Despite the extreme team nature of football, I don't think there is anyone who disagrees that the Redskins' long term fortunes will be largely dictated by whether or not Robert Griffin III plays up to his potential. There are three big factors working in Griffin's favor:
- Further recovery, both physical and mental, from the injury.
- A full offseason of work (do not underestimate how much a young quarterback can be inhibited by spending his second offseason in the league rehabbing rather than learning his craft).
- Having a better roster put around him due to the expiration of the league's ludicrous salary cap penalty and, after one more year, a return to having first round draft picks to play with.
Those are three sound reasons for optimism. The one thing I would not want to do is throw a new variable into the mix, like a coaching overhaul. Don't you think this kid - and he is a kid, despite last year's silly messiah treatment - has enough going through his head already?
Also, this is not the Steve Spurrier era, where it didn't even resemble a professional organization out there. Nor is it the Jim Zorn situation, where a guy was thrown in over his head and constantly undermined by management. This is an accomplished, respected NFL coach who is currently not getting the results he wants.
If Shanahan is fired, who is the replacement? Remember that Dan Snyder still owns this team and we have a pretty good track record on the guy. Only a coach of the stature of Joe Gibbs or Shanahan can stave off the owner's office from involving itself in football decisions and generally undercutting the coach at every turn. That of course limits the options. What reason do we have to assume that, I dunno, let's say Bill Cowher, has a better chance of improving this team than Mike Shanahan?
In my opinion, a disruption of continuity after this season has much better odds of neutralizing this team's bright spots than of sparking a recovery.