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Report: Seattle’s Pete Carroll Pressured More Than Shanahan

An interesting comparison was made over at the Bleacher Report this morning. The question was Who is under more pressure in 2010, Seattle’s Pete Carroll or Washington’s Mike Shanahan?

Here is the teaser:

It’s been hard to find time to discuss newly appointed head coaches Pete Carroll and Mike Shanahan with the NFL Free Agency and NFL Draft taking up most of the spotlight. However, with Seattle and Washington both needing more than ever to post an above-.500 season in 2010, there is no time like the present to discuss the two football head coaching veterans.

I totally agree with this assessment — Washington MUST post at least a 9-7 record for the fans to regain their confidence.  But that expectation even though its accurate, is completely unrealistic…. the next thing you know, the Redskins won’t be satisfied unless they make the playoffs. That is dangerous ground to be on for a new coach, no doubt about it.   I’ll refer you to the article to read, becuase it’s a nice breakdown, but here is the Redskins score sheet for what Shanahan is up against this year:

Mike Shanahan—Washington Redskins:

Offense – Overall Grade: C

Interestingly enough, Washington takes the 22nd spot right behind Seattle for overall offense in 2009.  However, I don’t think that Washington’s issues are as concerning as Seattle’s just yet.

Jason Campbell has been criticised by some recently, who claim that he has had his chance and should at least be demoted to second string.  Other Redskins fans make the statement that Campbell has at least been consistent at times, and can lead the Redskins somewhere in the future.

Like the Seahawks, rushing has also been lacking for Washington.  However, the Redskins have at least made a step in what seems to be a positive direction by signing former Cincinnati Bengal Larry Johnson to a three-year deal.

Hopefully, LJ can get some things done in Washington and provide the heavy and smash-mouth style run game that he has become famous for.

More importantly though, the Redskins have begun looking at former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford.

Along with the Rams, Washington is set to plan workouts with Bradford in the future and determine whether or not he is worthy of their first round pick.

I don’t think Washington’s offense is as bad either — they need more qulity lineman, and that goes without saying. But in terms of the style of football that the Redskins have always run, NFC East smash and dash football, was abandoned for Zorn’s gimmicky offense ever since Jason Campbell started in DC.  I won’t even call it a West Coast Offense because it insinuates that Zorn’s scheme strung together with pixie sticks and bubble gum is as good as San Diego’s well oiled machine of an offense. Frankly, I thought Sherman Lewis did a much better job with the players than Zorn ever did. Atleast there was a semblance of West Coast rhythm. What I’d like to see from Shanahan is a nice blend of styles — something that the most prolific teams in the NFL in terms of scoring have accomplished. New Orleans, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Dallas — the scheme is such where you have no idea where the ball is going on any given play. There are options on top of options — DECEPTION is used on every play, yet there are no real gimmicks.  I think the Redskins can accomplish this transformation into a complete offense over the next few years, but I’m not looking for a magic bullet here in 2010.  But hey, atleast there won’t be an oversized band-aid slapped on it either.

Back to the breakdown….

Defense – Overall Grade: B

Luckily for Mike Shanahan, the defense doesn’t require too much work.  Ranked 10th in the NFL on overall defense, the off-season has become a frenzy for potential signings.

Linebacker London Fletcher states that “they always knew how to create excitement or anticipation during free agency in years past, but it’s a new regime here now.”

Unlike Seattle, the Redskins don’t have problems containing the passing game.  No, rather it’s the run game and points allowed that seem to torment the Redskins.  Realistically though, they aren’t problems that a few good signings couldn’t solve.

The main thing to remember about Washington’s defense is that they are in a tough division.  When the regular occasion of the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles appears on their schedule, it is almost a given that their corner backs and safeties will be tested.  Depth is key for Washington, and injury is something that needs to be avoided.

The Redskins’ identity is their defense. And while fans seem to want to tweak it by going to a 3-4 scheme, I think it could be more costly then helpful at this point.  Albert Haynesworth does not want to change things up, and that is a 100 million dollar product that must be listened to. London Fletcher can lead his unit — I think a couple of moves, like another Safety and Linebacker to help out Landry and McIntosh respectively would be most prudent.

Injuries happen — and its part of the game. Depth is of course key, and you have to create a rotation where your backups can come in and be effective.  The Redskins have a little bit of depth, not much at all though, and therefore limited rotation.   This is a big draft year all around.

Draft Needs:

Earlier I would have said a running back such as Toby Gerhart could be a good fit in Washington, but now there is no need.

More than likely, a quarterback will be required in the likes of Sam Bradford or maybe Tim Tebow.

A solid guy who throws great deep balls is a must have in the Washington style passing game, therefore I do see a young quarterback being drafted in the long run.

I disagree, the Redskins need a major offensive line improvement.  If all your new QB can do is 3 step drops because that’s all the time he has, there is a big problem. You cannot win on 5 yard drop offs alone, you need to be able to make deep gashes down-field which in turn opens up the running game. Hence the completeness of the offense. I would also like to see the Redskins go after a tall late round receiver and commit to working on him over the next few years.  The Giants for example were able to draft a 6’6″ receiver in the later rounds who may end up being a deadly red zone target this year. So… it’s possible to find these types of players if you draft well.

This is a big pressure filled year for the Redskins, and we can all expect a rollercoaster ride I’m sure. Even though the report concluded more pressure falls on Seattle, the fact is that Seattle is not a top franchise in the market that DC has.  Washington fans expect results every year, the NFC East is always extremely competitive, and the team has a storied history of winning championships.  The fans feel like it’s time to finally get back on track and deliver a team worthy of its name.

Happy Friday everyone.

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