As the Redskins continue to add names to their list of potential head-coaching candidates, the guy who is now running the show in D.C. seems to be missing the most obvious one.
Especially as the Redskins reportedly prepare to go to Charlotte to interview defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
While in the building, why not also talk to Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula?
In only one year running the offense in Carolina, where the head coach is a defensive specialist, Shula has managed to get the most out of quarterback Cam Newton, from both a production and maturity standpoint. As coach Ron Rivera told PFT Live last month, it was Shula who decided during a slow start to the season to scour over all of Newton’s plays while at Auburn in search of concepts and plays that may work.
And the idea worked. The Panthers finished with an 12-4 record after a 1-3 start, nailing down the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game in the divisional round.
But Shula hasn’t even gotten a sniff, from the Redskins or anyone else. Given what Shula has done with Newton, teams with franchise quarterbacks who have yet to reach their full potential (i.e., Washington and Detroit) should at a minimum bring Shula in, if for no reason other than to pick his brain about how he has gotten the most out of Newton.
It would be an intriguing pairing, given that G.M. Bruce Allen’s father and Shula’s father once squared off in a fairly important game (Super Bowl VII) and shared the coach of the year award in 1967, when Allen coached the Rams and Shula coached the Colts.
“I had a great relationship with [Bruce's] dad,” the elder Shula said in 2010. “George was a guy I enjoyed competing with, had a lot of respect for. He went on to the Rams, and he would never know what time it was. It would be 11 or 12 o’clock [at night], and he’s working in his office and he’d decide to call me about a trade. But it’d be 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning when my phone rings. ‘Hey George, you know what the hell time it is?’ ‘Oh, I forgot there’s a three-hour time difference.'”
“So the next morning — I was an early-riser — I’d get up at 6 or 7 o’clock, thinking I’d give George a call — which is 3 o’clock his time.”
Bruce Allen has yet to decide to give Mike Shula a call at any hour of the day or night, which could keep the Redskins from getting the best man to get the most out of Robert Griffin III.