Mike Shanahan's Top Five Improvements Of Washington Redskins
What rebuilding? Mike Shanahan has taken the reins of the Washington Redskins, and he has already made a major overhaul. The Redskins of 2010 will bear little resemblance to the unit that took the field in 2009. Of course, considering the disaster of last year, that's a very good thing.
The following slide show is a list of the most important changes Shanahan has made thus far.
The 2009 Redskins had one of the worst offensive lines in the league, surrendering too many sacks and being less than effective in run blocking. Mike Shanahan targeted this unit as a top priority for improvement in 2010, and his moves have strengthened it greatly. With the additions of Trent Williams, Artis Hicks, and now Jammal Brown, the Redskins should have an above-average offensive line in 2010. The entire offense will reap the benefits of having a huge upgrade in talent up front.
Jason Campbell never proved to be the leader the Redskins needed at the quarterback position. Mike Shanahan certainly wasn't convinced, and when Donovan McNabb became available, he jumped at the chance to get him. McNabb represents an enormous upgrade in leadership and playmaking ability at quarterback. Now protected by a solid offensive line, McNabb should be able to put up some big numbers in 2010.
Mike Shanahan is convinced that the 3-4 defensive scheme is superior to the 4-3. So he brought in a 3-4 expert, Jim Haslett, and made the transition. This defense should allow for more turnovers and bigger plays than the 4-3 of years past. Look for big sack numbers from Brian Orakpo, more interceptions from Deangelo Hall, and more forced fumbles from Rocky McIntosh.
Mike Shanahan is an offensive mastermind, and he has years of success to prove it. But Mike Shanahan may only be the second best offensive mind on the team. The most important addition to the Redskins offense in 2010 may have been Kyle Shanahan. Presiding over the number one ranked passing offense in the league last season with the Houston Texans, Kyle Shanahan proved he didn't need to ride his dad's coattails to gain a reputation. The younger Shanahan was the hottest offensive coordinator in the NFL in 2009, and he should be able to work some similar magic with the Redskins. With the two Shanahans together, look for some highly creative game plans, and some lofty rankings for the offense at the end of the season.
The biggest reason for the complete failure of the 2009 Washington Redskins wasn't because the offensive line was terrible. It wasn't because the quarterback was too indecisive. It wasn't because the defense surrendered too many big plays. It wasn't because of injuries.
It was because of a lack of leadership.
Jim Zorn was not a leader, and he could not control his team. He could not inspire his players, and his players didn't believe in him.
In Mike Shanahan, the Redskins now have a proven leader. He has a commanding presence, and he has made it know from day one that HE is in complete control of his team. He doesn't tolerate players that don't play to their full potential, and he demands hard work from all of them. He inspires his players to be winners, and he encourages competition at every position.
Mike Shanahan knows exactly how an NFL team must be run in order to be successful. Already, he has completely changed the culture of the organization and set it on the path toward the upper echelon of franchises.