Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blame Shanahan

Blame Shanahan for blowing up the Redskins' top-10 defense, so-ranked the past two years even though the offense couldn't stay on the field. The idea was a bit crazy -- change from 4-3 to 3-4, though the defense was built to play 4-3 and key players would be made unsuitable. The aim was to confuse opposing quarterbacks more.  Force more turnovers.  The latter has happened and an argument could be made that the 3-4 is generally a more effective defense.  But Washington's defense has dropped to bottom five this year.  The problem with the Skins switching now is that the team already faces an enormous challenge rebuilding its offense -- and that is where Shanahan's focus should be ... on finding four more starting O-linemen, three new starting wide receivers, running backs. And oh yes, a franchise quarterback who will eventually replace Donovan McNabb.  Some say it could take two, three four years to do all that.  Now the team must also find players suited for 3-4, a solid nose tackle, defensive ends to compliment Brian Orakpo. And linebackers.  Is Shanahan planning on sticking it out five years until everything is in place?  Is the Skins' fickle fanbase willing to? Maybe it will work out in five years, but maybe it won't. Personnel development in the NFL is ultimately an imperfect science. Rather than breaking and fixing what wasn't broken, Shanahan should have come in focused on fixing what was.

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