Shanahan-'Skins reports persist

Earlier this month, FOX’s John Czarnecki reported that the Redskins had twice approached Mike Shanahan regarding the possibility of taking over the team, and that Shanahan had twice declined.

A Redskins source promptly disputed this news.

But the Shanahan-Redskins link persists, dating back to offseason rumors of at least one meeting between the former Broncos coach and the ten-year Redskins owner and speculation that the pursuit of Jay Cutler and then Mark Sanchez was fueled by input from Shanahan.

Now, a Redskins source concedes to Thomas George of that, indeed, Shanahan had been approached and that, yes, he said “no.”

“Shanahan told the franchise there was little he could do in the middle
of the season for them and that changing coaches during the season in
the NFL rarely works,” the unnamed Redskins management source told FanHouse.  “Several people that Dan Snyder trusts
have suggested, if he makes a move, he should turn it over to secondary
coach Jerry Gray.  That could still happen.”

This doesn’t mean that Shanahan won’t be the Redskins coach in 2010.  And one of his terms (in addition to a salary greater than the $7 million he’ll earn from the Broncos by not working) likely will be a request that executive V.P. of football operations Vinny Cerrato be given his walking papers.

This might be why Cerrato and coach Jim Zorn’s fates are regarded as being intertwined.  If it doesn’t work with Zorn and Snyder gets Shanahan, Cerrato will be out, just like he was when Snyder turned the keys over to Marty Schottenheimer in 2001.

The bigger question will be whether Snyder will be able to keep his spoon out of the stew for longer than one season.  Eight years ago, Snyder fired Schottenheimer after only 16 games and brought back Cerrato and hired Steve Spurrier to be the coach.

Then there’s the question of whether Shanahan would again generate mixed results with final say over personnel, and whether he’d be able to overcome those mistakes via good coaching.
So, basically, the three-ring circus we’re seeing in D.C. probably won’t be ending at any point in the forseeable future.

35 responses to “Shanahan-'Skins reports persist

  1. Shanny’s flaws as a coach are really obvious: not all that inventive as a play-caller, no understanding of defense and a terrible judge of character.
    He needs to jump to a team with loads of talent (the 97-99 Broncos) and that is NOT the Redskins. Dallas, maybe? Sand Diego (do they have talent besides Rivers??)?
    As long as lil’ Danny Snyder is there, the Skins will suck. The dude has NO football sense.

  2. This is just proof that our idiot owner doesn’t know what he is doing. Who in their right mind ever changes coaches midseason to an outside coach with his own system and expect anything to work. Give me a break. The good news is Snyder likes the idea of Shanahan as his head coach so much i really believe he will get rid of Cerrato, at the end of the season of course. It is really started to look like no more Campbell, Zorn, and Cerrato after this horrendous season. And as a die hard skins fan, that may be our only real victory.

  3. The way that kid has moved up the Broncos especially the defense on Shanahan in replacing him, it’s a joke anyone would even want Shanahan.

  4. I’m guessing that if Zorn quits then he loses a lot of money. Better to put up with some disrespect… and walk away with a few more million. He’s not the problem in Washington.

  5. It’s the curse of Marlene Cooke. The downward slide started when her marriage to Jack Kent Cooke first hit the skids. Is it a coincidence that Dan Snyder bought the team after she was left out of Cooke’s will and forced to leave the country?

  6. Can someone remind me of Shanahan’s appeal again? Without Elway, we would hardly know his name. He spent most of his time in Denver wallowing in mediocrity.

  7. Mr. Snyder is doing an incredible job. I encourage him to persevere. Eventually he will find the right coach and the right players to bring his team back to glory. Meanwhile, the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys (first round only) will take turns representing the NFC East in the playoffs for years to come.

  8. Watching Zorn’s press conf yesterday and hearing player interviews, it is apparent that Zorn and the team know that the main problem is personnel, and that all of the changes that Cerrato is trying wont make a bit of difference.
    Maybe Cerrato finally is on the hot seat. Unfortunately for him, the more changes he attempts, the more evident it will be that Cerrato built a bad team and that no high priced free agents / coaches can change this disaster overnight.

  9. Dan Snyder, addressing the need for more Shermans, has hired Sherman Hemsley to consult on uniform laundering practices and lead the pregame prayer, Sherman Schwartz and Bobby Sherman to compose and record a new fight song, and William Tecumsah Sherman to consult on the running game (John Riggins was chopping wood and not available). Allan Sherman is reportedly writing a parody song about the whole thing.

  10. Lil’ Danny Snyder obviously enjoys torturing his employees, so why no put Vinny in at QB behind the O-line that he failed to upgrade in the offseason?
    Call it “hands-on experience”.

