|Page 2 of 2 <|
The Redskins-Shanahan marriage begins with great promise
"When we were both out of work, we had several conversations about what we were seeing in the NFL," Allen said. "It was a very unusual time to pick each other's brains on what we saw with different teams."
Though Shanahan was criticized at the end of his tenure in Denver for failing to get the Broncos to the playoffs for three straight years -- including a collapse over the final three games in 2008 that cost him his job -- his record with the Broncos trumps anything the Redskins have accomplished during the same time period. In Shanahan's 14 years with the Broncos, he had nine winning seasons, seven with 10 or more victories. Over that same time period -- from 1996 to 2008 -- the Redskins had five winning seasons, two with 10 victories.
"This man has proven to be one of the most consistent winners in the history of the NFL," Allen said.
When news spread among Redskins players of Shanahan's hiring Tuesday night, most were ecstatic. Middle linebacker London Fletcher, for instance, called him the "face of the franchise," and cornerback DeAngelo Hall said Shanahan was a man "people are going to respect off his name alone."
On Wednesday, that endorsement was backed up by some of Shanahan's former players.
"Mike Shanahan's a Hall of Fame-caliber coach," said ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth, an offensive lineman who played for the Redskins and under Shanahan in Denver. "How can you go wrong with that? There's no question, from a credibility standpoint, I think that's the number one thing, you instantly [as] a franchise garner a certain amount of credibility from a guy who's been there, who's done that, who's won two Super Bowls and consistently won in that league."
Shanahan said he would take time to evaluate both players and staff before making decisions. But he spoke with confidence, like a man who didn't need credentials earned by others wheeled into a room to show off.
"It's going to be a strong, disciplined football team," he said, "I can guarantee you that."