Posts Tagged ‘Mike Shanahan


Portis out 4-6 weeks


Portis has rushed for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season with the Redskins.
















By Ben Linton

For the second consecutive season, Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis will miss a significant amount of time due to an injury. Portis injured his groin Sunday in the Redskins win over the Eagles, which should keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

That leaves second-year man Ryan Torain as the Redskins feature back for the next couple weeks. Torain ran for 70 yards on 18 carries against Philadelphia, highlighted by an 12-yard run where he trucked Eagles safety Quentin Mikell on his way to the endzone. We aren’t sure about Torain’s durability, but he has potential and right now he’s all the Skins got.

Washington put themselves in a bind with this injury. With Larry Johnson and Willie Parker both released, Ladell Betts in New Orleans, and Marshawn Lynch now on the Seahawks, the Redskins are short at running back. The back up right now is Chad Simpson (who?) and Keiland Williams is on the practice squad. Expect the Redskins to pick up a running back, possibly bringing Johnson back as a third down option with Torain as the feature.

Mike Shanahan has been known to make stars out of ordinary backs, so let’s just hope that Torain becomes another Olandis Gary or Mike Anderson for a couple weeks. The Redskins definitely should make note of this and start looking at the best college running backs now, because Portis’s future is uncertain and we don’t know if Torain is the long-term answer. We may see someone new running the ball in D.C. next season.


Injuries Plague D.C. Sports

By Ben Linton

Two of the biggest and newest sports figures in Washington D.C. have recently come down with injuries that could alter their teams’ performances in short and long terms. Although one is more drastic than the other, both still weigh heavy on the minds of D.C. sports fans.

On August 21st, Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg injured himself in a game against the Phillies. The former number-one pick had created such a buzz around the league and in the area that hadn’t been there before. The 22-year old had accumulated a 5-3 record with a 2.91 ERA, and struck out 14 Pirates in his major league debut. But now the phenom will have to undergo Tommy John Surgery in order to repair a tendon in his right elbow. He will be sidelined for 12 to 18 weeks, so we likely won’t see Strasburg pitch again until the 2012 season.

There are a number of players who have undergone this surgery and came back to compete at a high level. There are also a few players who have never recovered after the surgery. This surgery has a greater magnitude than most, and is probably the most anticipated TJ surgery since the first one was conducted back in 1974. That is because of all the hype, accolades, and comparisons that Strasburg has recieved in his short career. We may never get to see Stephen Strasburg reach his full potential as he is one of the greatest pitching prospects of all time. We might forever ask ourselves “What could have been?” if he does not fully recover. This could possibly be a monumental sports tragedy in Washington.

In other news Washington Redskins Quarterback Donovan McNabb injured his ankle in the second preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. He then presumed to miss the next preseason game against the Jets and will not participate in the final game against the Cardinals tomorrow either. It is unlikely that he would have played in the final game anyways, but the fact that Mike Shanahan is mysteriously going about his health is a concern. For now, McNabb is day-to-day and hopefully will be ready for the season opener against the Cowboys September 12th.

Although this injury certainly is a concern for the Redskins and Redskins fans, I’d be incredibly surprised to not see Donovan McNabb start the season opener. Knowing that he is a competitor who has battled through injuries before and the amount of importance that the Cowboys game has, even if he were 40% healthy I’d rather have him in the game instead of Rex Grossman. One, it just wouldn’t be as exciting, and two, they’d have no chance to win the game. However, Grossman is resting in the Cardinals game as well which adds to the suspense, but from hearing the players talk it seems like McNabb will be good to go. Maybe Shanahan is trying to play mind games with the Cowboys. He’s doing it to his fans as well.


Haynesworth Returns

By Ben Linton

Finally the whole Albert Haynesworth saga ended its first chapter when the big guy finally passed his conditioning test on the 10th day of Redskins training camp. This enables him to finally practice with his teammates and get back to business, hopefully concluding an off-season that consisted of player-coach and player-player feuds, absence from team activities, and trade requests.

In my opinion, this whole thing was over-hyped by ESPN. It really isn’t that big of a deal. Haynesworth is going to play this year, whether it be at nose or end, and have a very productive year. I think this kind of turmoil can fuel a player to play even harder to prove his critics wrong. Training camp is meaningless for players like Haynesworth and other veterans, however he does need to pick up the defensive scheme rather quickly. But honestly on the defensive line you’re either plugging up the holes to stop the run or rushing the quarterback on passes, pretty self-explanatory.

I just don’t see why Haynesworth gets all the attention while Brett Favre can skip almost all of training camp and still throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns like he did last year. Training camp really isn’t that important if you ask me. But I do like the fact that Coach Shanahan went about his business, let Albert have his temper tantrum, and welcome him in once he was ready to play. He never faltered or conceded, which shows that the Redskins have great leadership already. You think Jim Zorn would have handled this situation like Shanahan did? I don’t think so.

Sure Haynesworth may be a baby off the field. But once his steps on it, fans will forget all about this off-season drama and focus more on the important matter, like playing and winning football games.


