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Shanahan: Progress has taken a “lot longer” than expected

New England Patriots v Washington Redskins Getty Images

If you are what your record says you are, then Mike Shanahan hasn’t improved the Redskins.

The team averaged six wins under Jim Zorn. They are 5-10 this year after going 6-10 last season under Shanahan. Saturday’s loss to Minnesota has many wondering about the direction of the team.

Looking deeper, the team’s offensive stats are very similar in 2011 to what they were in 2010. The defense has improved overall this year, but their points allowed figure stayed mostly the same. (They have moved from 21st to 19th.)

Shanahan was asked if improving the Redskins has taken longer than he expected.

“Oh yeah, a lot longer than I first anticipated,” Shanahan said Monday. “We had less depth than I thought. We were a little bit older at a few different positions and I thought we might keep those players a little bit longer than we did.”

The Redskins are no closer to solving their quarterback problem, but we think Shanahan has made some progress in Washington. His two drafts since taking over have been productive and plentiful.

When Shanahan took over, the team really did lack depth. It’s improved now.

Shanahan knows better than anyone that any progress on the roster won’t mean a thing if he doesn’t show progress in the standings next year.

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53 Responses to “Shanahan: Progress has taken a “lot longer” than expected”
  1. thegonz13 says: Dec 26, 2011 7:04 PM

    How can anyone call using Grossman and Beck at QB “progress”?

  2. anhdazman says: Dec 26, 2011 7:04 PM

    Shanahan is done. His refusal to draft a QB and relied on Grossman and Beck was a horrible mistake. His handling of Haynesworth is an embarrassment. His RB by committe is unforgivable. Helu should have been the starter by week 4. He’s lost his touch and his ego is way above his overall ability now a days.
    Shanahan did say he would be on his reputation regarding his QB situation so it’s time ante up. If the Redskins are smart, they’ll get rid of this clown and get a Real Coach in Washington before all of these other needy NFL teams pluck them all up.

  3. trbowman says: Dec 26, 2011 7:06 PM

    When you go into a season with Rex Grossman and John Beck as your quarterbacks, what are you expecting? lol.

  4. trbowman says: Dec 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    Redskins seem like a prime Peyton Manning candidate.

    I also expect Shanahan to look hard at Ryan Tannehill. He seems like a Shanahan type of QB.

    I still think they’d of taken Jake Locker if he fell to 10.

  5. thekingofnewyork says: Dec 26, 2011 7:08 PM

    In what aspect has their depth improved?

  6. blackbeardk says: Dec 26, 2011 7:09 PM

    Danny isn’t waiting until next year…If Kyle Shanahan wasn’t the offensive coordinator, Shanarat would have been out the door already…

  7. bhester1906 says: Dec 26, 2011 7:10 PM

    I got a feeling Shanny didn’t take a QB last year because he wanted a shot at Luck. I bet you the Redskins offer the Colts/Rams a boatload for that #1 pick.

  8. yeahyeahyeahbono14 says: Dec 26, 2011 7:12 PM

    When Mike Shanahan first came to Washington to “fix” things, it was like watching someone polish a turd.

    But, now, in true Christmas fashion, that turd appears to be slowly morphing into Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo; spreading Christmas joy to people all across the land.

    It remains to be seen what will become of these skins, but one thing is certain: they’re closer to a mythological fecal spirit than a straight-up poo nugget.

  9. Todd Haley's Temper says: Dec 26, 2011 7:12 PM

    Belichick, Carroll, and Shanahan are the top 3 highest paid coaches in the league. ‘A lot longer than expected,’ is no excuse.

  10. bigtganks says: Dec 26, 2011 7:13 PM

    As a Raider fan, and not a Shanahan fan, and you can’t argue with what’s been said here, because I don’t think he’s the greatest coach out there…, but they have drafted a LOT better. Not sure how great of a coach he is, but they are drafting better. Better than my Raiders… ha

  11. Kyle Orton's Hangover says: Dec 26, 2011 7:25 PM

    @bigtganks

    yeah, thats why the team that Davis built through the draft for the past couple of years is on the verge of playoffs, while the shanahan/bruce allen team is going to be watching them from home.

  12. scytherius says: Dec 26, 2011 7:29 PM

    Why does EVERYONE outside the NFL realize (and has realized) that as long as Snyder owns the Skins they will NEVER go anywhere .. and no one in the NFL seems to get it?

