fun gus wrote:
Pudge, suppose his 'gut' was right, and he decided to 'ride and die' and RG3, and he pulls it out: what was going to happen next week? Cousins would have been playing anyways, becuase there is no way he gets off the Ga Dome turf on anything but a stretcher. So I dont get the 'risk/reward'. Well, I guess I do, because anything 'could' happen in the NFCCG, and you gotta get there. So I 'get it'. But the risk is maybe really messing up RG3's legs to the point that next season and subsequent seasons are screwed..
At least then, Shanahan would have a week to prep Mr. Cousins for the start, as opposed to throwing him into the fire midway through a game.
is making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs, and keeping that hope alive.
I honestly believe this is all hindsight clarity. Because if you were to put yourself in Shanahan's shoes at the time, I don't see how you can be that critical of his decision. Here's what Mike Shanahan's shoes feel like...
You're coming off a 5-11 season. Not because Rex Grossman is terrible. Rex Grossman was largely average in 2011, you were 5-11 because of the overall talent level of your team.
You get this dynamic and magnetic athlete by the name of RG3. When Cam Newton spoke of becoming an entertainer and an icon, he was actually talking about RG3. You've literally been an irrelevant team for 20 whole years and now the entire city/region is energize by this kid.
You lose your best defensive player (Brian Orakpo) in the season opener, and frankly besides RG3, he's your best overall player.
You're sitting at 3-6 record. You get caught slipping by the media because you basically said the season was over. You said that because you know there hasn't been a team that made the playoffs at 3-6 in 16 years. In fact, a team that was 3-6 at one point in the year has made the playoffs only 4 or 5 times in history since the merger.
And then RG3 comes strolling into your office the next day and says, "Coach, I got this."
And you're thinking to yourself, "Ok, maybe we'll finish strong, maybe get to .500 and give us a positive note to build off in 2013."
And guess what happens, over the final 7 games, he basically becomes the best QB in the league. He leads the league over the final 7 games with a 119.4 passer rating. Him and Alfred Morris (2nd only to Peterson in that span with 820 rushing yards) basically carry your team into the playoffs.
RG3 hurts his knee 3 weeks before the end of the season. He misses 1 game, which your backup Kirk Cousins helps you win against Cleveland. Then with 2 must wins, RG3 guts through the injury and helps you win the games.
So now you're in the playoffs because mainly this guy. He's got a brand new knee brace, he's healthy enough to practice as the doctors say. And he starts hot, building a 14-0 lead.
He struggles a bit in the 2nd quarter, but you were more concerned about the defense not getting off the field, as you were only able to run a dozen offensive plays that quarter. You figure, we'll check him out at halftime and we'll get it going back in the 3rd quarter.
He again struggles, misses some throws. But your defense is getting stops, so you still are holding onto your lead. And you're thinking, I just need 1 more scoring drive, and I might be able to put this thing away. I don't need him to be the guy, I just need him to convert some 3rd downs. And you think about that moment 2 months ago when he said, "Coach, I got this."
4th quarter begins, and another no dice series, and then Seattle scores. They're up 21-14 with 7 minutes left. You're thinking, "I need 1 good drive, tie this thing up, maybe go into OT, who knows, but I just need one good drive."
You haven't seen RG3 throw a good pass in 38 minutes. That might/should be enough to pull the plug. But then again, you think about that moment in your office from 2 months ago, "Coach, I got this."
And so you say, "Hell, he defied 16 years of odds. I can give him 7 minutes."
But a minute later, the knee gives. And your season is over. Kirk comes in, and doesn't do squadoosh, which should answer any questions about how he could have won the game for you.
And then all you hear for the next 48 hours is, "Mike, why didn't you pull RG3?" "Mike, did you think about pulling RG3 in the 2nd quarter after the interception?" "Coach, what about the 3rd?" Blah blah f**** blah.
And you're Mike Shanahan, and you're thinking, "Seriously guys? Would you ask me to pull John Elway for Gary Kubiak? Are you f**** kidding me? In the 2nd quarter? You're saying, I should have pulled him after 2 bad series?! Who has ever pulled their starting franchise QB in the 3rd quarter of a contested game that they were winning? What is this precedent that people are saying I should've been aware of that suggests that what I did was the wrong
thing? The precedent that I do know is winning football games. And I believed that RG3 gave me the best shot to do so. You are free to disagree with me, but the bling on my two
hands is telling me that your opinion is dogshit."
That's of course what he's thinking, but he winds up saying: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... eep-going/