"Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he has no doubt he will return to the team next season despite a lack of progress in the won-lost column.
"'No, there’s no doubt in my mind,'" he said without hesitation."
Regardless of whether Shanahan does return, the question is not whether he does, the question is whether he should.
Based on how the year began, despite a lack of talent and depth on both sides of the ball, Washington did show promise. The defense has a good pass rush with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, while London Fletcher is arguably the most underrated player in the NFL.
Offensively, they just need a QB. Neither Rex Grossman nor John Beck is the franchise's long-term answer, so drafting one is imperative.
Fortunately for Shanahan and company, the 2012 NFL draft is loaded with some nice QB talent. With Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Kellen Moore and Kirk Cousins among others likely to emerge, Washington almost can't miss this spring.
Speaking of the offseason, former Redskins LB LaVar Arrington of the Washington Post writes that there will be increased expectations in 2012.
"I'm not sure Shanahan can turn things around before he loses his job but it's not impossible. There will be pressure to deliver next season, so this offseason will be critical to his and this team’s future."
What Shanahan has done in Washington, while unimpressive, isn't any better than most other experienced coaches would have done. The Redskins have been in dire straits for quite some time and are desperately in the need to improve.
The beginning of 2011 gave hope as did a sweep of the New York Giants, who may win the NFC East. Not to mention, six of Washington's 10 losses have come within eight points or less. It's clear that they're right on the cusp of turning a corner.
So, with all of that being said, Shanahan should return as the Redskins head coach. With a draft coming up that can fix their needs, he deserves at least one more season to get Washington headed in the right direction.
The football world has lost patience in hiring new coaches. Everyone wants them to win immediately. However, that's not always the case, as it evident by Bill Walsh's first two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers in which he had a record of 8-24.
Tom Landry in Dallas had six non-winning seasons (1960-65) before the Cowboys finished above .500. Can you imagine if either of those two coaches were canned after just two seasons?
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