The (failed) Shanahan experiment

Another Sunday, another unfulfilling ending for the Washington Redskins, who lost 17-16 to Tampa Bay despite dominating for long stretches, then suffering the “North Dallas Forty” ending when the special-teams unit couldn’t execute what would have been the game-tying extra point with nine seconds to go.

It’s easy to say that the ‘Skins have just been bugabooed this year, because there have been plenty of bad-news type things happening in Redskin Park. Injuries are part of the game of football, though, so don’t hang your hat there and excuse first-year coach Mike Shanahan because of them. Shanahan, two-time Super Bowl winner that he is, completely mismanaged this Redskin team into another out-of-the-playoffs finish.

It starts with Haynesworth-gate and his handling of the $100 Million Man Who Didn’t Want To Play Noseguard. We won’t know what happened behind the scenes that led to the apparently immediate breakdown of relations between Shanahan and Albert Haynesworth, who just two years ago was considered the best defensive player in football, but whatever it was, it should have been dealt with summarily with a trade for a low-round draft pick or outright release. Instead, the Haynesworth situation was allowed to fester to the point where the move was made last week to suspend him for the final four games of the season.

More sports news and views at VaSportsOnline.com.

Which brings us to quarterback Donovan McNabb, alternatively the franchise and the guy who has to share snaps with his backup on Fridays and isn’t in good enough shape to run the two-minute drill. That embarrassment, with the ‘Skins trailing Detroit late, was the nail in the coffin for the 2010 Redskins, who have dropped four of five since the Lions game, including that showcase they gave to Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on a Monday night a few weeks back in the form of a 59-28 laugher that was nowhere near that close in the way it was played out.

I can’t imagine that McNabb wants to hang around for any more of the BS that Shanahan seems to want to put him through. McNabb, 34, probably has three or four good years left, and there has to be a better situation for him out there than handing the ball off to training-camp tackling dummies and throwing it to Arena League castoffs.

That is precisely the team that Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen put together, and if they’re as successful in running McNabb out of town as they were in pushing Haynesworth off the cliff, well, they’ll always have Rex Grossman.

Maybe there was good reason Denver booted Shanahan out the door and gave the keys to their future to a thirtysomething kid with no head-coaching experience anywhere. That kid got fired for going 11-17 in parts of two seasons in the Rockies. Hate to say it, but 5-8 is roughly halfway to 11-17.

Column by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.