When Mike Shanahan became head coach of the Washington Redskins and hired his son Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator, I immediately had a problem with it. One reason is because these types of arrangements rarely succeed, and even though Kyle Shanahan had some experience as a coordinator, it wasn’t extensive. So an argument for nepotism could be made here.
And Regardless of what Mike Shanahan says about not treating his son any different from any other coach, it is different. Because it’s your son. Bottom line, you’re not going to fire your own son. And when things aren’t going well, you’re not going to take measures against him that might damage your own flesh and blood’s future in his chosen profession.
There has been much criticism of Kyle Shanahan during his time with the Redskins. His play calling has been scrutinized, and even I have called into question the lack of diversity of the offense. And the debate as to whether Kyle Shanahan is a good coordinator or a bad coordinator continues. But the fact is, the numbers suggest that Kyle is more good than bad.
The past two seasons the Redskins offense has been consistently ranked in the top 10 of the NFL. And in 2010 and 2011, the Redskins offense was ranked 18th and 16th in the league respectfully. Not spectacular, but when you consider the QB situation and the mediocre defense from the team, those numbers aren’t that bad.
I think Kyle made a mistake coming to work for his father. Because at that point in 2010, Mike Shanahan was no longer among the elite coaches in the NFL, and Kyle may have been better served staying in Houston where he had coordinated a top five offense in 2009. And instead of being on the fast track, his career has gone backward, and he’ll has to prove himself all over again with another team.
In the past few weeks more “reports” have emerged about Kyle Shanahan. One report from CBS Sports Jason La Canfora stated Kyle was allowed to hire his friends who had little coaching experience, and the another from NFL Network stated that Kyle no longer wants to work with his father. Kyle Shanahan has stated these reports are lies, and that he was bothered by them.
Either way it seems more scrutiny has come Kyle Shanahan’s way because of the simple fact that he chose to work for his father, whose own problems have filtered down to his son. So is Kyle Shanahan a good or bad offensive coordinator? I truly believe he’s a good coordinator. And once he gets out from under his father, I think he’s going to prove it.