Former Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was already known as a great coach long before he came to Washington. His Denver Broncos teams had won two super bowls, and were always in the thick of the playoff hunt every season. So Shanahan seemed to exude a confidence that suggested his past greatness should translate to his present.But it didn’t work out that way. Shanahan had such great success with the Broncos that I think he knew his legacy was already set regardless of what happened with the Redskins. But that’s not the case with new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. Who knows that if he fails, he may not get another shot at being an NFL head coach.
Jay Gruden’s style is at times laid back and fun, but he’s also showing fire and energy. This is good to see, as one of my gripes with Mike Shanahan was that at times there seemed to be no sense of urgency. Rarely were starters in danger of losing their jobs, and during games Shanahan seemed more like a spectator at times than a coach desperately trying to win.
That may not have been how it actually was, but it seemed that way. On the other sideline you’d see the head coach coaching with passion and fire, and then you’d see Shanahan just kind of standing there. Oh you’d see him go off on an official every now and then, and all coaches do that. But what impact is the head coach having on the games?
However, even though Mike Shanahan’s stint with the Redskins wasn’t successful, he still had a great career and he more than likely will end up in the Hall of Fame. It just didn’t work out in Washington. Jay Gruden may never accomplish half of what Shanahan did, but it’s just nice to see a new vibe injected into the team, and the Redskins may be better off because of it.