2013 DRAFT GUIDE
QB problems are Shanahan's Redskins legacy

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-19 17:01

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - If these are indeed Mike Shanahan's final days with the Washington Redskins, his legacy will be the inability to make things work at quarterback.

From Donovan McNabb to Rex Grossman, from John Beck to Robert Griffin III, for one reason or another Shanahan has whiffed at the most important position on the field in his four years in D.C. Just when Griffin appeared to be the answer, a knee injury, a losing season and questions about chemistry have created a circus atmosphere around the Redskins (3-11).

The irony is that the Shanahan is associated with one of the most successful coach-QB combos in recent NFL history. He and John Elway won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998 with the Denver Broncos, although Shanahan doesn't pretend it was a rosy relationship.

''Me and John Elway used to have knock-down, drag-out fights all the time,'' Shanahan said recently. ''And that's part of being a competitor, and that's another reason you have great relationships with your quarterbacks.''

In Washington, where he has final say over the roster, Shanahan had his rebuilding project severely hampered by his choices at QB. An Easter 2010 trade sent two draft picks to Philadelphia for an aging McNabb, who was praised at his introductory news conference as a second coming of Elway.

''People were saying John Elway should retire,'' Shanahan said that day, ''until he won the Super Bowl.''

McNabb lasted 13 starts. There were communication breakdowns. He wasn't receptive to making changes in his game. After he was benched with three weeks to go in the season, he said he felt ''disrespected.'' His agent made blistering statements about the coaching staff. He was shipped to Minnesota after the 6-10 season.

In 2011, Shanahan simply misjudged what he had in Rex Grossman and John Beck, but nevertheless doubled down by declaring at the start of training camp: ''I've been doing this for a long time. And I put my reputation on these guys that they can play.''

Grossman went 5-8 as a starter and threw 20 interceptions. Beck went 0-3 and managed to get sacked 10 times in one game.

''Everybody's looking for a franchise quarterback,'' offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said at the end of the 5-11 season. ''You want one of those guys that there's no question about.''

So along comes Griffin, Heisman Trophy winner, No. 2 overall draft pick and NFL offensive rookie of the year - a run of quick success that empowered him enough to publicly call out Shanahan for ''mistakes'' made in last season's playoff loss to Seattle. He then publicly disagreed with the coach's practice plan at training camp while working his way back from major knee surgery.

Much like McNabb, Griffin had trouble adjusting to some of the concepts the Shanahans were teaching. As there was with McNabb, there is palpable tension between coach and QB. And just like McNabb, Griffin was benched for the final three games while medically cleared to play, this time justified by Mike Shanahan's explanation that Griffin needs to be healthy for offseason workouts.

Mike Shanahan has said he is Griffin's coach and ''not necessarily his best friend.'' Finding the right balance can be tricky. When there were issues with McNabb, Grossman or Beck, the starting quarterback changed and the coach stayed. This time, even though Griffin is temporarily sitting out, the final result could be the other way around.

''I just think that relationship grows in time and the more time you spend together, I think the better the relationship gets,'' Shanahan said Thursday. ''You're going through some tough times. You're going through some great times. But all relationships develop, and a lot of times when it's stressful, sometimes it's a little bit tougher than when things are all going great.''

Notes: Kyle Shanahan said Thursday it's ''totally untrue'' that he wants to coach elsewhere next season and thus distance himself from his father. ''I came here with a goal to win here, and I'll keep trying to do that until they don't want us here,'' he said. ''That's not a decision that's up to me, but I'm going to coach here until I'm told that I can't anymore.'' ... FB Darrel Young (hamstring) remains limited in practice.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group