What can you say about a season that ends with thirteen losses? Especially when eight of those losses were consecutive? It seems hard to do much more than cringe in disbelief at how things turned out for the Washington Redskins. When coach Mike Shanahan was fired on Monday after a 6-20 loss to the New York Giants, no one was really surprised. Terrible seasons are often the end of coaches. But there are some who feel that the season's terrible end was the sign of bigger problems and differing causes.
What went wrong for the Redskins?
The word most often thrown around was "power struggle". A struggle between Shanahan and his son, Kyle, the offensive coordinator (who was let go along with his father) as well as the influential quarterback Robert Griffin III, who'd been drafted to the team by Shanahan in 2010. With heads butting over strateg, this may have had a negative influence on team cohesion. It could have also lead to tactical errors. But there was more going on than just domineering egos and personalities.
Certain other staff were given the boot due to their perceived inept coaching manner. For example, defensively, the Redskins surrendered more points this season than at any other time in history: A franchise record-breaking 478 points!
Annual recycling of my favorite joke: what do you call a bunch of millionaires watching the Super Bowl on TV? The Washington Redskins
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) December 30, 2013
— William Hunter (@HunterBilly) December 31, 2013
There's also the loss of Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, who retired in 2008. It has been noted that the NFL team has failed to meet any significant level of success since his departure. Perhaps the new vacancy will provide the Redskins with a chance to finally find someone who is right on time.
Hopefully, whoever they hire takes a long hard look at what went wrong for the Redskins during Shanahan's watch. If one doesn't learn from history, there are mistakes one is doomed to repeat. Hiring inept coaching staff, family drama in the office, conflicts with your quarterback, etc. should definitely be at the top of the list for things for the franchise to avoid next season.
Image via Washington Redskins Facebook