Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dear Mr. Snyder

As Fred Willard playing Mike LaFontaine in “A Mighty Wind” was fond of saying: HEY, WHAAA HAPPENED!?!

Well, we were relatively and UNPLEASANTLY confident that Coach Kim Jong Ill-ahan’s benching of (and subsequent lying about said benching of the glue that once held a fragile NFL franchise together [read that starting quarterback and now $78 million richer]) Donovan McNabb would cause a MELTDOWN, we did not predict it would be combined with the most complete performance by a quarterback in recent NFL memory resulting ultimately in the coronation of King Michael the Dog Killer.

Seriously, WHAAA HAPPENED!?!

First off, nice big HANGING curve ball you threw ESPN with that late announcement about McNabb’s new contract. No doubt, they were scrambling to re-shoot the opening that was going to be all about trouble in paradise and cardio-vascular fitness and hamstrings and lack of trust and McNabb auditioning to play for another team ‘cause he certainly wasn’t going to be in Washington D.C. next year, etc.  Guess, you showed those SMARTY PANTS ex-players and coaches.

Then the game started.

Then, one play later – albeit an 89 yard touchdown pass, but one play just the same – the game was OVER. Seriously, OVER-OVER.

In many circles including this one, there was serious speculation that Coach Ill-ahan had no idea what he had wrought with the benching of his All-Pro Mr. Consummate Professional starting QB in Detroit two weeks ago. He clearly didn’t understand what a quarterback CONTROVERSY crazy town Washington D.C. is or that going into the bye week was an ill-advised time to make up some mumbo jumbo excuses for pulling a guy who was playing like crap.

Hey, Coach Shanny, you aren’t in Denver anymore where you had a couple of Super Bowl rings you could use to TEMPORARILY blind reporters and fans when they questioned your moves. Joe Gibbs had that and he used it effectively. It’s called “cred,” and while you have tons of NFL cred, you don’t yet have Redskin “CRED.” Here’s hoping....

So, even with a bye week to prepare, the Redskins came in as flat as ROAD KILL…sorry, couldn’t resist. They were so flat, that MOST NFL teams probably would have won the game, but this game didn’t involve most teams. It involved a pretty good team both looking for revenge for an earlier loss and enjoying one of the GREATEST recent performances by a convicted felon looking for personal and professional resurrection and acceptance.

When the lights finally went out and this latest version of “SAW 22 5D OH! THE HORROR OF SITTING THROUGH THIS MASSACRE IN THE POURING RAIN!” was finally over King Michael the Dog Killer had accounted for a MERE 6 touchdowns and 413 yards.

Jim “The Mad Scientist” Haslett’s “bend but don’t break” defense forgot to bend and then it literally EXPLODED into 59 points…OK, to be fair there was a pick six in there so Haslett’s 3/4 only blew up into 52 pieces. Yes, like young terrorists, “they BLOW UP so fast.” Was that a football game or a track meet?

Yes, King Michael the Dog Killer’s performance was one for the ages, but do you know what was really impressive? King Michael the Dog Killer’s Eagles were (did we mention that he killed dogs? Dogs, mind you. Cute, fuzzy, defenseless dogs…wrong, we tell ya, WRONG!)…Where were we?….oh yeah, the Eagles were 8 of 13 on THIRD DOWN conversions – although it seemed like they never ACTUALLY faced third down.

The Redskins? Not quite as good – our beloved Skins were 0-10. Yes, ZERO as in NONE. Over the past three games, the Redskins are 4 for 36 on third down. Yike, that’s got to be last in the NFL. Hold please, while the T.A.H. crack research team confirms this…

(Imagine the elevator music version of Who Let The Dogs Out or the Jeopardy theme song.)

Yes, by God, it’s true – 4 for 36, WORST in the league.

So WHAAA HAPPENED to Donovan? Well, let’s start from the beginning. One component of the situation is complicated and difficult to resolve and the other is simple and easy.

We always like to start with “complicated and difficult.” McNabb is a FREE-LANCER, a determined playmaker who uses his considerable athleticism, brains and field savvy to make plays as needed. Coach Shanny is a task master who’s offensive system requires PRECISION and discipline. Shanahan & Son prefer: Call precise play, snap ball, read, read, read, execute. REPEAT.

McNabb prefers to draw a play in the dirt, audible to play drawn in dirt 10 minutes ago, snap ball, read, read, read, improvise, run around a bit, improvise some more and then throw a zinger for a completion/first down/touchdown. Much more FUN, that. Much, much more. C’mon, look at Coach Shanny, he looks like a guy who likes to have fun…a little…maybe…? OK, not so much. He looks ANGRY. Oh, yeah…scoreboard.

In order to properly install and operate Shanahan Offense 7.0, one must FOLLOW the instructions to the letter. McNabb is not a “follow-the-instructions” kind of guy. He’s more like my late father who was fond of saying about airplanes “If I can start it, I can fly it.” Remarkably, he died (my father, not McNabb) from natural causes and not in a fiery plane crash, but you get the POINT.

So McNabb has a fat contract and a three interception game. What are we to make of that?

Well, that takes us to the simple and “easier” to fix part. McNabb, like every other QB, is not as accurate when under EXTREME pressure and the current situation along the offense line combined with a makeshift backfield and run-of-the mill receivers means defenses are pinning their EARS and rushing the daylights out of McNabb. This leads to interceptions and it always will. Give the man some time, and his artistry and improvisational skills will SHINE while leading to both first downs and points.

So fix the line. Shore up some of the bending on D. Pray any 18 game schedule doesn’t include playing King Michael the Dog Killer’s team a THIRD time, and move on to Tennessee.

Hang in there,

Your Loyal Fan

P.S. That Williams kid from L.S.U. plays TOUGH and that Fred Davis dude, he's NOT fast.

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