What up world? This EJ, and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. December, and the year 2013, is coming to an end. As a matter of fact there are only 2 more editions of the blog for the year 2013. Next week’s blog will be special. This week? It’ll still be good as I talk about the Washington Redskins, why I think Nick Saban will give the NFL one more chance, and why I embrace the word tanking. Let’s get it.
What is going on with the Washington Redskins? The Redskins who are 3-10, probably can’t wait for this miserable season to be over with. The Redskins were a playoff team last season, and were coming into this season with high hopes as they were being led by their superstar quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3, as he is known, was coming into this season off of a knee injury but the franchise and their fans placed high expectations on him. So far? He hasn’t delivered. Griffin has stumbled through the season, and the criticism of his play has buried him. It’s buried him to the bench. He’s now inactive as the 3rd string QB, to sit behind Kirk Cousins (who was drafted the same year as RG3) and Rex Grossman (who was a Super Bowl participant with the Bears a few years back). Redskins coack Mike Shanahan wants to see what Cousins has, and to give RG3 an early start on what will be off season recovery. However, it all seems deeper than that.
Mike Shanahan has 2 Super Bowl rings that he earned with the Denver Broncos. Or, I could say that his quarterback John Elway earned for him in the late 1990’s. Since the end of the Elway era, Shanahan hasn’t been that successful. To put it mildly. He eventually was forced to move on from the Broncos, and he was hired by owner Dan Snyder to coach the Washington Redskins. His record with the Redskins? 27-34. Yup, he’s a loser. He’s a loser that’s about to be canned by his impatient owner. Dan Snyder has pumped a lot of money into his franchise and he expects it to be a winner. So far he hasn’t gotten a good return on his investment. He’s hired big name coaches, imported faded or flawed stars, and it’s all gone to shit.
Except he finally nailed it with Robert Griffin III. To finally nail it, and see your head coach trade barbs with your star quarterback must definitely be a frustrating feeling. However, to see that coach pull that star from the rest of the season? I’d be livid if I were Snyder. I would have fired Mike Shanahan by now. However, he’ll see out the rest of the season, get canned, and will likely get another coaching opportunity next season. That’s the NFL folks. Fail in one place, and another door will open if you’re name is big enough, and you got those Super Bowl rings on your fingers.
Now, imagine Mike Shanahan as the head coach of the Houston Texans. The Texans job became available due to the firing of head coach Gary Kubiak. Imagine Shanahan and his son Kyle as the coaches of the Texans. Who might they want as their starting quarterback? How about . . . Kirk Cousins! How about it? Shanahan electing to turn to Cousins now, who will likely be traded after this season, to recoup the picks the Redskins lost in trading for RG3, might just be auditioning for a starting QB job next season with his current head coach. Even if Mike isn’t coaching next season, Kyle will be. You don’t think he’ll recommend his new team trading for his protege in Cousins? You know he will. On the surface the situation in Washington appears to be nothing more than the benching of the starter due to health reasons. However, look beyond the surface. It’s so much deeper.
Maybe, Dan Snyder will look to hire Nick Saban once he fires Shanahan. I wouldn’t put it past him. As I mentioned earlier, Snyder has deep pockets and he likes to make a splash with big name coaches. He’s hired Steve Spurrier, Marty Schottenheimer, coaxed Joe Gibbs out of retirement, and hired Shanahan so approaching Saban wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. The 62 year old coach has built a dynasty at the University of Alabama, and has turned them into a machine, bringing in top recruits, and churning out ready made NFL product. The coach, known as a defensive genius, did have a short stint with the Miami Dolphins in the mid 2000’s, where he coached 2 seasons to a 15-17 record before running off to Alabama. It’s that NFL failure that makes me believe that Saban will give the NFL one more try, and it’s my belief that teams will come running once he does.
If Nick Saban needs inspiration on how to make the NFL work on his 2nd try, he needs to look no further than another 62 year old former NFL flameout, but successful college coach named Pete Carroll. Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks head coach, was an absolute failure with stints as the New York Jets and New England Patriots coach in the 1990s. After washing out of the NFL, he built the college football team of the 2000s in the University of Southern California before returning to the NFL with the Seahawks. Carroll openly admits that he learned from his NFL failure, to become a successful coach in his 2nd go around with the league. I believe that Saban will be just as successful because he too has learned the same lessons. He’s familiar with the NFL, he knows the NFL attitudes, and as long as he can curb his nomadic spirit in order to give the NFL a legitimate shot, it’s my belief that he will be on the sidelines in the big leagues. Also, there’s no where else to go in the college game after leaving Alabama. Texas? A great job, but you can make the argument that it would be a parallel move. There’s only one way for Nick to go: up to the National Football League.
Moving on to the National Basketball Association, I want to embrace a word that’s being villified by some fans out there. That word: tanking. Personally, I’m in favor of tanking as long as there is a clear end game. In the NBA that end game is the 2014 draft. However, as much as I embrace the word tanking, I want to offer a suggestion to those fans that hate the word. How about we just call it rebuilding? If you’re a fan of a struggling team that would be better off in the Lottery, then say that your team is rebuilding. You’re not purposely trying to lose games, but you admit to yourself that your team is flawed, wouldn’t be served by scraping into the playoffs, and being knocked out in the first round, so why not lose enough games to guarantee a pick in the top 14, land a player that may or may not be a star, but could help in the rebuilding of your franchise.
Why am I bringing this up? I recently texted fellow 7poundbag contributor, DJ, that it would be in the Lakers best interests to tank. DJ, a diehard Lakers fan and more committed to the purple and gold then I am, disagreed. While I understand his disagreement, it’s my belief that if the Lakers finish somewhere in the top 10 picks of the draft they have a better chance of drafting a future star then they would by making the playoffs and drafting somewhere in the 15-20 range. I just don’t see the value of scraping to a record somewhere around .500, finishing with the 7th or 8th seed in the West, and being swept out of the playoffs. Just like they were last year.
I’m not sold on the Lakers talent, but letting the kids take a few hard knocks this season works for me. It likely won’t work for most Lakers fans, but I like to say the following: “no one team stays on top forever.” Bad years, and bad seasons are going to come. Why not come now, when this draft is supposed to be loaded? Imagine the Lakers end up finishing with a record of 36-46 and it lands them the #9 or #10 pick? Imagine an Aaron Gordon, or a Joel Embiid, or a Gary Harris in a Lakers uniform. Shit, I won’t be crying about a rebuilding season when one of those guys is the future of the team three seasons from now. NBA tanking? I love this game!
That’s it. I’m done. Thanks for reading the best blog that no one cares about, thanks for visiting 7poundbag.com, thanks for putting up with more of my Lakers talk, and thanks for just putting up with my bullshit. Peace.
Tiny URL for this post: