"He won big with John Elway, but that was a long time ago. MikeShanahan must win with Robert Griffin III or else."That take on the Redskins coach comes from The Sporting News which onits 1-32list of 2012 NFL head coaches ranks Shanahan right in the middle, number16.Is that assessment fair? I'd so say, in both a historic and current context. The ranking? Let's see...First, the parameters."These rankings consider what a coach has accomplished. But they alsoconsider where each coach stands now and who you would want on the sidelineif you had to win one game"Mike Shanahan has two Super Bowl wins on his coaching resume. Those are somesweet accomplishments. That alone warrants a spot above his untested andunproven peers, not to mention the overall breadth of his long career.The fact that the anniversary of his last championship just celebrated a BarMitzvah and his last appearance in a conference title game was in 2005 warrantshim being outside the category with today's elite names.That group includes Tom Coughlin, Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy and MikeTomlin, the top four on the TSN list and the only active coaches to have won aSuper Bowl since Shanahan's last triumph (The Lombardi Trophy hoisting Sean Payton is not whatwe would call active right now and he was not among the 32 coaches ranked).Five others placed ahead of Shanahan - including Andy Reid, Lovie Smith andKen Whisenhunt - have taken their team to at least one Super Bowl since 1999.Three more - Rex Ryan and the Harbaugh brothers - coached in a conferencechampionship game within the last two seasons.The other and less credentialed (in a big picture sense) names ahead ofShanahan include Marvin Lewis (11), Gary Kubiak (12) and Mike Smith (15). All three currently direct teams that in theory should finish ahead of theRedskins this season. All three combined also sport a 1-7 playoff record. Lewishas never finished with consecutive winning seasons during his nine seasonswith the Bengals while Kubiak likely needed last season's playoff appearance tokeep his job with the Texans.Unless the here and now fortunes of their respective teams are the decidingfactor, I could understand why anyone might quibble with Shanahan being belowthose two. Same goes for Whisenhunt (14) though personally I'm a believer ofthe hardnosed coach and former Steelers assistant.Of the 16 coaches ranked behind Shanahan, four are first-timers whileMike Mularkey (Jaguars) and Joe Vitt (Saints) are on their second tour butare taking over new gigs. Notable names in the bottom half of the list include JimSchwartz (Lions, 17), former Redskins coach Norv Turner (Chargers, 20), PeteCarroll (Seahawks, 22) and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett (23).Obviously such lists are designed to create discussion though are hardlydefinitive. Still, with his legacy is at a crossroads, ranking Shanahan smackin the middle of his current coaching peers seems rather appropriate. What sayyou?
Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?
According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.
Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.
The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.
Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.
So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.
Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.
He was 67.
Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.
After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.
Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.
As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.
Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.
While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way.
For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.
But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.
Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.
The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.
While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.
Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.
ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.