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WP: Thomas Boswell Columnist Mike Shanahan is forging a new identity for the Redskins: building through the draft


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Very interesting article about the last 40 years of this franchise and the draft. Not surprisingly, this team has a history of trading picks going back to the Nixon era

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/mike-shanahan-is-forging-a-new-identity-for-the-redskins-building-through-the-draft/2011/12/14/gIQAnT1muO_story.html

Mike Shanahan is forging a new identity for the Redskins: building through the draft

By Thomas Boswell,

For 40 years, the Redskins have thrown away high draft picks like they were cheap lottery tickets. In half those seasons, Washington didn’t even have a first-round pick.

For decades, whenever the Redskins wanted Donovan McNabb, Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson, Clinton Portis, Laveranues Coles, Jason Taylor, Pete Kendall, Dan Wilkinson or Sean Gilbert for a quick fix or a style makeover, they tossed picks from the first four rounds into the trade pot.

That is over. Or, at least, it’s over for now. The Redskins are infamous for their six different regimes in 12 years under owner Daniel Snyder. But this time it’s the real thing — probably. The Redskins are attempting one of the most difficult transformations in sport or business: creating a new identity.

Washington is witnessing a change in the way its pro football team is built that is fundamental, yet so alien to this city’s expectations that it tends to be passed off as a mere one-year trend. We’re seeing a seismic shift in franchise philosophy, from wheeling, dealing and pizzazz toward building through the draft under Coach Mike Shanahan.

How much will the Redskins’ world change? Ignore the crazy Allen years (eight straight drafts without a first-, second- or third-round pick). Instead just look at the last 30 Redskins drafts, since 1982, the first Joe Gibbs Super Bowl season. The Redskins should, in theory, have gotten 120 players in the first four rounds: 30-30-30-30. Just pick when it’s your turn.

Here’s what the Redskins’ distribution of picks actually looked like in those rounds: 19-26-24-20 for a total of only 89 players.

Now, look at the Patriots. Their distribution of picks in the first four rounds of the last 30 drafts is: 34-41-38-43. That’s a total of 156 picks compared to 89 for the Redskins. Talk about a huge deficit in young talent.

In the last 10 drafts, with Robert Kraft at the top of the pyramid in New England and Snyder in Washington, the disparity has been even greater. The number of Pats picks stands at 10-15-11-13 for 49 in the first four rounds compared to a 7-7-7-4 and a total of 25 for the Redskins.

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Its funny that Bobby Bethard only had a first round pick 3 times out of 12 seasons! Incredible

Well, to be fair, as I recall a lot of those trades were situations where he fell in love with some guy in the 2nd round, so he'd trade next year's first to get him. So it wasn't quite like the Allen "trade every pick we've got because I like veterans and hate rookies" approach. Also, in the beginning at least, a lot of those picks were gone from the Allen days.

Still, I remember growing up wondering what it would be like to have 1st round picks. It was Art Monk, Darrell Green, and that was pretty much it.

It never really bothered me, though. :)

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Oh look, a well researched opinion piece from the Post. Don't see those every day.

Here's a good part;

It’s commonly parroted that Shanahan is a superior coach but some kind of dolt as a personnel evaluator. The facts contradict that, at least partially. In his 13 Denver drafts, Shanahan hoarded picks almost as much as the Patriots with a 12-15-14-19 distribution in those first four rounds. That’s 60 prime players rather than the normal allotment of 52 you might expect.

So, how good were the men Shanahan tabbed? In the first four rounds of the last 30 drafts, the Redskins have drafted only 15 players who reached a Pro Bowl. In 13 drafts, Shanahan nailed 12 future Pro Bowlers.

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Totally stupid article with regards to the 40 years. Pre-Snyder the Skins were a competitive team and the Patriots were the wanabees. I'll take George Allen and Gibbs I over the Pats during that time. Things were okay with the Skins until Snyder decided to monkey around with the QBs.

