Shanahan politically correct on QBs

Shanahan politically correct on QBs
November 1, 2011, 5:49 pm
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Washington is a city where speaking the truth is something that frequently is done only out of necessity and not as a matter of any sort of principle. NFL head coaches have the same relationship with the truth as is found in the nations capital.It is logical then that, in most cases, the journalists covering the Redskins in Washington treat what comes out of the mouth of the teams head coach with a shaker full of grains of salt.This is especially the case when it comes to dealing with Mike Shanahan. Those who may not have been skeptical about what he said early in his tenure here certainly had their eyes opened with the shifting explanations of the infamous two-minute benching of Donovan McNabb in Detroit.So why is it that so many media types are taking seriously what Shanahan said about being willing to stake his reputation on the ability of John Beck and Rex Grossman to get the job done at quarterback?Shanahan was doing what he and other NFL coaches and D.C. politicians do all the time saying what he believed needed to be said. When the Redskins didnt take a quarterback in the draft (more on that in a moment), the only quarterbacks Shanahan had on his roster were McNabb, who was on his way out of town, and Beck. He praised Beck. When Grossman signed after the lockout, Shanahan said he had confidence in his quarterbacks and he was willing to stake his reputation on their being able to get the job done.What was he supposed to say? That he was going to try to squeeze through this year with these two stiffs? That he truly hoped it wouldnt come down to needing to count on Beck, but thats where he was?Lets set aside for a minute what Shanahan said and look at why he was in a position where he had to speak of Rex and Beck in glowing terms. The Redskins did not draft a quarterback in April. There was a choice of Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder when the Redskins pick came up at No. 10. Shanahan chose to trade back to No. 16 and collect some more picks. The Jaguars picked Gabbert with the Redskins original pick, and Ponder went to the Vikings a few picks later.Should the Redskins have taken Gabbert or Ponder? While Ponder has had two pretty good starts and Gabbert has been up and down, the jury will be out on both of them for a couple of years. If either turns into a top-flight NFL quarterback, the Redskins will regret not taking one of them.Or will they? The Redskins got Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick and other deals with the picks acquired in the deal allowed them to draft Leonard Hankerson and Roy Helu. If Kerrigan stays on track to being a solid player, if not a star, and either Hankerson or Helu develops into a competent starter, the deal might be a good one if the Redskins can find a good quarterback in next years draft.There are a lot of ifs there, I know, but the career tracks of Ponder and Gabbert are problematic as well.Should the Redskins have picked up a veteran after the lockout ended? Perhaps, but who? Maybe Matt Hasselbeck, who is playing pretty well for the 4-3 Titans. But should Shanahan have gone after a quarterback who is older than McNabb? Should they have traded for Kevin Kolb? Even if trading with the Eagles again was a good idea, that is not looking like a very good deal for the Cardinals right now. Free agent Vince Young and Kyle Orton, who may have been available by trade, had been floated as possibilities. But Young didnt have anyone beating down his door to offer him a starting job. The QB-poor Dolphins did not see fit to make a strong offer for Orton during training camp, and now Orton sits on the bench behind the guy being called the worst quarterback in NFL history.The only thing worse than being without a quarterback is to be in a situation where you expended resources to get the wrong quarterback. The Redskins did that last year. They will try again to get it right next year. If Shanahan doesnt get it right then, it will be time to look for a new guy to look for a QB.In the meantime, believe anything that Mike Shanahan says about the quarterback situation only through the lens of his what his job is and the nature of the city in which he lives.Do you think Shanahan should have drafted a QB? Traded for one? Or are you good with the approach he took? Let us know in the comments!

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