Redskins Hire Mike Shanahan as new coach

By Ben Linton

Who says the seventh time can’t be a charm? …Yeah I know what your thinking. But it was a step in the right direction when the Washington Redskins hired Mike Shanahan as their new coach, the seventh of Owner Dan Synder’s tenure. Shanahan signed a five year contract worth $7 Million a year to be the head coach and executive vice president of football operations. Yes, Shanahan and General Manager Bruce Allen will be making all the decisions in Washington from now on.

Shanahan is most famously known for being the coach of the Denver Broncos from 1995-2009, where he won two super bowls and a 138-86 regular season record. However, this does not mean that the Redskins are back to respectability, Shanahan has many things he has to address. Here are the Top 3:

Fix the Offensive Line- The Redskins got banged up early when Chris Samuels and Randy Thomas went down with injuries, causing mass havoc on the offensive line this season. The Redskins gave up 46 sacks this year, 4th most in the NFL. There is a lot Washington can do with the 4th pick in the draft, and a solid left tackle would surely help. Russel Okung from Oklahoma State should be the top priority.

Figure out what to do with Jason Campbell- Even though Jason Campbell’s team went 4-12 and his offensive line was one of the worst in the league, he still had some of the best numbers of his career, (3,618 yards, 20 td, 15 int, 64.5 completion %) better than the likes of Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, and Matt Ryan. This guy can play, he just needs more weapons and protection around him. It will be interesting to see what a quarterback guru like Shanahan does: Either assemble better players around Campbell and give him one more chance, or start all over with a young quarterback. I hope he keeps Campbell around.

Decide whether or not Clinton Portis should stay- As you may recall, Shanahan was Portis’ coach in Denver, some of the best years of his career. But this year Portis had a disappointing year that was ended by injury. He is also getting older and guaranteed $6 million next year, and remember Shanahan traded Portis away. I think it may be time that Portis and the Redskins part ways.

As expected, Shanahan hired his son Kyle as offensive coordinator, formerly of the Houston Texans. It is also rumored that Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer could come to D.C. at that same position, and disgruntled Broncos Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall may come to Washington as well. Wouldn’t that be nice.


Skins Fire Zorn, Shanahan Likely To Become Next Head Coach in D.C.

Zorn's typical sideline face

By Ben Linton

To no surprise to the rest of the football world, the Washington Redskins have fired their head coach Jim Zorn after a losing to the Chargers 23-20 in Week 17 to finish the season with a disappointing 4-12 record. In two years in Washington, Zorn had a combined record of 12-20, which was not good enough for Owner Daniel Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen. Here’s a look at the best times in Zorn’s career and the worst times.

High point: Last season Zorn led the Redskins to consecutive road wins in Weeks 4 and 5 in Dallas and Philadelphia. After the first half of the 2008 season, the Skins were 6-2 and after the Dallas win Zorn had the team chant a very corny, “Hip Hip Horray!” The celebrations would not last long, as the Skins went 6-18 after that.

Low point: Following a 14-6 loss at home to the previously winless Kansas City Chiefs, the Redskins had dropped to 2-4. Jason Campbell was benched and Jim Zorn was stripped of play calling duties following the loss, the third game in which Washington gave a team their first win of 2009, including the Detroit Lions.

So what exactly went wrong? Zorn was overwhelmed with his responsibilities as head coach. He went from Quarterbacks Coach in Seattle to Offensive Coordinator in D.C. and ultimately to Head Coach. Zorn was asked to call plays and manage the team without any prior experience. He was in over his head and was not cut out for the task that was at hand. To his credit, I don’t think anyone could have been very successful under those circumstance or have done a better job remaining his dignity after being stripped of play calling duties.

What’s next? It looks like Mike Shanahan is the leading candidate to be the next coach in Washington, as he has been flown in to D.C. today to discuss a head coaching position. It also seems that he will bring his son Kyle Shanahan, Offensive Coordinator of the Houston Texans, with him to run the offense. The Redskins also have the number 4 draft pick, which they must use wisely and hit the jackpot.

I’m sure I will be back on here later to discuss more about what’s going down in our nation’s capitol.


Vick and Shanahan in Washington in 2010?

By Ben Linton

We all know about Dan Snyder and his crazy antics. His hunger to sign the big-name players and big-time coaches, even if they are way past their prime, is very apparent. So what would be bigger than having Michael Vick in the Burgundy and Gold? As a Redskins fan, I would not approve of this, but have come to except these sort of things with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerato holding the cards.

What are the odds?

What are the odds?

We all know about Vick’s history, as a person and as a player, which strikes up huge controversy. That’s Dan Snyder’s kind of guy though. Why have the quiet and soft-spoken Jason Campbell when you can have one of the most hated players in the NFL world? It almost seems as if every year, Snyder says, “Nobody is talking about the Redskins this year. Maybe I better go sign somebody so they start talking about us again.” It seems as if he does these things just to get his name out there.

It has also been rumored that the Redskins might have interest in acquiring Mike Shanahan next year if things don’t go as planned with Jim Zorn. Yet again, Shanahan has the bigger name, the ring, and will get the bigger paycheck. Trust me, I think I have finally discovered what’s floating around in Daniel Snyder’s head. Expect the unexpected. The unpredictable is predictable. If the Redskins don’t make the playoffs this upcoming season, there will be a new coach and a new quarterback in D.C. That’s just the way it is around here.

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August 2020