11 head coaches were hired in 2009, 2 are left: Do the Redskins need to make major strides in 2012 for Mike Shanahan to keep his job?

Prior to the 2009 season, a staggering 8 new head coaches were hired, 10 if you include Tom Cable and Mike Singletary, who had their interim tags removed.  Eight of the ten have already been canned.  Some lasted three years.  Others didn’t even get three.  Here’s that list:

Coach Team Canned?
Tom Cable* Raiders Canned
Jim Caldwell Colts Canned
Todd Haley Chiefs Canned
Eric Mangini Browns Canned
Josh McDaniels Broncos Canned
Raheem Morris Buccaneers Canned
Rex Ryan Jets Not canned
Jim Schwartz Lions Not canned
Mike Singletary* 49ers Canned
Steve Spagnuolo Rams Canned

Sometime back around Week 14 this season, if you would have asked me which NFC East coach I thought was the safest, my answer would have been Mike Shanahan, due partly to the notion that turning Redskins around was going to take some time, but also in large part to the fact that he signed a 5 year deal worth around $7 million per season.  Unlike NFL players, you can’t just cut coaches and not pay them anymore.  You have to eat that cost if you cut bait with a coach that’s still under contract.

But as the above chart shows, patience in the NFL is most certainly not a virtue.  Mike Shanahan is entering the pivotal “Year 3” of his supposed 5-year plan.  None of the above coaches had a deal as lucrative or as long as Shanny’s, which differentiates him to a degree, but what if the Redskins slog their way through another 5 or 6 win season in 2012?  Is he going to see a 4th?  If the above pattern is any indication, he may not.

(QUICK UPDATE – As one of my readers in the comment section was so kind to point out in such a polite manner, I missed Jim Mora, bringing the total number of new head coaches in 2009 to 11, not 10. Mora lasted only one year. An extremely heartfelt and sincere “You’re an internet god” to “Jake from Wisconsin” for pointing out this failure of epic proportions in blogging history.)


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  66. jake in wisconsin says:

    there were 11 coaches hired that year….do your homework


  67. Immynimmy says:

    Call me crazy, but I think Shanahan is doing a really good job. Look at the progress they have made (defensively) since he’s gotten there. They have talent, they just need a legit QB and some offensive weapons. As an Eagles fan however, I certainly hope they don’t get them 🙂

    1. Anders says:

      But at the same time, he went we Rex Grossman and John Beck as his QBs this year, he didnt even try to improve even tho everybody knew it would turn out bad.

      1. FrenchEagles says:

        If you think of a five-year plan, why hurrying for a QB? It may have been his strategy to work first on defense, and then concentrate on offense with a QB and young weapons. If that’s his plan, I ‘d say why not?

        1. ATLeagle says:

          exactly. The plan is to suck while building pieces up, so that high draft choices are still available. The worst thing you can do is get good too quickly, and then get lesser talent overall.

        2. slandog says:

          Why not? Come one who in their right mind goes into the season with Rex and Beck? That is crazy. I’d hold that against him if it was me. I’d ask him why he thought he could win with those two. There is no good answer, so then I’d can his ass.

          But this is just me and I think Shanny is an asshat to begin with.

        3. Anders says:

          As a fan would you buy that shit? Hey sorry fans we are going to suffer with Rex Grossman for 3 years because I want as many high draft picks as possible.
          Watch several teams over the last decade, a franchise QB is enough to get em from a crap team to a play team.

        4. Matt G says:

          You could say that might have been his strategy but he went out and traded a second and fourth round pick to the Eagles for McNabb…

    2. I’ll agree and disagree. That defense was very good the year before Shanahan got there. His first year on the job, they unnecessarily switched to a 3-4 and were 31st in the league. This season, they made major strides, but haven’t completely gotten back to what they were in ’09.

      1. WeNeedLinemen says:

        I agree that the shift to the 3-4 was unnecessary. I’d go further, I think it was also handled badly and is perhaps the biggest mistake so far in Shanahan’s tenure. I could accept that Shanahan really wanted to try the 3-4, but if you are going to go down that route continue with the 4-3 and start bringing in 3-4 personnel so that you’ve actually got the player to fit the 30-front when you start using it a year later.

        However, whilst the Blache defenses of 08 and 09 looked good on paper, giving up relatively few yards, they weren’t good defenses. They posed absolutely zero threat to opposing offenses and were assisted in keeping scores down by the fact that teams knew our offense couldn’t score. Opposing coaches ran the clock out on tiny leads knowing that the chances of us making a comeback were absolutely tiny.

        Blache got a pass from the media, but his tenure as DC was marked by one of the most passive defenses I’ve ever seen. He was also guilty of the most wilful mis-use of a player that I’ve ever seen. He didn’t change his scheme for anything.

        When Jason Taylor was acquired to replace Daniels, he required Taylor to play as run-stuffing left end. The man he was replacing was 300lbs and still spends his off-seasons competing in power-lifting competitions. Taylor had just finished an off-season of celebrity ballroom dancing, after a few years as a linebacker in Miami’s 3-4. He must have weighed all of 240lbs when he joined us, and Blache expected him to fill the role of a guy 60lbs heavier. It wasn’t a massive surprise that Taylor broke down and suffered a potentially career ending leg injury within a few games.

        1. WeNeedLinemen says:

          I will concede that the 09 defense had a pretty good pass rush, or at least that it generated sacks.

          What it didn’t do is generate turnovers. It finished last in the league in that category with 17. Four teams had more than twice that number. Even if you ignore fumble recoveries, which involve an element of luck, they finished 26th on interceptions (total and %pa).

          Again, like ’08, ’09 it featured Blache mis-using a player. He spent the summer telling the media he intended to be creative with Albert Haynesworth. What happened during the season is that he told Haynesworth to fill the same gap control role that DTs always played in his defense, kicking off Albert’s two year hissy fit.

          It generated decent sack totals because it would have been hard not to with a line that include Andre Carter, Albert Haynesworth (still relatively in shape from his contract year with the Titans) and Orakpo playing in his best position.

  68. Scott says:

    personally i think most head coaches should be given 3 years unless they completely screw up

  69. Anders says:

    If the Jets miss the playoffs next year, I say Rex Ryan gets fired aswell and with the Bills making some noise, Bengals looking better this year, they have to win the division again to have chance of a playoff spot next year.

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