  13. goforthanddie says: Dec 26, 2011 7:33 PM

    Considering Shanahan’s in charge, I’d say progress is right on schedule.

  14. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 26, 2011 7:38 PM

    I think you all should relaxxxxx. Rex cost this team 4-5 games himself, along with Kyle’s playcalling. The playcalling has gotten dramatically better the last 6 weeks. Get a QB, a healthy roster, new steady rt, and this team will compete next year. They are light years ahead of where they were in September despite historic numbers of injured starters…a rt, QB, keep bringing in youth, they’re on the way up!!

  15. burgundyandgold says: Dec 26, 2011 7:41 PM

    They have added depth along both lines, at running back, receiver, and special teams. We need a QB but Shanny is putting the pieces together. He had nothing to start with.

  16. redskinspike says: Dec 26, 2011 7:46 PM

    I think what Shanahan did was smart taking Rex/Beck into this season. He drafted and signed FA around the QB position to get players familiar to the system and get the pieces in the right position for a rookie to come in and learn the situation. If the rook QB can count on everyone around him to run the right routes, make the right blocks, etc., then it will make his transition into the NFL much easier. I’d rather lose a year doing that than draft a rookie like Jacksonville did and throw him into a situation where he has no supporting cast. Look at how well that worked out for them.

    People need to get off Shanahan’s back. He’s been in DC for 2 years. It’ll take a lot longer than that to fix the Cerrato/Snyder moves that ruined the franchise. Snyder has finally stopped influencing personnel decisions and it’s already looking better for the Skins as a result.

  17. Fantasy Football Legend says: Dec 26, 2011 7:48 PM

    The team needs to get set at QB and at RB. If Mike was smart he would stick with Helu and maybe trade up this season for Luck in the draft. They are ok at TE and WR. But maybe should drop a Percy Harvin type WR this coming draft since Moss is getting hold and isn’t the fastest guy on the field anymore. Also the DE has been solid for the last few years but the O can never stay on the field. Once AP went down Saturday that should of been game over for Minn, instead the Redskins got worse.

  18. commandercornpone says: Dec 26, 2011 7:48 PM

    as bad as rex is at times… he would have probly won them the carolina game, they would have showed up to play the bills, and they would have had a shot vs sf. another 1-2 wins by now…

    and the confidence winning brings might have enabled them to nail another close win or 2 out of NE, dallas and minnehaha.

    having 2 players get suspended a few weeks ago was a killer.

  19. moneymike23 says: Dec 26, 2011 7:52 PM

    I think its safe to say Shanahan is on the hot seat for 2012.

  20. everyoneholdsorakpo says: Dec 26, 2011 7:56 PM

    Everyone here questioning what Shanny is doing, and callling the franchise a turd, really have no idea what you are talking about. You have no knowledge apparently of the strides this team has made this year. Aside from the QB problems, the skins now have a solid, young backfield. No Portis, or Willlie Parker. The WR corp is full of young talent…with the emphasis on young. The best young receiver on the team didn’t even see the field due to injury, but Hankerson will be a difference maker for years to come. The OL has 3 very young players, that held their own the last part of the year. The D is much improved, not sure what happened on Sunday, but they are younger and improved. This team is very young, and it’s not the same old over the hill players loosing. They are young and learning. Add a Franchise QB, some OL depth, and a dominate WR and this team will be ready for years to come. If you say anything to the contrary…you really have no idea about this team. Shanny is doing the job that’s needed.

  21. blkmanwtan says: Dec 26, 2011 7:57 PM

    Maybe Shanahan isn’t a good coach. Every team has injuries and setbacks, but they find a way to get pass them. What I have a problem with, is that there are people defending Shanahan and think it is ok to be 6-10 or 5-11 because he has a better resume than the previous coaches. Snyder needs to hire a coach that knows what he is doing. It doesn’t take 5 years to build a team.

  22. bigtganks says: Dec 26, 2011 7:59 PM

    @ Kyle Orton’s Hangover:

    Who are the Raiders drafting next year to build this horrible collapsing defense (secondary in particular)? Oh yah, that’s right…Al and Hue traded everything away. Raiders have two picks through seven rounds (5th and 6th).

    Raiders are thick and committed long term to quarterbacks. Raiders spent a third rounder on Pryor, first on Carson, and still owe Washington a 4th this year on Campbell. And yet we’re still average. Then Curry for a 7th.

