2014 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

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

Brad JonesSep 17 05:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and DB Micah Hyde (knee) both were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Casey Hayward (glute) and LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Scott WellsSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee) and C Scott Wells (non-injury) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Brandon McGee (foot) was limited.

Tavon AustinSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Kirk CousinsSep 17 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return around eight weeks after head coach Jon Gruden said Griffin will be in a cast for the next 10 days. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and S Shiloh Keo (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), OG Ben Jones (ankle, knee), CB Johnathan Joseph [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 05:23p

The Minnesota Vikings intend to bring RB Adrian Peterson back after his legal issues are resolved.

Arian FosterSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

C. WhitehurstSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) practiced in full.

Jonathan GoodwinSep 17 05:03p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), LB David Hawthorne (ankle), SS Marcus Ball (hamstring) and FB Erik Lorig (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 17 05:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), RB Rex Burkhead (knee), OG Mike Pollak (knee), LB Sean Porter (hamstring), DT Brandon Thompson (knee), OT Andrew Whitworth (knee), OG Kevin Zeitler [ More ]

Dexter McClusterSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt thinks McCluster will improve as the week goes on. [ More ]

Greg HardySep 17 04:53p

Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy has agreed to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Xavier RhodesSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib) and OT Phil Loadholt (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Xavier Rhodes (groin), WR Rodney Smith [ More ]

Asa JacksonSep 17 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan (knee) and OT Eugene Monroe (knee) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Asa Jackson (concussion) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) both fully participated in practice.

Kedric GolstonSep 17 04:53p

Washington Redskins DE Kedric Golston (groin), LB Akeem Jordan (knee) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. PK Kai Forbath (groin) and FB [ More ]

Kyle RudolphSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Paul McQuistanSep 17 04:53p

Cleveland Browns LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), DT John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 17 04:43p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Stefan Charles (hip), LB Keith Rivers (groin) and WR Robert Woods (ankle) all were [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 17 04:43p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker will return to the slot receiver position in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, moving WR Emmanuel Sanders back outside opposite WR Demaryius Thomas. [ More ]

Brett KeiselSep 17 04:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. RB Dri Archer (ankle) and OG Ramon Foster (ankle) were [ More ]

Lance MooreSep 17 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Toby GerhartSep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Cecil Shorts IIISep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Eric DeckerSep 17 04:23p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Sept. 17.

T Y HiltonSep 17 04:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (groin) was limited at practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

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