Mark Schlereth: Mike Shanahan Is a Control Freak
An NFL coach needs to be in control at all times, especially in this day and age. There are dozens of assistant coaches, offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, and positional specialists, but it’s always important to have someone sitting at the top of the food chain. But how much control is too much? According to Mark Schlereth, look no further than Mike Shanahan and you’ll find the answer.
Schlereth shared his thoughts about the coach he played six seasons and won two Super Bowls under on Mike and Mike in the Morning on Friday, via Pro Football Talk. “I would say the one criticism I have is a lot of times he’s such a control freak that he doesn’t allow his coaches to coach,” Schlereth said. “I think that’s an issue. You have to have a system of checks and balances where you can argue, you can fight and you can say, ‘We’re not going to do it that way.’ I don’t know that he still has that in the place that he is now, or at the end of his tenure in Denver.”
There is certainly evidence to support Schlereth’s claim. We all know Albert Haynesworth is a piece of work, but Shanahan has done things like bench the defensive tackle for being a minute late to practice and give up on Donovan McNabb in the fourth quarter of a close game — moves that probably haven’t helped improve team chemistry for the Redskins. Changing quarterbacks in a close game can’t exactly make life easier on the offensive coordinator, but that’s okay because Washington’s OC is Shanahan’s son.
Shanahan is obviously a coach that’s capable of winning championships. He’s done it multiple times in the past. The problem is the game is changing. Having to deal with prima donnas has become a part of life in the NFL, and if you don’t turn to your assistants to help with off-the-field and on-the-field issues you risk falling behind. Even Bill Belichick has had to face that harsh reality. The quicker Shanahan learns to trust his assistants and ask for a little help, the quicker the Redskins have a shot at turning things around.