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Totally stupid article with regards to the 40 years. Pre-Snyder the Skins were a competitive team and the Patriots were the wanabees. I'll take George Allen and Gibbs I over the Pats during that time. Things were okay with the Skins until Snyder decided to monkey around with the QBs.

"Monkey around with the QBs"?

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It hits home even more how badly mismanaged we've been for MANY a year when you see it in black and white.

The new regime certainly are setting about righting a lot of past wrongs through the draft. But their biggest test is about to come. I honestly don't think I'm being flip when I say the first round pick of our team in this coming draft is the single most important player personnel decision this organizations ever taken; and will go a long way to deciding the fate of those tasked with making it.

Let's all pray they make the right decision.

Hail.

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Color me unconvinced.

Shanny in two years, maximized one draft. I hope the article is correct. I fear us trading our entire draft, plus another drafts first round pick in order to draft Luck or whomever at QB. I hope I am wrong. We need to rebuild, which means having picks. Sending them all over one QB isn't rebuilding.

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Color me unconvinced.

Shanny in two years, maximized one draft. I hope the article is correct. I fear us trading our entire draft, plus another drafts first round pick in order to draft Luck or whomever at QB. I hope I am wrong. We need to rebuild, which means having picks. Sending them all over one QB isn't rebuilding.

The 80s are over. We need a QB.

Along with that, if we are picking 4 the cost won't be nearly a full draft to get Luck, nor 3 or 4 years of first round picks. I think we'll be in the best shape to get RG3 from that spot

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The 80s are over. We need a QB.

Along with that, if we are picking 4 the cost won't be nearly a full draft to get Luck, nor 3 or 4 years of first round picks. I think we'll be in the best shape to get RG3 from that spot

I am not stuck in the 80's and I agree we need a QB. We also need a couple offensive lineman, receivers, a running back, a linebacker or two, a corner, and a safety.

Cleveland has taken a lot of QB's. A lot of first round QB's taken this draft.

Drafting a QB doesn't mean we have solved the QB problem, he needs to pan out. Trading your future on a bust puts us even further back. You are assuming luck or RG3 is a sure thing.

If we can get them with a reasonable price, I would do it, but not selling the farm.

And we wont be picking at 4.

As to the article, this draft will prove the direction of the franchise. It hasn't happened yet.

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I am not stuck in the 80's and I agree we need a QB. We also need a couple offensive lineman, receivers, a running back, a linebacker or two, a corner, and a safety.

We don't need receivers as many people think. we need a #1 receiver. We don't need any RBs. We need 1 ILB to replace London. The core is there and will be here for a long time. A corner is needed but it might not be if we can generate more pressure next year. We need a C/LG and more DL

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I am not stuck in the 80's and I agree we need a QB. We also need a couple offensive lineman, receivers, a running back, a linebacker or two, a corner, and a safety.

Cleveland has taken a lot of QB's. A lot of first round QB's taken this draft.

Drafting a QB doesn't mean we have solved the QB problem, he needs to pan out. Trading your future on a bust puts us even further back. You are assuming luck or RG3 is a sure thing.

If we can get them with a reasonable price, I would do it, but not selling the farm.

And we wont be picking at 4.

As to the article, this draft will prove the direction of the franchise. It hasn't happened yet.

I don't think it will be "selling the farm" to move up from 4. And barring us winning another game, we are pretty much locked in at the 4 spot. If Minny beats us plus the Bears in week 17, we are at number 3.

From that point we must be able to seize the QB we want. We have 9 picks going into this draft, are flush with cap room, and won't have to commit 80 million dollar to our top pick.

The 2011 draft, based on Shanahans drafting history, looks to be a harbinger of things to come

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I don't think it will be "selling the farm" to move up from 4. And barring us winning another game, we are pretty much locked in at the 4 spot. If Minny beats us plus the Bears in week 17, we are at number 3.

