So Mike Shanahan said something that raised the ire of a beyond angry fan base and some (most?) in the local and national media.
Don't include me in that category. What a waste of time, and energy. For everyone!
In my younger years, I may have cared and had a strong feeling in a negative way towards Shanahan. What I've learned in my many years of doing this - don't invest yourself emotionally in what somebody says, especially ten minutes after what I think was the worst loss of the Shanahan-Allen regime.
That's what I don't get about the fan base and the media that completely went WAY overboard with their criticisms of Shanahan. They were more upset over a silly statement than a dreadful performance in almost every possible way by their quickly sinking football team.
Maybe it was that they were lulled to sleep by their sloppy, penalty filled, disheartening execution. I know I was. The final score was no way near as one-sided as the loss really was and felt. The Redskins had no business winning that game or even having a remote chance. Quite honestly, they absolutely sucked on Sunday.
It was like being angry at your girlfriend or wife, not because she cheated on you - but because she slept with the biggest meathead in your neighborhood.
Seriously. Who cares what Mike Shanahan said ten minutes after a loss that was reminiscent in almost every way to a humiliating 2009 loss to Kansas City at FedEx, that drove the final nail in the coffin of Jim Zorn.
I know it is great for sports talk radio, and newspaper columns -- but for anybody to think that Mike Shanahan was saying that his team was going to roll over and quit playing, or only play for next year or years to come -- then you are just simply off your rocker.
Sorry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mike Shanahan did not come here to throw away 7 games in a season, with 5 of them coming directly in the NFC East. It makes no difference if players were truly offended either. You know what, they should only be concerned with doing their job better. Most of them are, and the ones that were bothered on Sunday night - didn't get to hear Shanahan's comments from his mouth or with time to reflect.
That same lack of time was afforded to Shanahan, before he was asked to react to a bad "must-win" loss.
In case you missed it - Shanahan said on Sunday right after the game; "You lose a game like that, now you're playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come. ... Obviously, we're not out of it statistically, but now we find out what type of character we've got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season."
Monday, on ESPN 980 -- Shanahan said "The remaining seven games that we have, each game, is kind of like a playoff game. And what you want to do is see how your players respond. ... We will see how they play from now on for the rest of the season, and we'd better get their best shot because they'll be evaluated every game."
Shanahan labeled charges that he will play young players as "completely ludicrous" and chided members of the media (one specific target) for writing and believing what some in the group believed was the third-year head coach, throwing in the towel.
Shanahan essentially confirmed that philosophy with another part of his statement on Monday. "I think everybody that knows me since I've been here, it doesn't matter what your record is, we're going to play to win every game."
Listen, he should be less worried about we in the media say about him. I am surprised he is as aware of it, as he is. I guess it is because deep inside, he's a human being -- who has been proved to be a mere mortal.
It doesn't really matter what I think, or what anybody thinks. It's all opinion and rhetoric. Wait, I thought Election Day ended that prime season for rhetoric?
I will say this -- Mike Shanahan has admitted and joked that sometimes he lies to the press, if not on a regular basis for many reasons. That comes with the job, and we all get it. When you face a firing squad 5 days a week during the season, while trying not to criticize your players and give away much of the philosophy or game plan, you are going to occasionally say stuff that you probably should not have said, even if you meant it in a different way than it came across as.
It was kind of like saying that he staked his reputation on Rex Grossman and John Beck. What was he supposed to say? Maybe some would have liked him to say something like this "Well...Obviously...I am disappointed to say this, but obviously - these guys suck?" He couldn't say that. He could have said not much of anything, but that's virtually impossible. So, Shanahan said "I put my reputation on these guys that they can play."
That statement has been ridiculed. It wasn't a preposterous statement like everyone tried to make it. It was a vote of confidence. It was a motivational technique to two guys that he had to move forward with.
It's the same thing that he did, with different words and a different meaning, at a different time. That's it. He's trying everything he can to motivate a injury crippled group into the homestretch of their season. He's doing what every head coach and executive has to do. He's coaching and evaluating for the now and for the future. It's how good organizations manage their franchise. Not week to week, or just one year at a time. It's a big picture philosophy, that has served the Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Colts and Eagles very well.
One other very important thing to remember going into year-four of the Shanahan regime. The Redskins have NO first round pick, and they are already 18 million short of salary cap space. It's not going to be an easy road, so they have to be extremely prudent on what they have in-house right now.
Shanahan did say one thing on Monday that I wish did get more traction, but of course it didn't - because it wasn't controversial enough. "I see some tremendous strides," Shanahan said. "Hopefully it's not only me (who sees it), hopefully it's Dan (Snyder) as well."