Skip to content

Shanahan dismisses talk of tanking

Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb

Over the weekend, a theory emerged that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan decided to bench quarterback Donovan McNabb and elevate Rex Grossman in part losing down the stretch would put the Redskins in better position to draft their quarterback of the future.

Shanahan, predictably, dismisses that notion.

That doesn’t even deserve an answer,” Shanahan recently told Thomas George of FanHouse.com, before providing an answer.  “It is totally ridiculous.  Anybody who knows me knows I want to win.”

The theory originated with Michael Lombardi of NFL Network, who once worked for Shanahan in Denver and who thus “knows” Shanahan.

Though Shanahan has acknowledged that he’s willing to sprain the truth when necessary, we believe that he wants to win.  The question is whether he’s talking about winning a handful of meaningless regular-season games, or whether he’s talking about building a program that consistently wins.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a team’s long-term interests are buoyed by short-term struggles, when it comes to draft position.  Right now, six teams have fewer than five wins.  Nine teams have five or six wins.  Thus, the difference between 7-9 and 6-10 and 5-11 can be dramatic when it comes to, say, getting in position to draft Cam Newton or to trade up for Andrew Luck.

“When you are trying to build something the right way, it can take off, but it usually takes time,” Shanahan said.  He’s right, and it usually takes a draft or two.  And the higher the team drafts, the better.

Meanwhile, in an effort to stay true to the attitude that helped this site grow, we need to raise a related issue.  Are we the only ones who wondered whether George’s item was an article or a press release?  Though George poses some delicate questions to Shanahan, George gives Shanahan a platform for answering them without scrutiny, analysis, or skepticism.

And he assumes without evidence one key fact that may or may not be true — that the owner who falls out of love with a head coach faster than any owner in sports has not yet fallen out of love with Shanahan.

Of all sports journalists, George should realize that the truth is often buried below levels of obfuscation.  Indeed, it was George who harvested quotes from Broncos owner Pat Bowlen indicating that coach Josh McDaniels would definitely return in 2011, and who presented them without scrutiny, analysis, or skepticism.

In that case, it was clear that Bowlen’s words would not mesh with his actions.  In this case, we think the assumption that Mike Shanahan continues to enjoy the trust of Daniel Snyder may be just as big of a stretch.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
28 Responses to “Shanahan dismisses talk of tanking”
  1. joetoronto says: Dec 23, 2010 10:11 AM

    Why does he even bother talking, nobody trusts a word he says.

  2. nogoodell says: Dec 23, 2010 10:14 AM

    who cares.. he sucks at drafting anyway

  3. stixzidinia says: Dec 23, 2010 10:20 AM

    LOL….check out Mcnabb pouting like a little kid in that photo.

  4. darind61 says: Dec 23, 2010 10:35 AM

    The article is not about McNabb, stay focused stixidinia! Now back to the article, the little rat Shananhan should go away. He has only added misery to the already dysfunctional redskins.

  5. boysroll says: Dec 23, 2010 10:36 AM

    comical is all I can say. seriously? what has this dope done that Zorn didnt do. I think everybody can agree Zorn was doing a better job than this new regime.

    Look at all the holes and aging players they have on the roster. How can they compete with the eagles, giants and cowboys who are all stacked with talent? they need probably 15 new starters just to be average. I predict Shanny gets canned next yr….Book it Dano!!! LMAO.

  6. hawkapalooza says: Dec 23, 2010 10:38 AM

    Seattle is doing the same thing.

  7. daytonaken says: Dec 23, 2010 10:40 AM

    Shanahan and Synder deserve each other. My feelings go out to the Washington fans–you deserve better.

    Shanahan won only when Elway was there. He has never come close again.

  8. blackheld says: Dec 23, 2010 10:40 AM

    If anyone wants a blueprint on how to rebuild a wrecked football franchise, take a look at the Detroit Lions.

    The Lions have drafted no less than nine starters…Stafford, Suh, Pettigrew, Best, Spievey, Cherilus, Levy, Delmas and Zack Follett, who was injured early in the season…since finishing 0-16.

