Kyle Shanahan On Joining The Redskins Coaching Staff

Posted by Matt Terl on January 20, 2010 – 3:15 pm

(In case you missed it, more information about the other two coaches announced as part of the Redskins staff today can be found here.)

Kyle Shanahan got his start on a Bruce Allen-managed team, joining Jon Gruden’s staff in Tampa straight from being a graduate assistant at UCLA — “In my opinion you don’t get any better than Jon Gruden,” Kyle’s father (and new Redskins head coach) Mike said during his introductory press conference two weeks ago. “The X’s and O’s, his enthusiasm and his leadership, and to be with a guy like Bruce [Allen], what a great opportunity for my son.”

Kyle Shanahan is coming off a hugely successful year as offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans, where quarterback Matt Schaub led the NFL with 4,770 yards and was fifth with 29 passing touchdowns. (Not coincidentally, Texans receiver Andre Johnson finished first in receiving yardage in the NFL with 1,569 yards. Also not coincidentally, I finished second overall in the fantasy league where I started both of them.)

And Kyle Shanahan has also always wanted to work with his father. So it came as less than a shock when Coach Shanahan mentioned that Coach Shanahan would be joining his staff.

“I am excited,” the older Coach Shanahan said, “because I know what he brings to the table. I’ve obviously watched him grow as a person and as a man and he loves football. He’s been around it throughout his career. Just like Bruce [Allen], he’s been around football with a Hall of Fame dad. You just kind of know, he’s got a lot of confidence and [I’m] very proud of his stats over the last couple of years. I know they would’ve liked to have been in the playoffs but I am looking forward to having him on our staff. I think he’ll bring a lot to our football team.”

The younger Coach Shanahan, meanwhile, was interviewed by back on the occasion of his departure.

You might think that it was a no-brainer for Kyle Shanahan to coach with his successful father, but as he explains in that video, the exact opposite was initially the case. Read more »

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Monday, January 11: Probably Time To Brush Up On Zone Blocking

Posted by Matt Terl on January 11, 2010 – 5:31 pm

When Jim Zorn came to town, all of a sudden the conversation was all West Coast Offense, all the time. It was no longer enough as a Redskins fan to mumble vaguely about short passing and Bill Walsh when the subject of the WCO came up. You had to have at least a passable understanding of the principles of the scheme and of Zorn’s interpretation of it.

Well, there’s no legendary-but-arcane Rocky Mountain Offense coming to town with Mike Shanahan, but it certainly seems like everyone is trying to make sure you’re up-to-speed on the new coach’s zone blocking schemes. Read more »

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Friday, January 7: Two Pictorial Reactions To The Shanahan Hiring

Posted by Matt Terl on January 8, 2010 – 11:56 am

The folks over at ExtremeSkins are a talented bunch. Just in my limited experience with them, I’ve seen ES members cook, organize large-scale gatherings, design hats, and create commemorative booklets, all with a high level of acuity — and I’m sure they all get up to much more than that when I’m not around.

One of the other things they’ve got some skill at is graphic design, and a few of the members have whipped up pictorial references to the hiring of new head coach Mike Shanahan. Two of them jumped out at me, as both striking images and accurate representations of fan reaction, and I thought they were worth posting here. (Click the images to enlarge.)

Shanahan Change Image

Read more »

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Scenes (And Quotes) From A Press Conference

Posted by Matt Terl on January 6, 2010 – 6:23 pm

Obviously, it was an interesting day today. The Mike Shanahan introductory press conference was a polished, straightforward affair. It was two professional guys — Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen — doing an exceedingly professional job.

There were no obvious missteps (despite countless “maroon and black” jokes) and a number of very well-received gestures: the Super Bowl trophies were not on display, for example, and owner Daniel M. Snyder sat in the front row of the audience rather than at a table next to the podium. Read more »

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Mark Schlereth On The Shanahan Hire

Posted by Matt Terl on January 6, 2010 – 4:55 pm

When current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth wasn’t posing for slightly embarrassing Sports Illustrated photos with Alaskan icons, he was an offensive lineman, a member of the late-period Hogs on the Redskins team that won Super Bowl XXVI, and — later — a member of Mike Shanahan’s Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. So he’s pretty uniquely well-positioned to understand both Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins.

So it’s kind of exciting that he — like fellow ex-Bronco Bill Romanowski — has come down pretty enthusiastically in favor the Shanahan hiring.

Here are his comments from ESPN’s NFL Live today, transcribed courtesy of the nice folks at ESPN PR:

“Absolutely, I think it’s going to work. He’s a great football coach. Mike Shanahan’s a very intelligent guy. He will grind, he’s a great football coach, but he’s very smart and he understands why he’s no longer the head coach of the Denver Broncos. It’s because of the personnel decisions. He made personnel decisions both in the draft and also as far as free agency is concerned that didn’t work out. So he understands that aspect of it. Mike Shanahan, there’s no question in my mind — a Hall of Fame caliber coach, just not a Hall of Fame personnel guy. So I think he will defer in a lot of those scenarios to his general manager. They will work as a team. But make no bones about it, he can flat coach a football team. He knows this game inside and out.”

Like I said, that’s terrific stuff. But not nearly as terrific as the introduction to that 1992 SI profile of Schlereth, who apparently would’ve been blog gold if there had been blogs back in his day. Check this out:
Read more »

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The Shanahan Press Conference

Posted by Matt Terl on January 6, 2010 – 4:33 pm

In case you missed the riveting spectacle of guys in suits talking at a podium (and also didn’t follow the even more riveting spectacle of me typing about guys in suits talking at a podium on Twitter) here it is. I’ll have transcription and more later, but for starters, here’s the video. Read more »

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Chris Cooley, Broncos Fan

Posted by Matt Terl on January 6, 2010 – 9:58 am

The forest of satellite uplinks in front of the building keeps growing, the media relations staff is hurrying around, and the auditorium is being set up for the two o’clock press conference, about which much (much!) more later.

In the meantime, here courtesy of Redlasso is Chris Cooley, discussing his childhood Denver Broncos fandom with FOX-5’s Dave Feldman. Hopefully this will help tide you over until 2:00.

[redlasso id=’abf05eeb-5919-417f-adfe-888f76430826′] Read more »

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