Offensive Line except Trent Williams

The offensive line is atrocious and getting worse, more injured, and older every day. They gave up a season high seven sacks against the Lions and only averaged 2.3 yds per rush by running backs. Trent Williams is the only player on the line who’s going to get any better but he’s going to have a hard time surrounded by this “talent”.

Safety Reed Doughty

Doughty had huge penalty that may have altered the game. During a Brandon Banks return TD, he was called for an illegal block in the back. Whether or not Banks could have made the run without the block is debatable. However, you never block a man when his back is to you and a professional football player should know that. Doughty hasn’t played well all year on D and has been a liability in both the run and the passing game. If he’s going to start making stupid penalties on Special Teams there’s no place for him on the team.

Bruce Allen GM

Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan’s offseason moves resulted in a major overhaul of this team. Yet the team seems to be stuck between trying to win now and a rebuilding phase. The offensive line they put together is terrible and not going to improve. While the Ravens, Jets, and Bengals were putting together stacked receiving cores Allen was only able to get the Skins Joey Galloway. Brandon Banks and Anthony Armstrong are nice pickups, if you’re rebuilding. They’re not legitimate receiving threats yet.

The most egregious though was the McNabb trade. After  the trade for McNabb they did not sign him to an extension right away. Now, after he was benched for Rex Grossman, they may not be able to re-sign him even if they want to. If he decides to go elsewhere  they’ll be forced use a high draft pick on a QB and start building the team around the new guy.

I don’t see how the Skins can put together a playoff contender next year without some major moves. Right now it looks like a lot of the “win-now” guys will be scrapped for younger potential.

Head Coach Mike Shanahan

This is a little drastic I admit. I don’t think the Skins should cut Shanny loose after just one season. But, if Bill Cowher or another coach with similar credentials is looking for a job you have to question whether Shanahan is right for DC and this team.

Shanahan was in on the personnel moves. He could have told Allen to get him a younger, healthier, and better offensive line but let the GM go out and sign a number of questionable veterans. There are rumours that he has been treating this year as a rehearsal for McNabb before decided whether or not to offer him a serious contract.  He brought  in his son, who doesn’t appear to be able to call an effective offense with players he had a huge part in picking. He decided not to dress a healthy Derrick Dockery and Chad Simpson despite injuries to the running back core and o-line. The decision to go for 2 and to bench McNabb ultimately came down to him.

Maybe Shanahan was trying to prove he’s the boss. Maybe he was trying to light a fire under unproductive players. Maybe that was his motive for benching McNabb and not dressing Dockery. In hindsight he picked a terrible time to prove a point.

I hope this loss served as a wake-up call to the Shanahans, Bruce Allen, the O-line, and Reed Doughty. Because if they want to be successful in Washington they still have a lot to prove. And they can’t prove it if they’re not around.

10 Comments to “A Lionshare Share of Blame to go Around”

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  • Nona Mills December 22, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I have the same opinion with most of your points, however a few need to be discussed further, I will hold a small discussion with my buddies and perhaps I will look for you some advice soon. – Henry

  • maria andros December 8, 2010 at 3:57 AM

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  • rachat de credit November 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    I have the same opinion with most of your points, however a few need to be discussed further, I will hold a small discussion with my buddies and perhaps I will look for you some advice soon.

    - Henry

  • Sherell Casbeer November 27, 2010 at 8:13 AM

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  • Mark Kalriess November 11, 2010 at 9:59 PM

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