    Have some perspective and look LONG TERM. Are the Broncos in great shape since they’ll be in the playoffs? What about the Giants?

    Raiders are still in trouble until they get a GM.

  23. duece8 says: Dec 26, 2011 8:01 PM

    relax! vinnys mistakes are going to take longer than one year to fix! and its not like the skins are getting blown out every week! they are competing every week! better qb and we make post season

  24. steely185 says: Dec 26, 2011 8:03 PM

    “Why does EVERYONE outside the NFL realize (and has realized) that as long as Snyder owns the Skins they will NEVER go anywhere .. and no one in the NFL seems to get it?”

    People get it but you can’t keep complaining about the owner. He isn’t going anywhere. You can’t change the owner. He isn’t selling the team even if you had the money to buy it.

  25. aljack88 says: Dec 26, 2011 8:16 PM

    anhdazman says:
    Dec 26, 2011 7:04 PM

    His RB by committe is unforgivable. Helu should have been the starter by week 4. He’s lost his touch and his ego is way above his overall ability now a days.
    ———————————————————–
    His refusal to start Helu until the season was already tanked is beyond my thinking. His best days were left mile high a long time ago.

  26. jhorton83 says: Dec 26, 2011 8:21 PM

    Shanahan’s hubris and ego has always been his downfall. Because he happened to inherit John Elway, he seemingly got the idea that he was a personnel genius and could assemble a great team out of any players. But his terrible draft picks and free agent moves drove the Broncos into the ground and the Redskins haven’t been able to get above ground because of the same thing. He thought he could turn Rex Grossman and John Beck into great quarterbacks, but shockingly they turned out to be Rex Grossman and John Beck.

  27. liquidalfa says: Dec 26, 2011 8:36 PM

    At least he didn’t draft Gabbert.

  28. hughjassphd says: Dec 26, 2011 8:43 PM

    It could be worse. They could have Jerry Jones as their coach.

  29. milehighsal says: Dec 26, 2011 8:46 PM

    Couple of things many of you don’t know or have forgotten about Shanahan. (Broncos fan here)

    1.) He will NEVER be a one-back coach. It’s a turn stile and always has been. (Minus Davis) He can make a 1,000 yard rusher out of a lump of coal. Tatum Bell, Olandis Gary, Mike Bell, Mike Anderson, Reuben Droughns. (Toss Portis in there)

    2.) Shanahan wants a QB he can widdle from a piece of wood. Elway wasn’t “his.” Now he wants to create his own QBs. Griese, Plummer, Cutler. He would NEVER ever take RG3.

    3.) He’s always relied on a strong D-coordinator. If not he’s fired. WA needs a top D-Coordinator. When Rex gets fired watch out, Snyder will make him the 4th highest paid coach as a D-Coordinator. (slight sarcasm)

  30. marshmont says: Dec 26, 2011 8:46 PM

    here is how mike blew it at the start. he resigns jason campbell for two years. totally redoes the offensive line. get 2 new running backs. draft a qb. (remember this was the no-salary cap year) get someone to throw to with speed. keep the defense 4-3, slowly convert it to 3-4. the defense was pretty good when shan. came in. can hanesworth and portis at the start. no macnabb comes in. he would have been way ahead of where he is now.

  31. milehighsal says: Dec 26, 2011 9:04 PM

    marshmont says: Dec 26, 2011 8:46 PM

    here is how mike blew it at the start. he resigns jason campbell for two years. totally redoes the offensive line. get 2 new running backs. draft a qb. (remember this was the no-salary cap year) get someone to throw to with speed. keep the defense 4-3, slowly convert it to 3-4. the defense was pretty good when shan. came in. can hanesworth and portis at the start. no macnabb comes in. he would have been way ahead of where he is now.

    ______________________________________

    Speed WRs are how beneficial? DHB is how good? You want receivers who can out muscle and DB, or a slot receiver who can get through the middle. Speed matters not.

    Wes Welker doesn’t run a 4.3 40.

  32. adirtyplayernamedsue says: Dec 26, 2011 9:19 PM

    What did you really expect with Rex, Mike? He is horrible, and has never improved from his time here in Chicago.

  33. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Dec 26, 2011 9:24 PM

    No excuse for losing to a Leslie Frazier coached team.