From that point we must be able to seize the QB we want. We have 9 picks going into this draft, are flush with cap room, and won't have to commit 80 million dollar to our top pick.

The 2011 draft, based on Shanahans drafting history, looks to be a harbinger of things to come

I don't think Minny beats us. The game against the Eagles could go either way. No way we lose all remaining games.

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I don't think Minny beats us. The game against the Eagles could go either way. No way we lose all remaining games.

In a hypothetical that we say win those two above games; your then getting in to a forced 'selling the farm' scenario as trading up becomes that much harder with so much less to offer given the competition around us.

Hail.

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In a hypothetical that we say win those two above games; your then getting in to a forced 'selling the farm' scenario as trading up becomes that much harder with so much less to offer given the competition around us.

Hail.

I guess we can wait and see. With our luck, I could see us winning out and finishing 13th in the draft ;)

I would bet we win 1, possibly 2 of those games. We probably end up in the 5-8 slot.

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I don't think Minny beats us. The game against the Eagles could go either way. No way we lose all remaining games.

I think our offensive performance against the Pats was an anomaly given the current personnel we have, a product of Shanahan's hyper-competitiveness against Belichick (he has ALWAYS masterfully concocted gameplans against him), right down to the Brandon Banks play that we've clearly been saving for more than a year (he spoke about practicing that play as far back as last year). Frankly, I'm surprised that Shanahan hasn't been given more criticism for saving that play for Belichick rather than an NFC East foe.

The Patriots' defense, gameplan, and complete lack of a pass rush additionally played right into our hands. I can't believe the Pats didn't blitz the **** out of us all game, with our faulty offensive line (featuring an undrafted rookie free agent and a 7th round rookie on the left side), immobile QB prone to enormous mistakes, aging below-average WR trio (Gaffney, Stallworth and Moss are 31, 31, and 33 respectively).

I don't think the Vikings (Allen), Giants (JPP, Tuck), or Eagles (Cole, Babin) will play nearly as badly on defense as the Patriots did. If those teams can score 20 on us, they should have no problem winning. It's hard to see us putting up that many points again without special teams or defensive touchdowns, which I suppose aren't out of the question.

Going back to the thread: Shanahan's personnel decisions, outside of the Campbell/McNabb dealings, have been shrewd as hell. He's been just as good a drafter, if not better, than the Patriots in his 2 seasons as Redskins coach. Taking Trent Williams over Okung, trading down for Kerrigan and Jenkins instead of taking Blaine Gabbart, finding Hankerson, Helu and Riley in rounds 3-4 -- these have all been masterful displays of drafting, and then development of this talent.

We won't fully see the dividends from these drafts for another few years from now, but they're coming. And once we get our franchise quarterback in this draft, the path to NFC East supremacy will be more easily foreseeable for the masses of fans... Looking forward to it.

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Unless you see another win on the schedule, that's where we'll probably end up.

Not sure why anyone would be convinced Minny will beat us.

---------- Post added December-14th-2011 at 10:06 PM ----------

I think our offensive performance against the Pats was an anomaly given the current personnel we have

Actually I would say in reverse, Grossman is due one perfect game. Our offensive "anomaly" has been tied for a large part due to his propensity to turnover at all the wrong times. It can't be a full season of dispair for Grossman can it?

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Not sure why anyone would be convinced Minny will beat us.

Because they can consistently put up 20+ points, and might even have AP back. We can only put up that many points when we play the worst defense in the league and are in a shootout. Minny has a poor secondary, but they aren't as bad as the Patriots.

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I have to agree we wont win again. We just played great against a team with a terrible D, and their ONLY pass rush is Andre Carter...who while be a wonderful player isnt a deadly pass rusher. Willie Smith or even worse Locklear are about to face JPP, Jared Allen, and Trent Cole. I think Rex is in serious trouble. In that Eagle game...Trent Cole faces Willie Smith and Tyler Polumbus faces Jason Babin. Sacks and turnovers are coming in bunches in the next few weeks.

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