Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan can't Blame RGIII or Snyder for losing this time

Well, there’s no Robert Griffin III to blame for the Washington Redskins loss today.  No interference from Daniel Snyder on this one.  A new quarterback, and the same result.  In a game where the Atlanta Falcons showed why they may be the worst team in the NFL, the Redskins practically gave them the game with an absolutely pathetic seven turnovers.

Head coach Mike Shanahan started backup Kirk Cousins at quarterback, and Cousins had a very good performance, except for two costly interceptions in the second half.  Cousins lit up the Falcons secondary in the first half with over 200 yards passing, and the Redskins took a 20-17 lead into half-time.

But it seemed the Falcons defense started to catch up to Cousins in the second half, and he began to make mistakes.  Overall Cousins showed well for himself, and should feel very good about his performance.  But there’s no need to make any definitive declarations that Cousins is the second coming off of this game.

Kirk Cousins

Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons defense is terrible, and I suspect that RGIII would have had a good game against them too, but we’ll never know.  However, what we do know is that once again a Mike Shanahan team did not perform well in all phases of the game.  This time turning the ball over as much as they did.

The Redskins should have won this game easy.  Both teams shared the same record, but the Falcons are clearly the worse of the two teams.  There was no RGIII at quarterback, and Daniel Snyder didn’t interfere when Shanahan benched him and went with Cousins.  So what’s Shanahan’s excuse now?

The Redskins keep losing and moral victories mean nothing at this point.  Shanahan went with the QB of his choice against a terrible team, and still couldn’t get the win.  But what else is new?  Shanahan’s record goes to 24-38 in four seasons, so losing isn’t exactly uncommon for the Redskins head coach.

And whether it’s Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck, RGIII, and now Kirk Cousins at QB, Shanahan doesn’t think the problem rests with him.  It’s always on someone else.  And Shanahan claims he wants to come back as Redskins head coach?  But at 24-38, why is it even a debate?

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Tags: Mike Shanahan Redskins Vs. Falcons Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins

  • David Dorman

    Shanny doesn’t have to blame anyone because the players lost this one, you can’t win with 7 turnovers. That being said I think Cousins did a great job being his only 2nd start, he had the most yds passing we have seen in one game this year without Jordan Reed or Hankerson. The Skins played with a lot more intensity not only on offense but as a team as well. They can rely on Kirk in the pocket because he is decisive, releases the ball quickly, and isn’t afraid if the WR doesn’t have a lot of separation. The quick release and decisiveness is crucial, I don’t think he even got sacked. Bottom line with Griff’s injury he is not a big run threat which makes us rely on his pocket presence which obviously needs work. I think Griff with the proper coaching and off season work will develop into a fantastic QB (it hurt him badly not to have one this year), maybe even elite one day. I also think this is the best thing to happen to him right now. He needed some humble pie after an off season of rehab documentaries etc. I believe this benching will make him work and compete like a mad man in the off season to perfect his craft. Everyone in this organization has some blame to this fiasco but I ask myself the question “who else is out there that can keep Dan in check, coach RG3, and has a solid resume with lots of experience?”. Do we really think with the lack of draft picks, cap room, a severely injured QB, and the talent on this team that another coaching staff could have done a better job? Right now I think today’s game with 7 turnovers showed us a lack of talent and bad breaks, not effort. I haven’t seen our offense or defense play like this in a while..HTTR!

    • Maurice Barksdale

      You make some great points David. But I will say this, it doesn’t take a bunch of cap room to have good special teams, does it? The Redskins special teams have lost at least 2-3 games for the Redskins this season. A better coach would have addressed that, but Shanahan has allowed the Redskins special teams to perform incompetently. Keith Burns should have been fired well before now, yet Shanahan keeps him around. And the Redskins defense has been bad nearly all of Shanahan’s 4 year stint. It was like that before the cap issues, and nothing’s changed.

      And Have you seen Joe Flacco’s numbers this season? He’s been worse than RGIII’s been, but the Ravens have a good coach, and they play good defense (ranked 9th). And despite Flacco’s poor play this season, John Harbaugh still has them in the playoff hunt. Shanahan was on that level as a coach 15 years ago, but that was then. Now, he’s a shadow of what he once was as a coach. A coach is what his record is and Mike Shanahan is (24-38).

      As for keeping Dan Snyder in check, it’s all about who the coach is. You didn’t see Joe Gibbs leaking his issues with Snyder to the media. Whatever those issues were, and I’m sure there were some, but they were handled internally. That’s how real leaders do it. And look at all the QB’s Gibbs had. You think they were all choir boys? Gibbs knew how to handle personalities, and Shanahan doesn’t. Instead of working out his issues, he runs to his buddies at ESPN to put out a “Report” from “sources”.inside the Redskins organization.

