Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear Mr. Snyder

The Shanahans
Dear Mr. Snyder:

Tough loss, and although 2-1 is respectable, we have an early season gripe of MAJOR proportions.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Kyle Shanahan....please. Literally, take him. 

Last year there were misdirected souls screaming for the firing of a Shanahan. Problem is they were screaming about the WRONG one.

Kyle Shanahan is determined to show the NFL what an offensive genius he is. Last night, it COST the Redskins the game.

While Coach Dad’s mantra is “take what the defense gives you,” Offensive Coordinator Kyle has already forgotten that to win in the NFC East you MUST be able to run the football...or, in this case, at least TRY to run the football.

Kyle Shanahan continues to focus the overwhelming majority of his offense on Rex Grossman.  Grossman is NOT Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers or Drew Brees, he’s just Rex Grossman --  a journeyman QB.  That said, let’s get one thing STRAIGHT: The other guy is no better. John Beck may have a stronger arm, but his experience and decision making would doom the Skins to even more turnovers and even fewer points.

Rex Grossman (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The beef here is play calling.  Last week, the Redskins had the ball first and goal at the Cardinals 10 yard line.  Tim Hightower ran five yards - 2nd and goal from the five.  Grossman promptly threw a PICK that, quite simply, could have cost the Skins the win.  The point is, on second and goal, let your best player on the field touch the ball.  

If you have Peyton Manning, you throw the ball.  If you have Rex Grossman and you just GAINED five yards, you run the ball.  How HARD is that?
Last night, after a nine yard Hightower run, on third down, Shanahan decided to give TE Chris Cooley his second career rush.  The result? NO gain.  Fourth down.  Why not let Cooley be the up-back and block for the guy who knows how to gain that yard?  What is Cooley gonna do? Break off a game-changing three-yarder? 

Hall not holding on to Bryant's facemask. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Fast forward (by air) to the fourth quarter, the Redskins have the ball and a narrow lead with 6:58 to play.  They proceed to pass the ball on five of six plays.  While they still manage to cut over 3 minutes off the clock, it was the perfect time to cut six minutes off and win the game.  

During the drive,  Shanahan put the ball in Grossman’s hands to throw it on 66% of the first down plays.  To Rex’s CREDIT, he completed a couple, but to win games in the smash-mouth NFC East you have to be able to RUN the ball with a lead in the fourth quarter.

The aggravating thing about KS, is he doesn’t even TRY.  Overall, the Redskins passed the ball 37 times and ran the ball just 22 times.  Not counting the last drive after Dallas took the lead, the Redskins passed the ball on 9 of 11 plays in the fourth quarter when they had the lead.

Some folks will blame the loss on the defense and it's late collapse, a risky blitz call and a facemask penalty that should have been five yards not fifteen, but the Redskins lost the game by simply relying TOO MUCH on Rex Grossman.

Give this guy the ball. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Next week the Redskins travel to St. Louis. The Rams are ranked LAST in rushing defense giving up 174 yards per game.

We realize, you are taking a much-needed hands-off approach to the team this year, but would you kindly send your offensive coordinator a quick memo?

All it needs to say is: Run the DAMN BALL

Your Loyal Fans At T.A.H.

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