  11. Teams with good owners can have a bad year now and then. Teams with bad owners are consistently bad and only occasionally see a measure of success.
    The Redskins are clearly in the latter group.

  12. Cerrato isn’t the problem. He may be useless as a talent scout. Ok, he is useless as a talent scout. But we’ve known this for some time, and firing him would make no difference in the Skins long-term prospects because Snyder, not Cerrato, has final say on player personnel decisions. Snyder runs free agency, deciding which UFAs to pursue and how much they should be overpaid, or in the case of RFAs, how many draft picks to squander in order to obtain them. Cerrato is effectively in charge of scouting and runs the draft, but Snyder makes all the final decisions. Cerrator can’t wipe his butt without Little Danny’s approval.

  13. Shanahan had one losing season in 13 years in Denver, the year after Elway retired. Name another coach with that kind of constistant winning success over that many years.

  14. [i]Teams with good owners can have a bad year now and then. Teams with bad owners are consistently bad and only occasionally see a measure of success.
    The Redskins are clearly in the latter group.
    Yup. Just look at the Bungles, with one playoff appearance since 1990. The Browns, who have one playoff appearance since 1999. Or the Colts under psycho Jim Irsay, who had one playoff appearance between 1978 and 1994.
    Skins fans, get used to it. The bad years from 1993-98 BS (Before Snyder) were just the beginning. This is the 11th season under this midget bully and it won’t get better until he butts out of the football operations and gets a GM who has a brain.

  15. Agree with the posters questioning Shanahan’s ‘greatness’. I don’t get why he’s such a hot commodity, he doesn’t seem to have done so well in Denver with all that control.
    The Danny likes ‘names’ tho and most likely Cowher told him to pound sand.
    If I were Shanahan there’s no way I take the job. The Redskins roster is a disaster area with the productive players almost all on the verge of retirement age, the younger players not all that talented, no franchise QB on the roster (Campbell is a decent QB, no more than that, he will never be a ‘franchise’ QB), the O line is a complete shambles. Any coach that takes that job with the expectation that ‘The Danny’ has of an immediate return to football prominence is going to fail, two years at most before they get fired and Cerrato is rehired. Set up to fail from the beginning.
    The Danny has to accept that it took him 3-5 years to bring the team to this state and it will take 3-5 to get them out of it. The team will have to be rebuilt from the ground up. That takes time and I don’t think The Danny is that patient.

  16. Jim Zorn signed a 5yr, $15 million contract before last season, with reportedly only the first three years guaranteed. He’d lose at least $3 million for next year if he quit now. Those dollars buy a lot of self-respect. 🙂

  17. People also forget that other than Elway and Shannon Sharpe, the two super bowl teams were mostly built by people that Shanny chose, (Rod Smith moved up from practice squad, Ed Mccaffrey signed as free agent, Terrel Davis DRAFTED, Mark Schlereth and the very efficient zone blocking offensive line, Bill Romanowski and his roid rage, etc, etc). For all his misses in the draft or free agency you can point to another player that was a good move. What is the success rate of other coaches in the draft? Other than Bellicheat, I would guess that it is probably just as bad or good as Shanahan.

  18. Shanahan isn’t as good of a coach as some people like to make him out. Post-Elway, they were mediocre. But he also isn’t as bad as others suggest, that he was nothing even with Elway. Elway didn’t start to flourish until Shanahan came along and as dcfan points out, winning seasons in all but one of his Denver seasons.
    But Shanahan isn’t the answer for any team where he has personnel control. Clearly, he is not a good GM, the drafts he made in Denver were average at best, downright horrible towards the end of his Denver stay. Shanahan needs a strong GM, a Polian to be his personnel man. But reportedly he won’t take any job where he doesn’t have total control, including personnel. Good luck with that.
    The problem with the Skins is Snyder. Nothing will change until he stops meddling.
    BTW, how did Zorn go from genius to dummy so fast? No one seems to remember how much people gushed over him when the Skins started 6-2 last season. He was the wunderkind of the hour, a coaching genius who was picked out of the blue by Snyder.
    How things change quickly in the NFL. Genius today, goat tomorrow.

  19. Why why why is this moron Synder still involving himself in the hiring of any personnel.
    You’ve had ten years and have done NOTHING.
    Get a GM and let him hire the coach. Shahahan did zero after Elway and Davis left. Yet Synder thinks he knows best and will go after this retread.

