True fact: As the future of this Redskins coaching staff is debated over the next month or so, 78 percent of Mike Shanahan’s defenders will cite the NFL’s salary cap penalties while arguing that the head coach deserves to be here in 2014.
Also, 63 percent of his defenders will cite Robert Griffin III’s knee injury, 47 percent will cite the need for continuity, 22 percent will cite the lack of superior coaching alternatives, and 3 percent will cite divine prophesy.
Cris Collinsworth has already strongly defended Shanahan this season, and in recent days he did so again, citing the salary-cap penalties.
“I absolutely let him play it out,” Collinsworth said, via CSNWashington.com. “Because what you’re talking about now with the Washington Redskins, this is back-to-back years they’ve had this salary cap fine that they’ve been living with, and the inability to go get free [agents] — to not just add stars to the team, [but] add depth to the team. And so it doesn’t surprise me at all that here by the end of the year, they’re starting to struggle with being healthy, with trying to be consistent. Because this is when the bottom third of the roster starts really coming into play. And for the Washington Redskins, when you’re paying those significant fines imposed on them by the league, you’re going to have problems. I mean, no matter what you want to say about coaches in this league, you better have the horses to put out there on the field, and they’ve been strapped the last few years.”
Ninety-eight percent of Shanahan’s detractors are now preparing a counter-argument involving either the coach’s cumulative record in Washington, his last few years in Denver, the Jim Haslett and Keith Burns hirings, or his skin tone.
REID ON RGIII
Meanwhile, 117 percent of the coming debate about the Redskins will involve assessments of Robert Griffin behavior during the offseason. Mind you, I don’t think this is an inappropriate topic. I’m trying to roll my eyes at the debate while also engaging in it. Can’t have it both ways, Dan.
Here was Jason Reid, over the weekend:
Griffin’s ego has contributed to crippling the franchise almost as much as the team’s porous secondary and offensive lines have. His actions — insisting on being all-in for Week 1, pushing for changes in the offense and failing to accept he wasn’t ready to be a full-time pocket passer — were among the biggest factors in an 0-3 start from which the team has not recovered. Amid the uncertainty the Redskins face in their final six games — Coach Mike Shanahan’s status chief among them — you can count on this: The Redskins won’t move forward until Griffin accepts that he doesn’t have all the answers.
WISE ON RGIII
And here was Mike Wise, over the weekend:
Enough with this tired RG-Me angle. It’s intellectually lazy and has nothing to do with the sophomore slump of a second-year quarterback whose team has just three wins in late November heading into a potential Monday night massacre against the 49ers at home. The truth: If Luck and Wilson were to switch uniforms with Griffin prior to the opener, you know what they would be with this defense, special teams and minimum-protect offensive line? Oh, about 3-7, give or take a sack.
And before you start thinking any of this is important, read Rick Maese on Shawn Kuykendall, a local soccer star who played at American and then briefly for D.C. United. Then you will feel bad for even worrying about Mike Shanahan or RGIII.
MUSTACHE OF THE DAY
Karl Alzner is literally transforming himself into a vintage old-time mustachioed American bare-knuckle brawler. In the figurative sense.
— Karl Alzner (@KarlAlzner) November 24, 2013
JOHN ADAMS, PROTO HIPSTER
The Post food section has a history of eight traditional Thanksgiving foods. If you consider oyster stuffing and tamales to be traditional Thanksgiving food. But never mind all that, because the story taught me that John Adams was a proto hipster:
In 1767, Massachusetts colonists drank an estimated average of 35 gallons of cider per person. Many believed it was more healthful and safer to drink than water. Cider was much more than a substitute for clean water, however. The good life, a young John Adams wrote in 1765, consisted of having “Bacon, and Cyder, and Books and Girl and Friend.”
MARCIN GORTAT PERFORMS FEATS OF STRENGTH
One of the best moments of the weekend, seen here, via @RyanJKelly:
WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT
The Redskins host the 49ers at 8:30 on ESPN, in their fifth consecutive “last stand” game. Maryland plays Providence for the Paradise Jam title at 10 on CBS Sports Network. All TV and radio listings are here.