by Matt Bowen
October 13, 02009
Reports out of Washington are stating that Jon Gruden, and not former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, is the most likely candidate to replace current Redskins head coach Jim Zorn in 2010—if Zorn is indeed let go. And we shouldn’t be surprised.
I have mentioned before that Mike Shanahan would be the perfect choice to take over this franchise, but that is where I was wrong—because Dan Snyder wants a football coach and that’s it.
He doesn’t want a coach like Shanahan that is going to come in and challenge his authority when it comes to personnel moves. That is not Snyder’s style. Because even as the owner, even with Vinny Cerrato under him as the so-called quasi general manager of this Redskins franchise, it is still Snyder’s team—and he is not going to let a coach take that away from him.
The issue with Washington has never been a lack of talent. They have plenty of good football players; but, so do the other 31 teams in this league. The real issue is how that talent is brought together. It is done in a fashion that would resemble a rookie cook—tossing ingredients into a pan until it tastes somewhat right.
However, by bringing a guy like Shanahan or Mike Holmgren into the mix—two Super Bowl coaches who have personnel ties in this league—Snyder losses that ability. It is no longer his team, and he can no longer rival what his main competitor in this business, Dallas’ Jerry Jones, does with his team.
Yes, Gruden is the guy that Snyder wants. A football mind, not unlike former ‘Skins coach Steve Spurrier. The Ball Coach was brought in to coach football, not play GM. So if the reports are true then, this is exactly what Snyder sees in Gruden.
A brilliant football mind, with a massive work ethic compared to Spurrier’s, who will find a way to make Snyder’s roster a contender. A guy, as our own Brad Biggs pointed out, who still has that passion for the game and for coaching at this level.
But, can that work? Sure it can—just not in Washington, and that is why this team is still caught in quick sand. The structure, or the chain of command, is missing. There needs to be an actual general manager in place over at Redskins Park, someone who works hand-in-hand with the head coach.
Until that happens, however, it doesn’t matter who the head coach is, because this team will continue to play up and down football with a roster of big names that doesn’t mix well together—because the owner is still picking the players.
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