Columnist Tom Boswell was asked during his weekly chat about his opinion of Mike Shanahan’s divorce from the Redskins now that some time has passed. Boz didn’t hold back:
A writer and friend that I respect reacted to the mention of Shanahan’s name recently by saying, “What an awful human being.” He’d had more and longer direct contact with him than I’ve had. But maybe that had something to do with it.
I will say that, by the end, I’d have ranked Shanny very close to the bottom for redeeming personal virtues among all the pro coaches in all the major sports in D.C. that I’ve encountered. I can’t remember anybody who went out so badly, so vindictively. But he could COACH — X’s and O’s. And evaluate players (at some positions, not others). That’s all he wanted to be. Those abilities, and RGIII’s great season, were central to the NFL East title in ’12. But in dealing with people? He was out of the past — My Way Mike. That only works when you win — a lot. Most of the tough-guy NFL coaches are, in part, tough for public consumption but can still deal with players constructively in their office. Jay Gruden’s biggest advantage is that he follows Shanahan.