Mike Shanahan: You Only Think You Know What He Will Do with the Redskins
Say one thing about Snyderrato, they made a blogger's task easy. If the Snyder-Cerrato sports machine were still active (and I'm convinced they're still lurking in the background), here's what we would be writing next month:
Did the Washington Redskins give up too much to trade for Michael Vick? The Skins could squeeze another year or two out of the offensive line because Vick is so elusive. He will be a big draw at the 2010 Washington Redskins Beach Blitz in Virginia Beach where support for MV7 is friendliest. Think of the ticket and jersey sales.
We hail the return of Antonio Pierce, a true Redskin. Hey, the team learns from its mistakes. They let Fred Smoot and Derrick Dockery walk away as free agents and they came back. Why not recycle Pierce, released by the New York Giants last week? Can Walt Harris and Ryan Clark be far behind? Maybe Champ Bailey will return one day.
Daniel Snyder's moves were as predictable as sunrise. So were the results. New head coach Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen are wild cards. We don't know what to expect in the Dannyhan era, hopefully not the above. So here's the question,
What would Mike do?
Former Redskin capologist J.I. Halsell writes that every front office is building its hypothetical roster under the rules of the no cap year. So Allen is sniffing out free agents and players like Pierce who might be released because their current team won't pay an exorbitant roster bonus.
Halsell's story on footballoutsiders.com explains how Washington's decision to tender DT Kedric Golston affects how they must tender LB Rocky McIntosh.
Our friends over at DC Pro Sports Report scour the bloggosphere for NFL mock drafts" target="_blank">NFLmock drafts. That stuff is group think for what teams might do on the theory that "50 million monkeys can't be wrong." The monkeys are saying that Washington will draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford in the first round.
Neither Shanahan nor Allen participate in mock drafts. Shanahan has the challenge of implementing his West Coast Offense with Joe Gibbs' downfield offense talent. Snyderrato didn't do enough in 2008 and '09 to align talent to the WCO.
Allen is hampered by too few draft picks and too many expensive contracts that cost real money even without salary cap restrictions. Dannyhan can't build a contending team in one season. This year's team will look a lot like last year's team.
Raise your hands if you think Jason Campbell is gone by April.
A story on www.foxnews.com calls Campbell the top prospect in a thin group of quarterback free agents. The story lists six teams, including the Redskins, who might show interest in Campbell. Washington will make a tender offer to Campbell next month and let the market set the price for his services.
Campbell improved to solid but average average NFL starter in 2009. That won't get him the franchise tag he desires. It might get him the fresh start he deserves while producing the additional draft picks Bruce Allen needs.
Quarterback? What quarterback?
A Feb. 15 story touts Clemson running back C.J. Spiller as ideally suited for a zone blocking offensive line. The story was written for the Seattle Seahawks site on the bloguin.com network, but Shanahan is the leading practitioner of zone blocking and running backs are important to his offense.
Drafting a quarterback is fan wish fulfillment. Even with John Elway, Shanahan won everything only when he had rushing superiority. Maybe Shanahan is thinking of a quick, elusive edge rusher like Clinton Portis used to be. A back like Spiller could be high on the wish list.
Shanahan and Allen might do any of these things or go in a whole other direction. It's a mystery
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