2012 NFL Draft – McNabb & Plummer show concern for RG3

Pro Football continues its count down towards the 2012 NFL Draft and already sparks are flying.  To secure the #2 QB in the draft, the Washington Redskins made an early, if not overly bold move and traded up from #6 to #2.  In doing so they broke traditional market value, giving up substantially more than the charts might indicate necessary.  The Redskins “obviously” see QB as the missing piece to competing in the NFC East and Mike Shanahan doesn’t like losing.

Draft and Develop

One of the most exciting players in college football now appears headed to the nation’s capital.  At first glance, many might see this as an excellent fit.  The athletic Heisman Trophy winner coupled with the “Mastermind”.  Robert Griffin III (RG3) has all the necessary skills to masterfully execute Shanahan’s version of the West Coast Offense; excellent mobility, top notch arm strength and a dart thrower’s accuracy.  He’s charismatic, bright and the type of on & off the field leader that players gravitate towards.

Many pundits see a match made in heaven.  How could this not be a “steal of a deal” to bring Washington back to relevance in the NFL?

Easier said than done

Former Redskin QB Donovan McNabb doesn’t think so.  McNabb stated on ESPN’s “First Take”,

“I don’t think it’s a good fit,” McNabb said. “If this doesn’t work this year, if we don’t see a splash like a Cam Newton splash, this could be it. . . .

Another QB familiar with Shanahan is Jake Plummer.  Plummer was asked how he thought RG3 might fare under his old boss and stated the following;

 “It’s hard to say…a coach like coach Shanahan–from my experience, maybe he’s evolved as a coach–he has a system and he wants you to fit that system. If you don’t, it’s kind of hard for him to build it around you.

I think RG3’s going to come in–he’s a totally different animal at quarterback–I think he can do basically do anything you want him to. Learn how to pass from the pocket, I think he probably can do that, but I hate to think that they’re going to try to take away his real gift, which is to do what you can’t script.”

The stats speak for themselves

Having worked as both Director of College Scouting and General Manager under Shanahan for 14 seasons, I can attest to this; development of young players is not his forte, nor his preference.  That’s the point being missed by many hidden in the words of both McNabb and Plummer.

Shanahan’s greatest TEAM accomplishments have come with QB’s already well seasoned in the NFL.

Years Name Age Record Rating Playoffs Super Bowl Wins
’92-’94 SF (OC) Young (31-33) 37-11 107.1 3 1
’95-’98 DEN Elway (35-38) 43-16 89.025 3 2
’03-’06 DEN Plummer (29-32) 39-15 84.3 3

“I’d like to let the statistics speak for themselves,” Shanahan said. “I think I can take the high road.”

“You can go by so many different stats, the perception, the most basic one people look at is, ‘Did you win a Super Bowl at the end of the day?’ “

Ultimately to win Super Bowls you have to win football games first to then put yourself in a position to compete in the playoffs.  Young QB’s under his tutelage have struggled to do so with any consistency.  Beuerlein, Griese & Cutler were all original draft picks.  Grossman & Beck (along w/ McNabb) are his veteran tries in Washington.

Years Name Age Record Rating Playoffs Super Bowl Wins
’88-’89 LAR Beuerlein (23-24) 5-4 66.6
’99-’02 DEN Griese (24-27) 27-24 85.65 1
’06-’08 DEN Cutler (23-25) 17-20 87.5
’10-’11 WAS Grossman (30-31) 6-10 74.4
’11 WAS Beck (30) *2nd NFL yr 0-3 72.1

What’s the ultimate goal?

Supporters will argue that both Griese and Cutler were developed into Pro Bowl players in their 3rd seasons and that’s true.  The Broncos went 13-21 in the years prior to getting them there.

Interesting to note, only 3 Denver drafted offensive players made a total of 5 trips to the Pro Bowl  under Shanahan’s control (’95-’08); RB Terrell Davis (3), RB Clinton Portis (1), WR Brandon Marshall (1).

You can’t fool the players “all of the time”

So “the stats do speak for themselves” and two former Pro Bowl QB’s (7  between them), that had a working relationship with the Redskins’ head coach, should be given the opportunity to show some concern for a rising young star and go down whatever road they see fit.  Washington is 11-21 the past two seasons and as Donovan put it, “How long does he have with RG3? The seat is hot right now.”

Two or three seasons to get RG3 where Shanahan wants HIM may not be enough to get the Redskins where owner Dan Snyder wants THEM.

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  1. It’s interesting that the 3 individuals contributing to this story(Sundquist, McNabb, and Plummer) were all fired or cut by Shanahan. We a little bitter?

    • Ted Sundquist Ted Sundquist says:

      Not at all. Having worked with Coach Shanahan for 14 years, I understand his way of doing business about as well as anyone. These two veteran players also have had firsthand experience. 1+1=2

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