    They signed Vanden Bosch and Burleson as free agents. They traded for Corey Williams, Tony Sheffler, Rob Sims, Alphonso Smith and Chris Houston, all starters. Special thanks to the Denver Broncos, who contributed Sheffler and Alphonso Smith, in return for Ernie Sims (who went to Philly) and a seventh round pick. Lawrence Jackson and Landon Johnson both appeared, neither at much cost. Thanks to Miami for Bobby Carpenter, who might end up starting next year, now that he’s back in a 4-3 defense.

    Stefan Logan came in, and solved the kick return issue completely. Adding Gunther Cunningham and Scott Linehan stabilized the coaching staff, which had been a revolving door, for years.

    The Lions, with no less than seventeen (17!) players on injured reserve, are a tough out for any team, right now, and given their record the past two years, that’s flat amazing. A huge shout out to Martin Mayhew, Tom Lewand and Jim Schwartz for building on the fly, and making almost no mistakes, doing so.

  9. bravin4evr says: Dec 23, 2010 10:42 AM

    BIGGEST liar in professional sports!

  10. bspurloc says: Dec 23, 2010 10:50 AM

    .
    If he wants to win why is he coaching the redskins?

  11. benh999 says: Dec 23, 2010 10:51 AM

    Yeah, because they were just on fire with McNabb under center.

  12. jwil444 says: Dec 23, 2010 11:05 AM

    If shanahan wanted to tank the season he would have stayed with mcnabb! Can anyone tell me a game where mcnabb has thrown over 300 yards, 4 td’s, and two 2 point conversions, on the road, against a division rival? Ever???

    What a croc-

  13. cjspiller12 says: Dec 23, 2010 11:08 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Dec 23, 2010 10:11 AM
    Why does he even bother talking, nobody trusts a word he says.
    ___________________________________The only time I have ever agreed with any of you’re posts.

  14. baddegg says: Dec 23, 2010 11:41 AM

    The Redskins are so clever at tanking that they stormed back on the road and were driving for a winning score with less than a minute to play.

    Come on! If they were tanking, they wouldn’t have even been in a position to win the game!

  15. mark0226 says: Dec 23, 2010 11:49 AM

    Is that why they canned the punter (holder), but kept the long snapper for flubbing that PAT to tie the Bucs?

  16. mean13 says: Dec 23, 2010 12:14 PM

    It’s absolutely a plausible theory. Had the Buccaneers gone 2-14 last year instead of 3-13 they would have Ndamukong Suh.

  17. cubano76 says: Dec 23, 2010 12:16 PM

    So splain this to me please; how in the world is Shanahan the ONLY person in the DC area w/ a tan this time of year? I don’t get it? Looks like he’s been spending some quality time w/ Snooki.

  18. oranjellojones says: Dec 23, 2010 12:19 PM

    Dan Snyder falls out of love with coaches faster than any owner in sports? Come on guys I know the Redskins have been a joke for a while but ya don’t need to spin to dog them. WTF do you call being willing to give Spurrier a 3rd year when his 1st 2 made Jim Zorn’s tenure look HOF worthy? Joe Gibbs? He left on his own terms and wasn’t pressured to leave at all. The ONLY guy that worked as HC under Snyder that falls under the knee jerk category for firings was Schottenheimer and Schotty has nice things to say about Snyder (cue the lame “it’s only because Snyder paid him a ton”).

    He’s made TONS of mistakes but not giving coaches the time they need isn’t one of em…the pattern has been just the opposite with the exception of ONE coach. Hell most Skins fans would argue he gave Norv Turner way too MUCH time.

    Oh and boysroll, if the skins are such a pathetic joke it speaks volumes that in a 5 win season two of those wins have come against that underachieving collection of chumps on the Cowboys and the vaunted and uber talented Eagles who got absolutely bitchslapped in Philly. It’s also funny watching you spew when your team did their very best to choke away a 20 point lead in the 4th quarter to a team that according to you doesn’t even belong on the field with them, this after trailing said team the ENTIRE season in the standings.

