Mark Schlereth played for Mike Shanahan for six years in Denver, getting to a Pro Bowl and earning two Super Bowl rings along the way. Schlereth says Shanahan is a great coach, and he thinks Shanahan has the ability to succeed with the Redskins.
But Schlereth also thinks Shanahan needs to let go and stop trying to do everything.
“I would say the one criticism I have is a lot of times he’s such a control freak that he doesn’t allow his coaches to coach,” Schlereth said on Mike and Mike in the Morning. “I think that’s an issue. You have to have a system of checks and balances where you can argue, you can fight and you can say, ‘We’re not going to do it that way.’ I don’t know that he still has that in the place that he is now, or at the end of his tenure in Denver.”
In other words, it’s Shanahan’s way or the highway, and if one of his assistants has an idea that conflicts with Shanahan’s, he doesn’t want to hear it. Hiring his son as his offensive coordinator and an old friend as his defensive coordinator is consistent with that.
Schlereth said Shanahan’s refusal to let his coaches coach is largely because he thoroughly enjoys the detail-oriented aspects of coaching more than he enjoys the big picture.
“He loves that stuff,” Schlereth said. “I think that’s one of the toughest things for any coach to do is let go of that stuff.”
Still, Schlereth isn’t writing off Shanahan’s chances of turning the Redskins around.
“There’s no question of his ability to coach,” Schlereth said. “I think that goes unquestioned. The guy has won championships before. I really believe putting guys in positions to win, offensively, I think he’s done that exceptionally well.”
At least, he did it exceptionally well in Denver in the 1990s. In 2010 in Washington, not so much.