Posts Tagged ‘russell okung’

The Shanahan experiment: how will this one be different.

January 6, 2010
Shanahan will make Snyder give up the blanket. "No more GM for you"

I know you’ve heard about it. Yeah, Danny Snyder hired Mike Shanahan to restore the Redskins franchise to glory. As you may or may not know, I am a Skins fan that has suffered through the ineptitude that is Snyder’s ownership and pray for the day that maybe we can win nine games. Yes, as of right now, I feel that winning nine games could be seen as successful.

Shanahan has signed and will be announced as the head coach during a press conference in Ashburn at 2 pm today.

I’m exhausted. The only thing I can hear are the final murmurs of the short-lived Zorn era and the screams of other Redskins fans and the media about becoming the Super Bowl champs. The only champions Snyder has been able to produce are those of the offseason.

So where does the organization go from here? Shanahan has been known as a control freak, a personality that seems like it would clash with that of Snyder, but just as he did during Joe Gibbs second stint in DC, Snyder will most likely be taking a more hands-off approach. This is the first step in the supposed “return to glory” and it’s a big one. Shanahan also becomes executive vice president of football operations, the position formerly held by Vinny Cerrato.

In terms of personnel, Shanahan has a good opportunity to build the type of team he wants because of Snyder’s will to win games. Snyder should cede nearly all personnel decisions to Shanahan and new GM Bruce Allen is more of a salary cap guy so that should not be a problem.

Since the Redskins have often been known as the offseason champs by simply reloading every season, how will Shanahan reorganize the team? There are changes that need to be made and I do believe they will be swift. I expect the defense to stay largely intact (except for a change or two in the secondary), but in terms of the offense, nothing is a sure thing. Here are some of the major problems and the things I expect Shanahan to do:
1.Jason Campbell He has been on the hot seat since he was promoted to starter in 2006. Most people think he will be gone, I do not. Shanahan will recognize the major problems on the offensive line and at the wide receiver position and understand that Campbell really isn’t that bad of a quarterback. He’s not great, merely average statistically ranking between 13 and 16 in most major offensive categories. Drafting Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen would be far too risky.
2. Offensive Line This is what killed the team all year. Weak players protecting the quarterback was the major problem with the offense. There is NO WAY you can argue with me on that being the biggest problem in terms of personnel. Campbell was never given time and no running back could get through the gaps because the gaps didn’t even exist.

What I expect Shanahan to do: draft Russell Okung out of Oklahoma State. He was the best offensive lineman in the country this past season and I expect him to carry over his talent to the league. Why do you think Shanahan had so many running backs coming out of nowhere and rushing for well over 1,000 yards? He knew how to assemble a solid offensive line.

3. Chris Cooley or Fred Davis Chris Cooley is one of my favorite players in the league and it killed me to see him go down early in the season. He’s a pro-bowler that missed his first games of his career this season. But when he went down, we got a chance to see Fred Davis step up and he definitely impressed a lot of people. There’s no reason to keep two tight ends and switching them in and out would be too much of a hassle for the offense. Veteran Todd Yoder has also shown his worth at tight end and fullback in a backup role so honestly, I could see Cooley or Davis hitting the road this offseason. I’d say it’s more likely Davis draws the short straw and hopefully gets traded for a draft pick. That’s in an ideal world and considering Snyder’s history, I don’t know if it will happen.

4. Wide reciever I don’t know what it is with this franchise’s obsession with short receivers, but our number one and number two receivers can’t stand below six feet. I really don’t want to sound like an idiot, but Brandon Marshall (Shanny drafted) isn’t too happy out in Denver and maybe the team could push through another blockbuster with the Mile High franchise to nap him. Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas have shown flashes of brilliance but I don’t know how that holds up next season.

As for how the team will fare next year, I don’t know. I’m not going to go through the schedule and start marking off wins and losses because that would be ridiculous (although I’m sure many people have done it already). I want to see the changes to the organization and how Snyder will change. I’m excited to see the interaction between Shanahan and Allen because their job duties do not overlap. Shanahan is the control guy while Allen is the salary cap guy.

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Breakdown: All-Big 12 Team.

December 1, 2009

The regular season is over and the Big 12 conference championship between Texas (12-0) and Nebraska (9-3) is on Saturday. You know what that means?

All-Big 12 team announcements. YAY!

Ndamukong Suh and Colt McCoy were the only unamimous selections to the first team. Here’s the list with comments:

Coach of the Year: Mack Brown, Texas
I think this was a good call and although there had been a lot of talk about giving the award to Bill Snyder at Kansas State or Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State, this made more sense. Yes, I know Texas was picked as one of the big three teams to go to the National Championship and it would have been too easy to pick him, but the man went undefeated. Never stumbled, never let his team get outplayed and with a win on Saturday, he will lead his team to the Rose Bowl as the last game in January. Bill Snyder did not make a bowl game and Mike Gundy couldn’t quite live up to expectations for the second year in a row.


Offensive Lineman of the Year: Russell Okung, Oklahoma State

Defensive Lineman of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
I had a chance to see Suh play on a rainy Thursday at Missouri and I must say: this guy is the real deal. Definitely a top 5 pick with incredible awareness and speed.

Offensive Freshman of the Year: Christine Michael, Texas A&M

Defensive Freshman of the Year: Aldon Smith, Missouri
Freak of nature. That is all.

Special Teams Player of the Year: Brandon Banks, Kansas State
Was one of the main reasons the Wildcats were able to get to six wins (although played two FCS teams and not bowl eligible). Hit gaps on returns and gave K-State favorable field position regularly. Four touchdowns and 1127 kickoff return yards.

Defensive Newcomer of the Year: David Sims, Iowa State

Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Daniel Thomas, Kansas State

Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
See above. Amazing player.

Offensive Player of the Year: Colt McCoy, Texas
3328 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Didn’t run as much (368 yards) but also didn’t need to. This was a no-brainier.

OFFENSE:
QB: Colt McCoy, Texas
RB: Daniel Thomas, Kansas State
RB: Keith Toston, Oklahoma State
FB: Bryant Ward, Oklahoma State
WR: Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas
WR: Jordan Shipley, Texas
WR: Danario Alexander, Missouri
TE: Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State
OL: Russell Okung, Oklahoma State
OL: Trent Williams, Oklahoma
OL: Nick Stringer, Kansas State
OL: Brandon Carter, Texas Tech
OL: Nate Solder, Colorado
K: Grant Ressel, Missouri
KR/PR: Brandon Banks, Kansas State

DEFENSE
DL: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
DL: Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
DL: Von Miller, Texas A&M
DL: Brandon Sharpe, Texas Tech
DL: Jared Crick, Nebraska
LB: Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
LB: Jesse Smith, Iowa State
LB: Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
DB: Earl Thomas, Texas
DB: Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State
DB: Larry Asante, Nebraska
DB: Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
P: Derek Epperson, Baylor