    It’s high comedy that a team that’s as destined for Super Bowl greatness as you predicted last offseason not only struggles to beat them but actually loses to them. Not only that but if you don’t get the free gifts from Grossman in our own red zone and you’re looking at an ugly loss for the Cowboys. The reason this rivalry stays amusing is no matter how crappy my team is I can always take solace in the fact that I don’t have to share rooting interests with jokers such as yourself. You’ve turned into the PFT kicktoy.

  19. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Dec 23, 2010 12:20 PM

    The Rat has about as much of a chance of turning the Redskins around. As he does getting the $$$ he claims Al Davis still owes him……

    Rats love cheese. The Redskins are like swiss cheese. Full of holes and stinks…….

  20. jimmy1smith says: Dec 23, 2010 12:27 PM

    If the Redskins wanted to tank, how could you possibly tell the difference? They sucked earlier in the season, they suck now. Going out on a limb, they look to suck for a very long time.

  21. joetoronto says: Dec 23, 2010 12:29 PM

    cjspiller12 says: Dec 23, 2010 11:08 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Dec 23, 2010 10:11 AM
    Why does he even bother talking, nobody trusts a word he says.
    ___________________________________
    The only time I have ever agreed with any of you’re posts.
    *******************************************************
    Being Christmas and all, I’d like to apologize for antagonizing you this season, spliller.

    The comments I’ve made about the Bills and the town were childish, there’s no excuse coming from a 52 year old man.

    All the best over the holidays and in the New Year. :)

  22. boysroll says: Dec 23, 2010 12:36 PM

    OJJones….typical 4skin fan. I can contribute our season to poor coaching and injuries. We took care of the coaching issue and will get back all our studs next season. What can you contribute your horrible season too?

    Face it buddy. Your team has no talent and a horrible org and coaching staff on top of that. Dont lash out at the enemy for your shortfalls dopey!!! What happened against philly and eagles too? totally outmatched and the more talented team kicked tail last sunday..we had romo, dez and a couple other studs out too. LMAO.

    I went to the boys game last yr at that dump of a stadium fed-x and had to listen to this joke of a so called fan base as we kicked your fing asses..Look at the history too and a 10 yr period where i believe your org lost like 15 in a row…idiots!!!!!

  23. cjspiller12 says: Dec 23, 2010 12:47 PM

    @joetoronto……….Wow……….what can I say to that except ditto. On a side note….so glad the Bills did not hire Shanny…….I really like Chan Gailey. Best to you too Joe.

  24. baddegg says: Dec 23, 2010 12:48 PM

    boysroll writes:

    I predict Shanny gets canned next yr….Book it Dano!!! LMAO.

    Yeah, because having your coach fired is the sure sign that you suck, right?

  25. worldsgreatest says: Dec 23, 2010 1:19 PM

    daytonaken says:
    Dec 23, 2010 10:40 AM
    Shanahan and Synder deserve each other. My feelings go out to the Washington fans–you deserve better.

    Shanahan won only when Elway was there. He has never come close again.

    ————————————————

    Why do people keep saying this? He made at least three post season appearances after Elway retired and got to the AFC title game with Jake Plummer in 2005.

  26. worldsgreatest says: Dec 23, 2010 1:25 PM

    He’s made TONS of mistakes but not giving coaches the time they need isn’t one of em…the pattern has been just the opposite with the exception of ONE coach. Hell most Skins fans would argue he gave Norv Turner way too MUCH time.

    ————————————————

    I don’t know man. The 99 team was decent, and Snyder had his fat little fingers all over the team the next year, essentially ruining a playoff caliber team. Forcing Norv to bench Brad Johnson for Jeff George (and then trading Johnson)? Bringing in Tony Banks? Firing Norv in the middle of the season for…Terry Robiskie?

    Its not just one coach. I’ll never forgive him for letting Greg Williams go.

  27. vikesfansteve says: Dec 23, 2010 2:37 PM

    Shanarat

  28. rick1922 says: Dec 23, 2010 3:08 PM

    It’t beginning to look like McNabb won’t be the only one gone before next season.Redskin fans can only hope.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!