|01-11-2008, 10:14 AM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
KRIEGER: Pin down Shanahan? Good luck, buddy
Listening to Mike Shanahan at length is a little bit like reading Lewis Carroll, if Carroll had no grasp of English grammar whatsoever.
You go in with a pretty good idea of what reality is. You come out with no idea. Where logic exists, it is circular. After a while, it makes you dizzy.
Here's an example from Shanahan's 56-minute bob-and-weave with the wretches Thursday:
As you may know, the Broncos defense was lousy this season. Earlier this week, the architect of that defense, Jim Bates, left the organization rather than accept a demotion.
In an effort to determine just how much blame Shanahan allocated to Bates, I asked if he thought his defensive personnel was better than its numbers.
"Well, basically, it was the same personnel that we've had over the last four years," Shanahan replied. "In the last four years, we were top 10 with points given up. This year, we were obviously way down. So I thought the personnel was very similar to what we've had over the last four years."
"Really?" I asked. "On the defensive line and at middle linebacker?"
"Oh, yeah," Shanahan said. "Very much so. Maybe a little bit better."
Let's go to the videotape. All four starting defensive linemen changed from the '06 season to the '07 season. So did the middle linebacker.
"Basically . . . the same personnel?" Not exactly.
"Similar" personnel? That, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. And Shanahan's beholding of his own personnel decisions is pretty charitable.
"I thought we improved ourselves in the defensive line," he said. "Even though there were some younger players, we probably had more people in here on the defensive line than we've ever had in our lives so we had a chance to evaluate a lot of these guys."
This isn't logic of any kind. This is more like rambling. He starts off saying they're better on the defensive line and ends up saying they looked at a lot of guys there. The reason they looked at a lot of guys there is they kept getting rid of guys who weren't performing.
Of the 10 linemen listed on the final depth chart, five were found either on practice squads or their living room couches. Suggesting these guys are as good as what you've had isn't saying much for your draft history.
Still, Shanahan drafted three linemen just last year that have a chance to prove him right in the long run. If they all grow into players, it will turn out, in retrospect, that he improved the D-line this season. But if he really believes this year's line was as good as last year's line, the collapse was all Bates' fault. Makes you wonder why the guy wasn't fired sooner.
Of course, moments after suggesting D.J. Williams was equivalent to five-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Al Wilson, Shanahan refused to commit to Williams playing middle linebacker again next year. So whether even he believes these things he says publicly is unclear.
With the personnel they had, the Broncos should have won 10 games this season, Shanahan said. That they didn't is his fault.
So what did he do wrong?
He wouldn't say. But it's his fault because he's in charge. In this way, he manages to take responsibility without being specifically accountable for anything.
If the defensive personnel were good, then the decision to hire Bates must have been a huge mistake, right? Well, no. He hired a good man; it just didn't work out.
When I cited the numbers from the 2003 and 2004 drafts - one of 20 draftees remains - Shanahan conceded they were bad drafts but said you have to look at a longer sweep of time.
"You can throw all those stats," he told me. "I can throw stats at you."
He can, too. When stats work to his advantage, he rattles them off like a politician with a 10-point plan. When they don't, they're useless.
If it hadn't been for those bad drafts, the Broncos would have been good enough to win 13 instead of 10, he said. Since they actually won seven, you should probably do all this arithmetic through the looking glass.
In fact, it's not just this team that should have won 10.
"I think you always have the personnel to win 10-plus games," he said.
So this is the bottom line. Shanahan believes he should always win at least 10, regardless of personnel. Call it confidence. Call it arrogance.
Call it the truth. In 13 years as Broncos head coach, he's won 130 regular-season games. That's 10 a year exactly.
As for the details? Not really anybody's business. If he conceded anything in the wake of his first losing season in eight years, it was maybe the draft is a little more important and free agency a little less important these days.
But everything is fine. You'll have to trust him on that.
|01-11-2008, 11:12 AM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jul 2002
What a lame article.
What's Shanahan supposed to say about the DL?
"Yeah, the guys sucked, the young guys only started because we had to cut the crappy starters and they sucked too!"
The most extreme reaction you'll get from a coach nowadays is "We have to execute better and I have to do a better job."
|01-11-2008, 11:25 AM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
|01-11-2008, 11:36 AM||#7|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Paige, Krieger, and Kisla all publish the same article on the same day.
There's a word for this: groupthink. And in the case of these particular journalists, probably nothink.
For all his dumb restaurant reviews, I miss Shefter. He seemed to have a mind of his own. The current crowd of clowns (with the exception of Legwold) follow two rules: write a negative articles after a loss (or a losing season), write a positive article after a win. It's utterly useless. We know the score and the records.
This BBS is far more informative and diverse, and none of us get paid.
|01-11-2008, 12:55 PM||#8|
My new dog
Join Date: Jan 2003
Thing is the reporters ask small questions and never fallow up ? Like wilson was the heart of this D and you don't see that with him you were top 10 in points given up ? Thing is I think you cannot give up what you are going to do but the press should make him sweat and they do not ! thing is the reporters ask small questions and never fallow up ? Like wilson was the heart of this D and you don't see that with him you were top 10 in points given up ? Thing is I think you cannot give up what you are going to do but the press should make him sweat and they do not ! ordinary questions beget ordinary answers . The guy is pissed because he was out smarted ....
Tell me this does bilacheat tell the world why he does what he does ?