SportsProf

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Mike Shanahan Will Fail

To win a Super Bowl with the Redskins, that is.

There are several reasons for this comment:

1. No coach in NFL history has won a Super Bowl with more than one team. A few got to the Super Bowl with two teams (Dick Vermeil, Bill Parcells and Don Shula come readily to mind), but no coach has won a Super Bowl with more than one franchise.

2. Dan Snyder goes through coaches more quickly than Larry King goes through wives. While Shanahan will get more of a leash because of who he is, it's hard to believe that the owner will not meddle. Friction could occur early between owner and coach, unless the owner is under sedation.

3. F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in American life. This is a corollary to the first point, but many excellent coaches haven't been able to win a Super Bowl with a second team.

As for the first point, Vermeil's career was amazing because he lost a Super Bowl in '81, took 16 years off and then came back and won one with the St. Louis Rams. (In other words, he had a second act of sorts in reverse order, but the hunger and humility were there because he didn't take his long hiatus after winning a Super Bowl). Look, Don Shula was one of the best coaches of all time. Vince Lombardi was a legend, as was Bill Parcells. But what's to say that Shanahan won't turn into George Seifert, who failed in Carolina (and his career ended miserably there with a 1-15 record in his last season) or a Joe Gibbs (who tried his second act with the same franchise after a much longer hiatus than Shanahan's and fared okay but a far cry from what he had achieved in his prime).

Washington fans shouldn't get too gleeful about this development. Their franchise has too many problems, and the odds are better that finding the next Mike Tomlin or Ken Whisenhunt would give the team a better chance than hiring Mike Shanahan.

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