  34. marshmont says: Dec 26, 2011 9:36 PM

    receiver with speed makes the defense cover the whole field. no speed and easier to cover. brady is a super qb who can accurately hit covered targets.

  35. jbcommonsense says: Dec 26, 2011 9:47 PM

    Shanahan gets an ”A” for his drafts, a ”B” for his playcalling and an ”F” for evaluating QBs. If he does not get a much better QB next year, he will be shown the exit.

  36. therealsmiley says: Dec 26, 2011 10:04 PM

    Mike Shanahan isn’t going anywhere and he’s not on the hot seat. This is a younger team that still needs work. We have some good picks coming up in the draft as well as a good crop of free agents. Rex Grossman has 24 turnovers this year….that’s a good place to start and Mike will find his QB. He didn’t draft a QB last year because there wasn’t one he liked (when we picked). Hail!

  37. therealsmiley says: Dec 26, 2011 10:05 PM

    P.S. we’ll have 3 QBs on the roster next year, Grossman, a rookie and another veteran. He won’t make the same mistake twice. Hail!!

  38. TheWizard says: Dec 26, 2011 10:13 PM

    It’s a popular excuse in Washington.

  39. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 26, 2011 10:22 PM

    Next April, get a QB first, a right tackle second, and keep doing like last year, build through the draft. No more big time free agents getting huge $$$$ for nothing. This team is on it’s way back!! By the way, somebody tell Kyle “Keep RUNNING THE BALL !”…..

  40. factor71 says: Dec 26, 2011 11:03 PM

    Take away the Elway years and what kind of coach has Shanahan been? Not that good. Why would anyone think he would be good in a disastrous football city like Washington D.C.? Its amazing how much credit people want to give Shanahan. I could have won some playoff games with John Elway for god’s sake….

  41. blspears says: Dec 26, 2011 11:21 PM

    I think the team is getting better. I like guys like Helu, Royster, Neild, Kerrigan, Willie Smith, Maurice Hurt. The F/A Chester is decent and young. Bowen has played well along with an improved Carriker. The skins OC is terrible, and the QB’s suck. I think they just need a decent QB and a starting right tackle to be a an 8-8 type team this year. But they are getting young and good times are coming.

  42. hendawg21 says: Dec 26, 2011 11:23 PM

    Only those with very little football knowledge criticize Shanahan, even with Grossman at QB you can see the possibilities and future. The Skins have been in vitually every game, for all the glory the D gets they have in quite a few games been the culprits…the offense comes out move the ball puts points on the board and then the D comes out and gives it right back. A house can’t be built without a foundation so why go after a QB last year when the foundation was not yet there…this draft get the QB continue to add to the foundation and this team will be fine next year.

    Also better play from the D/special teams will help the offense i.e better field position on kick off/punt returns, turnovers and stopping teams on 3rd down give the O a short field somtimes no team can continously have to go 70-80 plus yards.

  43. polegojim says: Dec 27, 2011 12:20 AM

    Yes Mike… that’s the same thing you told Pat Bowlen…

    Time to be done Mike. Let your son make his bones on his own.

    I believe far tooooo many coaches receive way more credit then deserved. Shanny was good as long as Elway was QB. After that…not so much…no wait….not at all. Not w/ Griese, Plummer, Cutler (ALL Shanny’s guys) Orton, McNabb, Grossman, OR Beck… No more Mastermind.

  44. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 27, 2011 5:11 AM

    I think the organization and its fans need to have patience. You cannot go from Jim Zorn with Vinny Cerrato to the playoffs in 2 years. They made a lot of good moves last offseason, if they continue the same youth movement next offseason the team will start to improve. If they revert to what they did the last 20 years, they will succeed like the last 20 years.

  45. louiegrandie says: Dec 27, 2011 7:17 AM

    The honest evaluation is the Shanahan is not any better than Jim Zorn was.

  46. coachmfarrell says: Dec 27, 2011 9:24 AM

    People, peopl, people. Shanny inherited Elway in 95, but he was the QB and OC when Denver traded for Elway in the 80s too. So, I guess since he has no clue what he’s doing (sent Elway, Steve Young, Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, and Cutler to Pro Bowls) the skins should just dump him? Also, when did he run the Broncos in the ground? They ave at least 9 to 10 wins a season under Shanny. They went 8-8 and 7-9 back to back and that got him fired. Those two seasons would get you a Hall of Fame vote in DC. Gus, Shanny is building a total team because, as an earlier person stated, he’s lining up for a top pick QB in the next draft. He’s smart enough to know that he needed to build some talent on the team to help a young QB be successful. We drafted 10 players this year and it looks like we hit on at least 5 (Kerr, Jenkins, Helu, Hankerson, Royster). That’s success IMO. another solid draft and we’ll be successful.

