Keeler: Time for Shanahan to step down

As a Dallas Cowboys fan I guess I should be happy about the mess that is the Washington Redskins, but I have to admit I almost feel sorry for the Redskins’ fans out there.

I can also relate to them. Both teams have problems at quarterback, head coach and owner.

The first solution to the Redskins’ problems is a simple one — Mike Shanahan needs to go.

I’ve never been a fan of Shanahan’s even before he came to Washington. When he was at Denver he won two Super Bowls, but to me those were always John Elway’s teams not Shanahan’s.

Without Elway, he still had success in Denver, but they always seemed to struggle when it really counted. They didn’t win a playoff game in the next seven years after Elway left.

You could say it’s been more of the same with the Redskins. It took some time, but it appeared the Redskins were well on their way as a franchise after last season. They won the NFC East and made the playoffs. They did lose in the first round, but the Seattle Seahawks are a pretty good team so no shame in that loss.

Even with the success last year, I had to wonder in the back of my mind about Shanahan. In the middle of the season, he seemed ready to quit on the team, and they somehow managed to turn things around, but to me it still wasn’t a good sign.

Obviously, there have been some big problems at quarterback. Robert Griffin III was of course injured last year, and his return this season hasn’t been what Redskins’ fans hoped it would be.

Shanahan recently decided that RG3 would not play the rest of the season so that he won’t get hurt. He also seemed to leave RG3 in the game a little too long at times, with an offensive line that can’t seem to block anybody. Washington backup quarterback Kirk Cousins looked solid last week against Atlanta, which is leading to a lot of speculation about who should be the quarterback of the future.

Then last weekend Shanahan decided to go for a two-point conversion and try for a win in the final seconds against Atlanta rather than go into overtime. That has everyone talking even more about Shanahan’s future.

I do think Shanahan has done some good things for the Redskins, who were terrible when he arrived in D.C., but I don’t think he’s the one to take them to that next level — which is what everyone wants.

There’s no question that Dan Snyder has a quick trigger when it comes to firing coaches (I wish Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had that). That’s just one of the reasons that I think Shanahan will be fired.

To me, the Redskins need someone young, someone who can relate to the players a little more and bring some energy. They need someone who will be around for the long haul because it will take some time to get things back in order.

The offensive line has to get better, and their pass defense is ranked 21st in the NFL.
Linebacker London Fletcher will most likely not be back, and he was the leader of the defense.

Shanahan has been the head coach since 2010 and Redskins fans should praise him for getting things turned around, but I simply think it’s time for everyone to move on.
Of course, if the Redskins do decide to keep him and continue to struggle next year, as a Cowboys’ fan I won’t shed a tear.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd