Washington fires Shanahan. Snyder not to blame
The Washington Redskins has parted ways with their head coach Mike Shanahan after four years. They are one year removed from winning the NFC East and appearing in the playoffs. But after a 3-13 season and clearly losing his grip on the team, owner Daniel Snyder no choice but show Shanahan, his son Kyle the teams offensive coordinator and the rest of the staff the door.
The Shanahan’s relationship with 2012 Rookie of the Year and franchise quarterback Robert Griffin, III soured just after one season together. What one year ago looked very promising is now gone after a 2013 season that saw Shanahan and his coaching staff lose the confidence of their team.
“Redskins fans deserve a better result,” owner Daniel Snyder said in a written statement released by the team. “We thank Mike for his efforts on behalf of the Redskins. We will focus on what it takes to build a winning team, and my pledge to this organization and to this community is to continue to commit the resources and talent necessary to put this team back in the playoffs.”
Let me make this clear to many people who want to find any reason to blame Snyder for the Redskins failures. This is one case where you simply can’t do that in the matter of Shanahan. From the day one of the Mike Shanahan era, there is absolutely no evidence that Snyder did not allow Shanahan the total control of the team all the way until yesterday’s 20-6 loss on the road, in the rain against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.
This summer reports in the media began to surface that Robert Griffin, III and Snyder had become friends. The reports said that Shanahan did not like the closeness of his quarterback and the owner. That was just silly because for years the quarterbacks from Peyton Manning and the front of the Denver Broncos led by John Elway. How about Tom Brady and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft all have special relationships with their stars.
In Denver John Fox and in New England Bill Belichick have no trouble with the stars and owners having a relationship because it does not have any effect of how they coach the team. In Washington’s case there was no evidence that showed that Snyder ever spoke to Shanahan on behalf of his star quarterback.
This one is on Shanahan who was unable to build something with100 percent control over the past four years. He has left the Washington organization better off now than they were before he got to the Nation’s Capital. But when a team quits on a coach and all you had to do was watch the game Sunday with New York. The team did not rally around their coach knowing that this was the end was near.
Now comes a key moment for the Redskins as they take aim at hiring their next head coach and possibly a new general manager. Bruce Allen who holds that role at this point might be named the president of football operations. The hope of Redskins fans is that there will be a hire of a top coordinator and not a star named head coach.
The maturing of Snyder will come with this hire and who surrounds the new head coach with is the key.
Allen set the tempo this morning “We are going to take a smart, step-by-step approach to finding the right coach to return the Redskins to where we believe we should be,” General Manager Bruce Allen said in a written statement. “We will analyze accurately and honestly all of the decisions that were made over the past year.”