      Why not have some come to Jesus meetings and hammer it all out, instead this clandestine media nonsense. Mike Shanahan is being paid $7 million a year, and he hasn’t been worth half that. But i enjoyed your take on things David. Post more.

      • David Dorman

        Let me start by saying again that there is plenty of blame to go around. Let’s also look at the special teams and start by saying except for Niles Paul and Riley being forced to play there is a majority of no name practice squad players on there because we can’t afford to get anyone else (example) letting go of Alexander. We also were unfairly punished by the league at the last minute before the draft when we gave up a lot of top tier picks to draft Griff. What does that leave you with? Not many picks and not much money so therefore you can’t replenish the ranks, it’s that simple we are stuck with what we’ve got. The years we have had picks we have done something this organization never does, we traded down and got more…..that’s a good move I’d say. The bottom line is this organization was so worn down by piss poor management from Vinny and others that we knew this was going to be a multi year fix. If you go back 2 years I’d say that Shanny and Allen were fixing it, they cut a ton of dead weight and I believe that only maybe 2 guys are actually good enough and playing elsewhere. But then we get smashed with the penalty and no picks for the Griff trade.
        As for the Defense, I don’t agree with all of their decisions but we did what we could with what we had and drafted book end D ends, Jarvis (who hasn’t been the same since the knee injury) and a ton of secondary this past year (Thomas got hurt in pre season). Not to mention after drafting Griff we were obligated to try to find him weapons so that hurt the defense in not paying attention to their needs through the draft or FA but what choice did we have in our situation? As for Gibbs…..he couldn’t take it and quit himself LOL!!!

        • Maurice Barksdale

          I think it’s time to move on. Shanahan’s done enough himself to hurt his situation. The Donovan McNabb trade debacle set the franchise back. Giving away a 2nd and 3rd round pick for nothing. Hiring his son as his offensive coordinator is a dysfunctional situation, and should have never happened.
          And they chose to make the RGIII trade. No one put a gun to their heads. And the cap penalties are on them. The fans shouldn’t have to be patient for the risks they chose to make that blew up in their faces. You can’t give Shanahan credit for the things beyond his control without penalizing him for his own transgressions.
          Like I said, he’s among the highest paid coaches in the NFL, and this is what you get for it? If he’s really worth $7 million, then he should be able to find a way to win around all of that. But the fact is, he’s among the highest paid, but one of the worst coaches. Those dollars and $ense aren’t adding up.

          • David Dorman

            In the fun of a good debate and different perspective I will respond. The year he made the move for Donovan there were no other FA QB’s available and we took a chance, it was either that or Grossman. For the Donovan trade we ended up with Alfred Morris, not so bad. I completely agree with Kyle not being the coordinator and it causing dysfunction, especially the reports out about Kyle being the main cause of the rift with Griff and his family. I will say however though that last year with the way the offense was so creative in being a dominant rushing force with precision passing strikes was fun to watch, only Griffin’s injury prevented us the option to see that again this year.
            I think everyone wanted Griff, are we actually going to say we shouldn’t have gotten one of the most electrifying QB prospects in the last many decades? The NFL approved those contracts in an UNCAPPED SEASON and then a year later fined them for it because the owners colluded to do so. Our division rival Mara helped decide the penalty amount….that’s on our coaching staff? Seems like a bunch of S$%t to me. They have plenty of blame for a lot of the problems we are facing this year but again I ask, who’s the better choice right now?
            I’m not going to argue about his salary and results, there isn’t much there. I will however say that with the mess they walked into which was a poorly run franchise, lack of draft picks, salary cap penalty, and our main offensive weapons injury, I’d challenge any other staff to have a much better result. Do we not remember that last year with half the penalty we made the playoffs? Griff was going to step into this season learning how to be a pocket passer and have OTA’s and preseason to do so as well as his mobility. The injury completely destroyed any chance of that happening.

          • David Dorman

            I also think the one main constant in all of our problems is the owner Danny Boy. He got rid of Marty when finally our team responded to a head coach and played hard. For whatever reason Gibbs didn’t want to stay around and then they hired Zorn LOL! After that we got a 2 time winning SB coach but still remained to blow that situation up too. All of these coaches can’t be the problem because they had plenty of success elsewhere, so what’s the problem? I can only think of a dysfunctional owner and franchise as the culprit.

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