Redskins should be talking to Mike Shula


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.

54 responses to “Redskins should be talking to Mike Shula

  1. So…… each time in my career I came up with one really good idea….. I should have gotten calls from firms to take over as their CEO?

  2. There are quarterback “whisperers” out there.
    Arians in Arizona was Peyton Manning’s first coach, Roethliserger’s coach. Andrew Luck’s coach. Now revitalizing Palmer.

    Trestman in Chicago … cripes he made the whole NFL world think Josh McCowan was the second coming. and don’t get me started on Anthony Calvillo.

    How about Belichek and Brady, and when Brady was down, Cassel.

    After Shanahan, I think Griffen needs one of these types.

  3. Mike Shula? I hope the Redskins are smarter than that. John Matsko is what makes that offense go, much like Tom Cable in Seattle which is why I find it funny that Bevell is on every head coaching candidate list.

    Hue Jackson and his O line coach Bob Wylie will coach circles around all of them though.

  4. The Redskin Potatoes problem is not the QB. RGIII may not be the second coming of John Elway or Joe Montana, but he is certainly a starting QB in the NFL. He was not 100% this season and did not have a good relationship with his coach. He will be fine.

    This team had one of the most atrocious defenses in the history of the league. They couldn’t stop a chicken from crossing the road, much less an opposing offense. The last thing they need is a glorified QB coach hired to hold RGIII’s hand.

  5. i think Coach Mike’s previous failures (ie Alabama)as a head coach and his nondescript pro record until this year.
    the folks who decide are looking at the whole picture and not just at the last frame.

  6. Shula was 26-23 at Alabama. His Buccaneer offenses never ranked higher than 22nd in the late ’90s. He is a good assistant coach – not head coach material.

  7. He’s turned Cam into a better pocket passer, but let’s get real…this team’s D is the ticket…much like the mid-90’s Packers teams were with Reggie White bailing out Favre’s miscues.

    If he’s got an outside shot at maybe never getting a gig, this is it. If he’s an up and comer…..don’t even take the plane ride to meet that freak show Snyder.

  8. As a Panthers fan, Shula has done a good job, I want him to stay. Anytime you can see a coach change philosophies midseason, I think it shows a coach willing to do what it takes rather than Ego Driven to not change…

    I hope Skins sign Schwartz…

  9. Don’t get it. You talk about what he’s done for Cam, then you list the TEAM’S record. How about you list Cam’s stats? Oh yeah, they’re the same as last year.

  10. As a Panthers fan our faith isn’t in Shula…it’s the belief the players have in each other. This team isn’t like any other we have had. The Panthers may lay an egg, but there is the possibility of magic and it’s not because of Shula. The defense is amazing and the special teams are better than advertised.

    This has the feel of the Ravens team with Trent Dilfer at the helm. Defense has gotten us this far and eventually Cam will need a Dilfer Super bowl performance, possibly twice, for us to go further.

    Shula = play for 3rd and manageable and 2nd and short take a shot.

  11. By all means, hire an offensive minded coach so you can suck again next year.

    Washington’s problem is not in the offense.

    It may however be in the front office if this is the direction they think they need to go in.

  12. LOL @ comparing Cam Newton to Trent Dilfer. Dilfer has praised Newton profusely. He’d get a laugh out of it too.

  13. Sponsored post?

    Most people thought he was over his head after being promoted from within after Chud went to the Browns. I think he needs another season to prove himself.

  14. Sure, Shula could be brought in. But you’re giving them no credit for bringing in Darrell Bevell, the guy who has helped Russell Wilson progress immensely in the league so far.

    Both teams have a QB that can run, similar hard-nose runners, and a stout LT (though Skins have a terrible line otherwise).

    As a Skins fan, I really like the premise of having Bevell or a guy like Roman out of SF come over.

  15. corkspop says:
    Jan 3, 2014 11:02 AM
    So…… each time in my career I came up with one really good idea….. I should have gotten calls from firms to take over as their CEO?
    If that one good idea is responsible for driving the largest percentage of significant new revenues within non-saturated or new dominating markets to that firm then I would say “YES” !!