  47. dikshuttle says: Dec 27, 2011 11:40 AM

    Yeah, I have to say I’m not that impressed w/ ShanAllen to this point.

    I think they’re ok Management wise, I mean how can you complain about KerrAkpo? But coarching?! I don’t see where throwing away victories is helping anyone. And the QB choices? Abyssmal.

    No previous champion returning coarch has ever won it all with another team, if I’m not mistaken. I doubt if Shanahan is going to buck that trend.

    Have you noticed how the whole organization is going into dis-repair now that Snyder isn’t all out in front? Something tells me that his ego isn’t going to stay contained even if we’re not seeing his immediate influence.

    The condition of that field is a passive aggressive move if I’ve ever see one.

  48. deshackle says: Dec 27, 2011 12:21 PM

    Please quit making excuses for Mike Shanahan. His record as Redskins head coach speaks to the job he has done thus far. A previous poster to this blog said “We drafted 10 players this year and it looks like we hit on at least 5″. I could take Mel Kiper’s draft board and go 5 for 10, that’s nothing to brag about. The draft is a 50-50 crap shoot no matter who’s conducting it.

    John Beck and Rexx Grossman are Kyle Shanahan’s quarterbacks. I thought Mike Shanahan’s goal all along was to make his son look like a genius and land him a head coaching job. It has backfired and he deserves all the criticism coming his way. I’m a lifelong Skins and I resent the way Mike Shanahan has managed the team. I hope he can turn it around but right now I’m not feeling it.

  49. progress2011 says: Dec 27, 2011 12:27 PM

    I think with Shanahans ” MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY ” attitude, he is better suited as a pop-warner thru high school team.

    I don’t think he can get the best out of top level college players or ( as we are witnessing ) Pro Players, by trying to be a little dictator.

    There are many ex-players and a few ex-coaches that understand an NFL locker-room and will be able to get more out of this group of players than Shanahan ever will.

    Time has passed this guy by and its time for a change at the coaching spot.

  50. dikshuttle says: Dec 27, 2011 12:39 PM

    @ progress2011

    Is it the method? or the material?!

    If what Shan was demanding actually WORKED, then who would complain?

    But if you’re going to be a tyrant, you need to at least be over 50% RIGHT.

    So far, he’s been mostly WRONG.

  51. coachmfarrell says: Dec 27, 2011 1:24 PM

    @deshackle

    I made the comment about the 5 our of 10 hits in a draft. If you think, at a proffesional level you could do better, you should quit your Burger King fry cook job and apply for a GM position at your earliest convenience.

    5 hits out of 10 picks is an astronomically great job compared to the rediculously stupid drafts we’ve had going all the way back to the late 80s.

    We made 10 drafts picks in 2009, how did that turn out? We usually only hit on 1st rounders and we might as well have packed it in for the rest of the draft for the last 25 years. Shannahan has pulled YOUNG starting talent onto this team. Brandon Banks, young undrafted kick returner, man why didnt we just pay Chad Morton $3.5 mill for that like we did in 2003? Oh, because Shanny is not a f^&*ing idiot. Banks, Kerrigan, Reilly, Jenkins, Liechtenstiger, Armstrong, Helu, Hightower, Torain, Royster, Poulson, Gomes, Darrell Young, and a couple more are examples of this administration building depth the right way.

    The only way to heal an infected, mistreated wound, is to rip out all the infection and let it slowly heal back. We’ve been trying to pour neosporin on this crap team for 15 years and it’s finally time to stop, take our lumps for two years, and come back in 2012 ready to dominate. No doubt in my mind, we will be a better team next year because we are in, by far, better hands.

  52. worldwidebleater says: Dec 28, 2011 11:50 AM

    Say hello to Rex in 2012!

  53. waltdawg says: Dec 29, 2011 3:37 PM

    did he know Haynesworth was going to become a complete nutt job, grope women and refuse to play? That was a major issue last year…This year is more of a gauge for progress…And yes, we were bad this year…Keep Mike, ditch Kyle

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