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Mike Shanahan as Captain America



So Mike Shanahan is here to rescue us. Witness the photo of him as a superhero, right there, via @NattyBo. And check out these two awesome tales from the archives.

First, from the Denver Post, in 2004, when Shanahan was still in charge.

It isn't easy assembling a special group in today's NFL, where half the roster can change in a typical offseason. Free agency has fostered a certain selfishness, a mercenary mind-set among players in a ruthless sport that eats its own.

Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey saw that kind of attitude in Washington, where Redskins owner Daniel Snyder loved to collect big-ticket free agents who had no emotional attachment to their teammates or the city. Sure enough, five years later, Bailey has yet to taste the playoffs, much less a Super Bowl.

"We've got guys who want to see each other succeed," Bailey said. "When they mess up, you want to pick them up. I never really had that [in Washington]. We've got big names, but they're guys who collectively have good attitudes. You know what you're going to get from them every day. That's big. You put a lot of stars together like we did in D.C., and it won't work. If you don't have communication in the locker room and everybody isn't getting along every day, it can be tough."

And then, I'd ask you to consider this anecdote from Shanahan's collegiate career at Eastern Illinois, via the Rocky Mountain News in 1998. During his junior year, after taking a hit in spring practice, Shanahan wound up home in bed. When his roommate, Mike Heimerdinger, came home, Shanahan was still in bed, and confessed that he'd been urinating blood. They went to the hospital; Shanahan had a split kidney.

''Right away, Mike told the doctors, 'Start cutting, I know I've got a problem,' '' Shanahan's father told the paper.

Anyone who tells the doctors to "start cutting" is okay by me.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 4, 2010; 7:33 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Shanahan arrives: The video

Comments

Has Mr. Shanahan seen the team's new uniforms?

http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/new-2010-nfl-uniforms-for-dc/

Posted by: MikeLicht | January 4, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Champ's quote was from 2004. I've never followed the Broncos (they're losers), but given that Shanahan was fired in 2008, my guess would be that he's seen the playoff's only a couple of times at most ... about as often as the Redskins he left. And when Denver has made the playoffs, they haven't gone anywhere, also just like Washington. So why am I to conclude that the "Denver approach" is any better than the "Snyder approach"?

And if the "Denver approach" produces a circus like the Broncos experienced this year, why on earth would you want to bring it to Washington? They did a little better than we did in a weaker league, but still didn't make the playoffs. By that measure, they're no different than Washington.

I see Shanny bringing Brandon Marshall to D.C. in his first step towards implementing the "Denver approach" here. Is that what we want?

Posted by: Rational_Man | January 4, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

fwiw, Shanahan's Broncos did go 10-6 in 2004 (losing to the Colts in a wild card game) and 13-3 in 2005 (losing to the Steelers in the title game). They did fade in the 3 years after that (9-7, 7-9, and dropping 3 straight at the end in 2008 to finish 8-8).

Frankly, most fans would be ecstatic for the 'Skins to finish 9-7 or 8-8 next season. They'd be jumping for joy for them to even get a sniff of the playoffs. Even if Shanahan can even get them to be a respectable 9-7, 10-6 team that consistently has a shot at the end of each season, that's progress. You gotta walk before you can run.

I'd still vote for Snyder to sell the team to someone who would get out of the way, but Shanahan's been mediocre-to-good without Elway, not the disaster he's portrayed.

Posted by: blackjack65 | January 5, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

As a Broncos fan since John Elway (even though I grew up here), I probably know more about Mike Shanahan than most people commenting here. Yes, he won his Super Bowls with Elway and only 1 playoff game since Elway retired. But the Broncos made it to the playoffs a lot without Elway, but just didn't have things go their way in the playoffs. Certainly the Broncos won more games with Shanahan after Elway than the Redskins were winning.

Shanahan may not be the best coach, but he is a good one (as a player personnel guy, maybe not so much). One thing that provides hope is how he utilized the running game. He always had an OL that was one of the smallest, but had a great rushing attack. He would tell his lineman to open up a hole for about 1.5 or 2 seconds and then tell the RB to go to the hole quickly. The Broncos had a lot of quick hitters up the middle to gain 6-8 yards a pop. Given our weakness at the OL, maybe this might be the type of scheme that might work for the Redskins.

Anyway, while he might not be Gibbs I, Shanahan should be able to put together a playoff contending team in the next 2 years or so. Would that be so bad?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 5, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Ok so Shanahan ONLY won 2 super bowls and the critics are saying that without Elway he didn't do anything. Well Elway didn't win his Super Bowls until he had the Terrell Davis in the backfield. How quickly fans forget that Davis was Super Bowl MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in Super Bowl 32 and was League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year when the won Super Bowl 33. Shanahan found Davis in the 6th Round and look what he turned into. He is a good talent evaluator. Elway didn't do that! Quit giving Elway all the credit. Just the facts....maam.

Posted by: SkinsinDFW | January 5, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Shanahan has a SB ring as offensive coordinator for the 49ers. Last time I checked that wasn't Elway.

Shanahan's worst season the last 10 years was 7-9, who in DC wouldn't want that? We've had 3 winning seasons in 11 years.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | January 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

How many Super Bowls did Reeves win with Elway?

He did make it to 4 of them but winning the AFC in 3 of those was like winning the special Olympics.

Shanny won 2 where Reeves could not. Does that make Reeves a bad coach? Must be! Cause the internet people say so!

Posted by: Mike4169 | January 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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