  16. “…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.”

    Baby Shanahan did the exact same thing for Griffin. Using “concepts and plays” that Griffin used at Baylor and what happened? Griffin, and his dad Griffin the Junior, started a media hissy fit last offseason because they were pissed that Baby Shanahan kept running “concepts and plays” from Griffin’s days at Baylor.

    Add to it Mike Shula’s stellar run at Alabama and he gets a “NO THANKS” from this Skins fan.

  17. As a Panthers fan, I support this post.

    Seriously, have you looked at Shula’s body of work, or an actual comparison between this year and the last (virtually no personnel changes except better luck on the injury front)? Here’s a hint… He was awful in Miami. He was the worst HC in Alabama since I don’t know when. The offense has gotten worse under him, even with better personnel.

    Good QB whisperer, lousy OC. No idea why anyone would want to promote him–the Peter Principle has already placed him at his appropriate level.

  18. What blows my mind is that it took the Panthers this long to actually look at Newton’s college tape to find what works. That narrative should be a major knock on the Panthers coaching staff instead of the pat on the back they’re getting. That should have been the FIRST thing they did the day they drafted him. Its absolutely ridiculous.

  19. What was the first clue that Mike Shula was head coaching material and “got the most out of Cam Newton” this year? Was it the 160 yards vs the Saints in Game 1, or the 181 yards passing and 0-9 on third down vs the Saints in Game 2.

  20. Not sure how Shula has “gotten the most out of Newton.” They’ve asked him to do a lot less than he did in his first two seasons. The difference is the defense.

  21. How is doing what he did any kind of genius? Hmmm, let’s find out what he did well before and do that! That’s not really an original idea. And that’s also kind of admitting cam can’t learn new systems.

  22. Yes, the Panther’s defense has been rocking for sure. But as a Titans fan living in Charlotte (where it’s all Cam all the time), two areas where Cam has dramatically improved this season are undeniable: His decision making and his late-game heroics–he’s had four late game-winning drives. That’s new. And that’s been the difference between 12 and 4 and 8 and 8.

  23. Mike Shula is an average position coach with a Hall of Fame last name.Why mention him?Interesting.

  24. Huh?

    Didn’t Kyle do the same thing with RG3 last year? I believe that has proven to be a training wheels tactic, at best, at least for Griffin. Why re-hash that?

    Plus it’s not like Newton is lights out this year. That defense is why Carolina is where they are.

  25. I don’t think there is much evidence for the notion that Cam Newton has improved significantly this year. Across his three years in the league his numbers have fluctuated a bit across different categories, but his overall production has been pretty similar. His QB ratings have been 84.5, 86.2, and 88.8. At best Newton has been a little more efficient this season on fewer pass attempts.

    Carolina’s improvement has been driven by a combination of its defense and better game management by “Riverboat Ron”, not anything Mike Shula has done with Cam Newton.

  26. I can’t even believe one would even mention Mike Shula for any HC position let alone another coordinator job.

    This team reminds me exactly of the Tampa Bay team of 1999. Awesome defense with marginal and underachieving play calling and “game management” on the offensive side of the ball.

    That defense held the “Greatest Show on Turf” to 11 pts. in the NFCCG. You know what Shula’s offense produced? Two field goals. That moment set the tone for Dungy’s eventual ouster in Tampa, they never recovered.

    This guys is average at best with a legendary last name. They’re 26th in the NFL in total offense Florio. Come on man.

  27. After Mike Shula left his head-coaching job at Alabama, it was four years before I could actually say his name out loud. He’s a nice guy. He is a great quarterback coach. He has a pretty good offensive mind. But Mike is completely out of his depth as a head coach. If Snyder hires him to run that team, he’s a bigger lunatic than I thought he was.

  28. LOL at the thought of Mike Shula that is something John Kent Cooke, Jack’s son would do.

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