Tag:Mike Shanahan
Posted on: November 18, 2010 9:00 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2010 10:36 pm

Redskins spreading the blame around to everyone

Posted by Will Brinson

Were it not for the still-not-subsided rage in Washington over Donovan McNabb's new contract, there might have been a whole lot more noise made about Albert Haynesworth giving up on a play. In case you missed it ...

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he finally saw what happened about "3:30 in the morning when [he] watched film," which means he was probably totally thrilled with the outcome and the hustle from Haynesworth.

But he also said he doesn't totally blame Haynesworth.

"If he’s going to take a lot of heat, there are a lot of guys out there that are going to take a lot of heat for that play because the quarterback held the ball for about eight seconds," Haslett said. "We had coverage then we let it go and then plastered right at the end. I think he understands that we want to get him up and chase him."

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, whose team has just been terrible on third down this year (and didn't convert a single one on Monday night), also spread the blame around.

"I think ['here we go again' on third down is] what people think," Shanahan said. "Each play is it's own play. You can't worry about the last play. As a whole, guys are doing well. We're not doing [well] at it but guys are doing well at times. It only takes one guy to break down a play and that's what [has happened] on third downs."

Shanny Jr. also pinned the coaching staff for the poor third down performance. Really, though, it doesn't matter who's to blame, because something needs to be fixed before Sunday if the 'Skins want to avoid another embarrassing beatdown and get booted from playoff contention.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 1:20 am

F&R NFL Approval Matrix, Week 10

Posted by Will Brinson

Our affinity for graphs and charts and purty pictures knows no bounds, so (with a nod to the smartypants at NY Mag), we present the NFL Approval Matrix. Suggestions, complaints and intellecutual property lawsuits may be directed to us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).

Click to embiggen.

Posted on: November 15, 2010 3:37 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 4:56 pm

McNabb, 'Skins agree to huge contract

D. McNabb signed a five-year deal with Washington that could be worth as much as $88 million (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You know how Washington coach Mike Shanahan benched Donovan McNabb two weeks ago, and it seemed fairly clear the Redskins, including offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, didn’t think much of his abilities, especially running a two-minute offense?

Apparently, the organization thinks enough of him to have signed him to a massive five-year extension.

According to ESPN’s Michael Smith, McNabb and Washington have agreed to a five-year deal worth $78 million, with $40 million of that guaranteed.

Smith also reports the deal, with incentives, could go as high as $88 million.

Not bad for a guy who’s perhaps having the worst season of his career since he became a full-time starter. His 57.4 completion percentage through eight games is worse than every year except 2006. He’s thrown seven touchdowns against eight interceptions (his worst TD to INT ratio was 2003’s 16 to 11), and his passer rating of 76.0 is his worst ever.

You may recall that CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported last Sunday that the Redskins still wanted to work out an extension with McNabb, even though he'd been benched. And Josina Anderson of Inside the NFL reported that McNabb and the 'Skins were on the "fast track" for a new contract just three days ago. 

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Posted on: November 11, 2010 12:13 pm

McNabb doesn't think he's in a QB controversy

Posted by Will Brinson

The Washington Redskins are coming off their bye week and all anyone wants to know is, "WILL WE GET SOME MORE Rex Grossman?"

Because, obviously, Grossman is like cowbell -- you can't get enough, baby. According to Donovan McNabb, though, there's no no need to get too excited about Rex reappearing.

"I don't believe that I am," McNabb answered, when asked if he was involved in a QB controversy, according to Jason Reid of the Washington Post.

Now, naturally, Donovan's belief of what's going on with the Redskins could absolutely be on the opposite end of the spectrum from Mike Shanahan's twisted reality of what's going on with the Redskins.

And Shanahan, for all we know, could be planning to line McNabb up at wide receiver and have Grossman throw him quick slants all day. (While unlikely, let's not rule it out entirely.)

But he shouldn't be in a quarterback controversy -- even if he hasn't played at a Pro Bowl level this year, he's not Grossman. And that's really all that should matter when discussing the possibility of an awkward situation at the quarterback situation for Washington right now.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 1:01 pm

Redskins 'still want to work out' McNabb deal?

Posted by Will Brinson

By all accounts, the Washington Redskins and Donvoan McNabb are unhappy with each other, and given that Kyle Shanahan might have been trying to bench McNabb for several weeks, it's not inconceivable that the team's given up on trying to keep McNabb past 2010.

CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported Sunday, however, that the Redskins are still interested signing McNabb to an extension.

"What I was told by the Redskins is this -- they talked to him after being benched on Sunday and told him they still want to try and work out a contract extension," Casserly said. "If they can't agree to it, the Redskins only course to keep him next year is to franchise him -- one-year, $16 million guaranteed. Might be interesting to watch that decision."

The prevailing sense here is that Casserly was being sarcastic with that last line -- the thought of Washington paying McNabb $16 million for a one-year deal in 2011 is summed up well by Boomer Esiason's loud, side-stage, sarcastic laughter after Casserly's quote.

Still, it's interesting to hear that Washington hasn't totally given up on McNabb, although at this stage, the Shanahan family's motivational ploys are getting a little far out there, especially for a player who's not exactly on Albert Haynesworth's level of petulance.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: November 7, 2010 11:13 am

Are the Redskins interested in Michael Vick?

Posted by Will Brinson

It's all the rage in Washington to last out at Donovan McNabb these days. Well, either that or lash at Mike Shanahan for pulling McNabb during the 'Skins two-minute drill against the Lions last Sunday.