  20. RIP, you don’t actually think that Snyder thinks he is the problem, do you?
    The fact that they have been horrible for his whole tenure and HE is the only commonality in each of those seasons, you can bet that it has NEVER crossed his mind that he is the root cause of it all. No way.
    Clearly, he is a typical boss or business owner: you are never the problem, it is always the fault of those below you. I mean, think about it: when a manager has a revolving door of people he hires, when does anyone stop to say to the manager, ‘Hey, you know, maybe it’s not that there are no good people out there to hire, maybe YOU are the problem. YOU hire bad people and maybe YOU shouldn’t be managing or hiring people.’
    That never happens in business or in the workplace. Snyder is just the ultimate in that. You can make book that he feels that there just aren’t people out there to hire that ‘understand’ him or his organization, that everyone out there available sucks. Nope. He’s the boss that can’t manage, but will never ever blame himself and admit that he doesn’t know how to hire or manage.

  21. The skins must remove cerrato. Pure and simple. Then redo the whole offensive line, get a bunch of giant goons under age 25 and let them play until they figure it out. Then the whole thing will turn around. Look at every big time team- 90’s cowboys, 16-0 patriots, all of them had BIG time o lines. We do not and haven’t in a long time. nothing else matters if you don’t fix this.
    Gruden is probably the right guy to fix the offense and leave a decent defense alone. then we’ll be ok. but if we keep cerrato signing big name useless old players, we’re done.

  22. Why should Zorn resign and lose out on the money he has promised him? He was a player 20 years ago and has been nothing more than a QB coach previous to this, I’m sure the money that he has coming his way left on his contract is more than he has ever made in his career total.
    I have no problem with him forcing them to fire him, if anything this whole sordid affair is just exposing Snyder and Cerrato even more as the bumbling fools that they are.

  23. @ jdusaf: You are right on target. Zorn needs to stay until he’s fired and squeeze them for all the $$ he can, since they screwed him over so badly.
    If Snyder really wants to win, he needs to wake up and realize that he can’t do it. He needs to hire some football-savvy guys before next year, and then go hide in his owner’s box until the season’s over.

  24. “This is just proof that our idiot owner doesn’t know what he is doing. Who in their right mind ever changes coaches midseason to an outside coach with his own system and expect anything to work.”
    Who in their right mind alientates and sues their struggling fans? Snyder doesn’t care about anything more than lining his pockets with $$$.

  25. The hits keep coming.
    Don’t really care who is brought in – Snyder, not Al Davis, is your current coach-killing owner (w/ respect to Jon Gruden – who did rebound from the cantankerous one’s wrath to win a SB).
    Schottenheimer and Gibbs had varying issues, but ultimately couldn’t get on the same page w/ Snyder (Marty accomplished that in a year, took Gibbs three).
    Spurrier and Zorn were just bad hires, period. I almost want to feel bad for Zorn, but he took the job when offered.
    Snyder doesn’t get it. Until he staffs adequate personnel (on and off the field) and minimizes his input to those entrusted in adminstering the organization, the Redskins are set up to fail.

  26. For some reason, even though I’ve never heard Snyder talk, I get the impression he’s a real life version of William Shatner. (Yes I know, William Shatner is also a real life version of William Shatner) It’s almost like he thinks he has the power to make things happen by the force of enunciation alone. Again, I have never heard Snyder talk, but this mental image is remarkable in its clarity.

  27. I see Shanahan in SD before Washington. Wasing is a hornet’s nest and I don’t see him fitting there. I think if he takes over SD he will get a great team that is just suffering from terrible coaching. He knows the AFC west.

  28. I agree about him being more interested in San Diego. If I was a sought-after HC, I’d rather go where there’s some talent on offense to work with. The Redskins’ offense is going to need almost total rebuilding.

  29. Forget about the Chargers or Redskins. The Chicago Bears need a Head Coach with an mind for the offense. Lovie and Turner have no friggin idea of how to handle a pro bowl QB seeing they have never one before. The Turner brothers seem to have a way to destroy teams and offensive schemes(see University of Illinois). Also, Shanahan is from the Chicago area and would be a breath of fresh air to a stale offensive team.

  30. SATAN567 says:
    October 20, 2009 11:53 AM
    “This is just proof that our idiot owner doesn’t know what he is doing. Who in their right mind ever changes coaches midseason to an outside coach with his own system and expect anything to work.”
    Who in their right mind alientates and sues their struggling fans? Snyder doesn’t care about anything more than lining his pockets with $$$.
    Could not agree more. That is a curse thet will be with the Redskins for a Long, Long time.

  31. Mike Shanhan as coach for the Skins’ in 2010.
    Mike Holmgren replaces Vinny Cerrato as V.P. of football operations.
    Then this team would really start to improve.

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