The Redskins were guaranteed to be indirectly represented by a head coach in the Super Bowl when Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur faced off in the NFC Championship.
For two years in a row now, an ex-Redskins offensive coordinator has made it to the Super Bowl. Both coaches happened to be in the NFC. In 2018, Sean McVay led the Los Angeles Rams to the pinnacle, where they were bested by Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. This year, Shanahan is representing the NFC, and many believe his 49ers squad is poised to take home the ultimate trophy.
The success of Redskins rejects has been a popular storyline for local pundits, and there is some merit to the connections made: In the past two seasons, three former Washington staff members, all 40 years old or below, have made it to the NFC Championship, and two have won. None have earned a Super Bowl ring yet, but it’s clear that the Redskins cultural environment over the past decade was too unstable to support the rise of a young coach like McVay or Shanahan. Now, Dan Snyder is working to change that.
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Snyder’s first move of the decade was aimed at fixing this deeply rooted cultural issue. The much-maligned owner hired known culture constructor Ron Rivera to be Washington’s head coach. He’s also given Rivera unforeseen authority for a head coach in D.C., and Rivera has already retooled his staff, with an eye on the future.
The Redskins might have their next young prodigy on staff in Scott Turner, who was hired as the offensive coordinator from Carolina. Turner has an impressively diverse background for his age, and his union with Dwayne Haskins could yield exciting results.
For now, however, all one can do is imagine what the next era might bring, and watch as casualties of the old era find success in faraway places. Shanahan isn’t the first to leave D.C. and benefit as a result, but if Snyder’s newest master plan bears fruit, he could be the last.