That awkward situation between the quarterback and his coach makes the "swirling rumors" that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk heard about Michael Vick to the Redskins all that much more interesting.

Vick will be a free agent after the 2010 season (and he'll be chatting with James Brown at noon on CBS, in case you forgot!), obviously, and if he plays the second half of the season the same way he did pre-injury (against, ironically, the Redskins), he'll be a pretty popular guy on the open market.

However, as Florio notes, there's some salt to take with this -- not just the standard rumor grain, but also the potential that this rumor's being circulated with the express purpose of rubbing it in McNabb's fresh benching-related wound.

In other words, if the Redskins are dead-set on motivating McNabb, don't put it past them let it leak back to the media (and thusly McNabb) that they're interested in replacing with the guy who replaced him at his last job.

At the very least, though, it's clear that the Redskins aren't infatuated with McNabb as a long-term answer (remember when he was sure he'd get a new contract from Washington??? Yeaaaaaaah ...) and they'll seek potential quarterback replacements in the offseason.

It certainly stands to reason that one of the NFL's flashiest owners (Daniel Snyder) would be interested in the biggest names on the free agent market (Vick).

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:25 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:58 pm

Five Questions (or More) with Keyshawn Johnson

Keyshawn Johnson had strong comments today regarding R. Moss, Brad Childress and Mike Shanahan (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Keyshawn Johnson is a busy man. Since retiring from the NFL in 2007 after an 11-year career in which he made the Pro Bowl three times, he’s been an ESPN analyst, the host of an A&E show called Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design, and a business man.

Now, he’s partnering with Captain Morgan for a year-long project that allows fans to post their own Captain Morgan’s pose on Facebook , and for every pose uploaded, the company will donate to the First Mate Fund, which was created to benefit non-profit organizations. “It’s all for charity,” Johnson said. “Every time you upload a picture, Captain Morgan donates a dollar.”

We caught up with Johnson, and he gave us some interesting answers regarding Randy Moss, Brad Childress’ authenticity, Mike Shanahan’s truth-telling skills, and why the Bengals haven’t produced with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens lining up on the field.

Previous Five Questions (or More):

Oct. 29: Chargers LS Mike Windt

Oct. 22: Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard

Oct. 15: Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong

Oct. 8:
Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich

Oct. 1: Kent Babb of the KC Star

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington

1. CBSSports.com: Obviously, the big topic this week was Randy Moss. Now that he’s going to Tennessee with a guy you know pretty well in Jeff Fisher, how do you think he’ll do with the Titans?

Keyshawn Johnson: I think he’ll do well. You have a strong-minded coach with a strong head there, and I really think Jeff has done a tremendous job in terms of getting players to play for him and do the things he’s asked in his 16-year tenure. He gets players to respond for him. There are only a handful of coaches who can do that, and he’s one of them.

CBS: Is that what you need for a guy like Moss? Obviously, it didn’t work with Brad Childress, but it did work with Bill Belichick. It seems like Fisher is a coach that can command that kind of respect.

Johnson: It’s really about how you approach people and how you talk to people. You don’t have to scream, you don’t have to yell. It’s the way you approach a guy like Randy. If you approach him and you’re authentic and not being some phony fake-ass guy, he’s going to respect it. You think he was born yesterday? He knows phony when he sees it. I’m sure he realized Brad Childress isn’t for real and that he’s a phony guy. He went in with no respect for him. Then, Childress recognized it and thought the best thing he could was to cut bait.

2. CBS: When a guy yells at the people who cater the food in the locker room, though, what …

If that happened, it’s shame on Randy. You don’t demean somebody for their cooking skills. Just don’t eat it. I’ve been on many teams where I didn’t like the food. So I brought my own food.

But when you have a guy being a jerk like that, how does that affect the rest of the locker room?

Johnson: I wouldn’t say that it would affect the locker room. It’s always one or two guys on the team who are trying to be the coach’s pet and who are going to stand out and take on the big fish. There are always one or two guys. That’s the realness about it. That’s the normal way it goes. Every team, you have one or two guys that side with the coach and not the players. The other 50 guys side with the players.

CBS: If that’s the case, how do the rest of the guys respond to those one or two players?

Johnson: You deal with those guys at face value. You don’t give them much. You don’t tell them anything, because basically, you know they’re going to snitch.

3. CBS:
The other big story this week was Donovan McNabb and how Mike Shanahan pulled him and replaced him with Rex Grossman with the game on the line. I was watching that game, and when he did that, I was very confused.

Very, very confusing to those of us that don’t really know how coaches work. Since I know how they work, it wasn’t confusing to me. But he could have explained to Donovan or explained to the media a little bit better than just lying. All you have to do is lie to me once, and I won’t let it happen again. Players know it. But they’re not going to say it, because they have families to feed.

4. CBS:
Regarding the Bengals, with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens and a good running game, did you think T.O. and Ochocinco would have had more of an impact on the team? Did you think that team would be better than it is?

Johnson: I thought they would be better. But statistics aren’t going to make you better. You need to have some cohesiveness in terms of how you deal with each other and the team and players around each other. There has to be something there to be able to deem yourself a championship-caliber football team. They don’t have that. That’s why they struggle. They’re 2-5, and at the end of the year, they’re probably going to have be looking for a new head coach.

5. CBS: How much of it falls on Marvin Lewis? I know he was a popular guy in the locker room …

It’s so hard to win in places like that. It’s just hard. It’s a constant losing vibe. You can win 50 games, and you feel like you lost. It’s just a whole perception, and it’s hard deal to deal with.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com