Speaking of Peyton, everyone I speak to in the NFL — and I mean just about everyone — believes if Manning becomes a free agent, the Washington Redskins will sign him.
One of those people is evidently Steve Young. I missed this last week, but during his Super Bowl Radio Row tour on Friday, the former Shanahan pupil visited with Mike and Mike, and said this.
“I assume that by draft time, he’ll be a Washington Redskin, or, I don’t know what else.”
A bit later, he said this.
“I think it becomes a coach-quarterback relationship. It’s gonna be somebody [like] a Mike Shanahan. You look at those guys around that really understand quarterbacks, they’re gonna be able to take advantage of all Peyton’s talents, and then you need to be a team that doesn’t have an answer right now....I expect that the move will be a team that just needs that guy, that hasn’t had that guy, and Peyton will be that guy.”
A few hours later, Young appeared on ESPN 980’s Sports Fix. And since he had twice linked Manning with the Redskins already, Kevin Sheehan asked him why.
“Well first of all, no one is doubting my love affair with Mike Shanahan,” Young said. “I mean, the two of us, for three of four years, the guy was unbelievable. He can call plays like no one I’ve ever seen. He was just amazing in my professional career. So first of all, when you talk about quarterbacks and who could really do something with Peyton Manning, in my mind it’s Mike Shanahan....It’s one of those places where it seems like it’s all in place.”
Then Thom Loverro speculated that Shanahan’s quarterback guru reputation has taken a hit in recent seasons.
“Let me just tell you this: Mike is a phenomenal playcaller, but he wants a quarterback that will protect his incredible ability to call plays,” Young said. “In other words, I’m gonna call a series of plays, I’m gonna put combinations together that are a little bit outlandish, but you need to protect me. Most playcallers have to go the other way — I’ve got to call plays because my quarterback’s not gonna protect me and I’m gonna protect him. That relationship is vital.
“And Mike has been searching since John Elway for a quarterback that will protect him, to allow him to call games the way he wants to, and he has struggled to find that. I can see it. I saw him in Dallas this year on the Monday Night game. He’s so frustrated, because he doesn’t have somebody that he can do what he wants to do....I think that he would crave the chance to be with somebody who would protect him as a playcaller.”
And then Sheehan asked if Young really thought this would be the right move for a franchise with a history of failed signings of past-their-prime veterans.
“I definitely do, because I know that [Shanahan] has been craving that guy that would allow him to go be the great coach that he is,” Young said. “Look, this is my guess. I’m looking around and trying to see who could pull this off. And I recognize Redskins fans would be like aw jeez. And I think that Peyton, healthy, is not Donovan. Donovan McNabb proved very quickly that that was the last hurrah, right? You look back at that, you say obviously the Eagles knew, then the Redskins knew, and then the Vikings knew. It just took everybody a little while to figure that one out…I understand, I get it, I can see the abuse that you feel like you’ve put up with. I do feel like this one would be different.”
Theismann: “Horrific Idea”
Dilfer: “Very Realistic”