Really, that’s all you need to know.
The Redskins never had a chance this season because Shanahan, the guy who picks the players, relied on Grossman and Beck. Those were the Redskins’ options. Obviously, they weren’t good ones.
This season is over. It doesn’t matter who plays quarterback for the final seven games. Washington’s starter could change weekly. Shanahan’s arrogance has sabotaged the Redskins. He believed his system and his coaching would be enough to elevate the play of two guys who just aren’t very good. He was very wrong.
Washington’s defense isn’t bad. For the most part, the front seven has provided reason for long-term optimism. There’s nothing on coordinator Jim Haslett’s play sheet, however, that could help the defense overcome Washington’s offense.
With each three-and-out, pressure increases. Put in bad positions over and over again, the defense wears down. It happened again in the final quarter against Miami.
Trailing, 13-9, with a little more than 12 minutes to play, the Redskins had first and 10 on the Dolphins 10-yard line.
Then Grossman had one of his signature turnover moments, throwing the ball to Miami linebacker Karlos Dansby, who caught it at the 5 and returned it to the 19. The Dolphins put the game away with an 81-yard drive, getting an 18-yard touchdown run from Reggie Bush through the right side of the defense.
Neither Rex nor Beck is good enough to provide a bridge to Washington’s quarterback of the future, and the Redskins’ wasted 2011 season will likely be remembered for Shanahan’s quarterback flip-flopping.
Shanahan’s act played better in Denver, while he was riding John Elway’s coattails to consecutive Super Bowl championships in the late 1990s. But that was a long, long time ago. After winning only one playoff game in the 10 years that followed Elway’s retirement, and missing the postseason his final three seasons with the Broncos and six overall during that span, Shanahan was ousted. Since taking control of the Redskins, Shanahan’s record is 9-16. Former head coach Jim Zorn was 11-14 in his first 25 games.
At this point, Shanahan has shown no signs of being able to return the Redskins to .500, let alone elite status. He has done little to justify the millions Snyder is paying him. He’s simply a guy still chasing Zorn. And that’s no lie.