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Where does Shanahan rank among his coaching peers?


Where does Shanahan rank among his coaching peers?

"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?

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Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 24, 13 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 5
—NFL Combine (3/2) 6
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 52
—NFL Draft (4/27) 62
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 198

Friday quick hitters

What about Baker? I’m not sure what the Redskins’ thinking is regarding Chris Baker. As with all their other free agents the Redskins haven’t been in communication with Baker’s camp, waiting for the chance to scope out the market at the combine next week. I think that Baker’s fate will depend on cost. If they can get in for around $7 million or less, he stays. If the bidding pushes his deal up much higher than that I think he’s gone.

McCloughan’s status: It’s not exactly news that Scot McCloughan doesn’t have the full powers that many NFL GMs have. He has always been more of a super scout, in charge of stocking the roster. He is not frozen out when it comes to contracts and financial matters but they never have been his strong suit and they are best left to Bruce Allen and, particularly, Eric Schaffer.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Anything new? So, was there much new in Jerry Brewer’s column in the Post yesterday? Given that the power structure has been in place for over two years now, it doesn’t appear that there was. Brewer essentially said it himself: “McCloughan isn’t necessarily losing power as much as he is having his lack of power revealed.” So during this past two years, while the team improved from 4-12 to playoff contention, things have been how they are now. Let me be clear, there were some disturbing insights in Brewer’s article such as the team’s lack of a response to a request for comment on Chris Cooley’s on-air musing about McCloughan’s alcohol consumption. But on how things work on the organizational chart at Redskins Park it’s been the same.

Who wants Kirk? We are at a point where the popular perception among the fans and media is that Allen is the one who will run Kirk Cousins out of town, either this year or next, while McCloughan and Jay Gruden are begging for him to stay. The narrative is that Allen is the bad buy and McCloughan is the good guy because that’s the way fans and some in the media perceive it. But I would pump the brakes on the notion that McCloughan is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Cousins around. We haven’t heard from him this year but last year he said on multiple occasions that while he was interested in keeping Cousins around for the long haul the team needs to be careful not to give up too much of the salary cap to one player. That doesn’t sound like he’s all in on giving Cousins a blank check.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Cousins should go for the money: Some fans in my Twitter timeline are calling for Cousins to take less money from the Redskins to help Allen and McCloughan pay other players. That’s not happening, nor should it. Jim Trotter of ESPN referred to Cousins as a “mercenary” and he meant it in a positive way. What he is doing is using the NFL system to maximize his earnings potential. Look around at what has been happening around the NFL over the last few weeks, with players getting dumped when they are no longer of use to their teams—and instances of players getting cut will increase exponentially soon—and you should understand why there’s not anything wrong with a player getting as much money as he can while he can. If you add in the short careers they have and the risk that they might spend the last 40-plus years of your life having trouble getting out of bed every morning or sufferig from worse problems and you still don't get it, I can't help you. Cousins should get as much money as he can and it's the job of the team that voluntarily pays him that to figure out how to make it work around him. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Plenty of teams will line up for the services of soon to be free agent DeSean Jackson, but Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston made clear he wants D-Jax with the Bucs. 

"You better believe we want DeSean here," Winston told the the Tampa Bay Times. "I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean."

Jackson has been clear he looks forward to the free agent process. He's only hit the open market once, and that was under inauspicious terms. The Eagles released Jackson well past the start of free agency in 2014, and the Redskins moved quickly to sign the speedster. 

In three seasons with the 'Skins, Jackson has been a solid teammate and strong player. In 37 starts for the Burgundy and Gold, Jackson has more than 2,700 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. 

RELATED: DeSean Jackson wants to play for an elite QB

With elite speed and arguably the NFL's best ball tracker, Jackson makes sense for a lot of teams. Tampa, in particular, could use a deep threat to play alongside Mike Evans. Teamed with Winston, who has a strong arm and loves to go deep, the Bucs offense would be formidable. 

That does not mean Tampa is a sure thing.

While ESPN's Josina Anderson reported the Bucs could be a  "possible destination" for Jackson, Philadelphia has long been rumored to want him back. His old coach Andy Reid is in Kansas City. Former 'Skins offensive coordinator Sean McVay is now running the show in LA. For a player like Jackson, just about any potential destination could make sense. 

Like it almost always is in NFL free agency, guaranteed money will be a major factor in DeSean's decision. At 30 year's old and with a game reliant on speed and quickness, this could be the last big contract of Jackson's career. Odds are he will land a big deal, and the team with the biggest bag of cash may prove the most tempting. 


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