Mike Shanahan and the 2010 Washington Redskins: Don't Bring Back Jerry Gray

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2010

ASHBURN,VA - JANUARY 06:  Mike Shanahan speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new Executive Vice President and Head Coach of the Washington Redskins to the media on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

There is no room left for optimists at Redskins Park.  Jim Zorn’s goofy brand of rambling optimism is the opposite of what the 2010 Washington Redskins need to be successful. 

Going into next season, the Redskins need an objective look at this roster.  The first mistake of Mike Shanahan’s tenure would be to re-sign and promote Jerry Gray from secondary coach to defensive coordinator.

Gray still hangs onto flawed optimism, resting his belief on the precept that the Redskins are a talented football team.  There’s no room for that opinion after a 4-12 season.

“I’ve been on teams where you go to the Super Bowl, we didn’t have as much talent as we did here, but the guys understand how to go out and play football,” Gray said to Kelli Johnson of Comcast SportsNet after the season’s final game. 

After losing to the San Diego Chargers' second- and third-string players, shouldn’t that a humble a football team, a coaching staff, and an organization? 

At Mike Shanahan’s introductory press conference, he flatly said that you are your record.  Since the Redskins went 4-12, they are a terrible football team, devoid of talent. 

That’s the angle the coaching staff and front office need to take and don’t give a single player the benefit of the doubt.  Hold everyone accountable.

Which brings us back to Jerry Gray, who led the worst part of the defense: the secondary.  If anyone should be held accountable for all the big passing plays the Redskins allowed and the lack of improvement by anyone in the secondary, it should be Jerry Gray.

In just three seasons, LaRon Landry has gone from first-round draft pick and rising star to bordering on Roy Williams territory.  Landry isn’t a playmaker, isn’t a big hitter, and is non-existent in coverage. 

Even though he usually begins the play 20-30 yards behind the line of scrimmage, it seems impossible that he is consistently in the wrong place, takes poor angles in run support, and that he can’t tackle big or elusive running backs. 

Carlos Rodgers had many of the same problems that Landry did with double moves and getting beaten for big plays.  It got so bad that he was benched for Fred Smoot.

That’s two former first-round picks in the secondary alone that are getting worse under the tutelage of Jerry Gray.

As for DeAngelo Hall, he was great in coverage this year, but remains a poor tackler.  It goes well beyond not being able to take down Jake Delhomme, because everyone ran screen after screen against the Redskins because the secondary was so poor in tackling. 

If Jerry Gray can’t even run Hall through some basic tackling drills, what exactly is he teaching?

The Washington Redskins need to begin an objective rebuilding process and cut all ties to the 2009 season.  That includes everyone on an inept coaching staff that rarely had the players prepared. 

The culture needs to change and that’s starts with a complete overhaul of a coaching staff that was filled with unwarranted optimism and colored by the big names on the depth chart. 

This team does not have talent.  They went 4-12.

Welcome back to Square One.