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Green: Maybe Shanahans Are Laying Foundation ‘We Can’t See’

by Chris Lingebach
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Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins (credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins (credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Hall of Famer Darrell Green went into great detail – in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny – when describing how Dan Snyder’s history as the Redskins’ owner plays a part in how the organization came to be where it is today.

Green chronicled his own time as a Redskin, along with Snyder’s evolution as an owner, in trying to make the larger point that perhaps things are finally heading in the right direction organizationally, despite the team’s current 3-7 record.

As he pointed out, the beginnings of that evolution included signing big names, like Deion Sanders, because Snyder’s marketing background made him more inclined to do so.

“He brought in Deion. We didn’t need Deion,” Green said on Thursday. “And so, it was Deion, Darrell Green, it was Bruce Smith, it was all this, we had Jeff George,  it was just kind of a circus of excitement, and then the team started growing, money, so forth.”

“And then something shifts,” he explained. “He decided, ‘Okay, now I want to win. I got to get Joe Gibbs in here. I got to get these veteran coaches in here. Let’s try to build this thing.’”

Green was surprisingly sharp, but accurate, in describing Joe Gibbs’ second run in Washington, which stood out in his detailed timeline.

“And so now, Joe Gibbs, he did a little bit, then he left, then this guy comes in, and he’s a veteran guy,” Green said, omitting the Zorn era, as many Redskins fans often do.

“And to this time, you would have to give him credit,” Green said on 106.7 The Fan. “I’d give Dan Snyder credit to say, okay, yea, Joe Gibbs, he was reaching for the best, and Joe, maybe Joe was past his time, kind of how the new world of athletes and I think that was a big issue with Joe, just interacting with this new generation, because we had great respect for one another back then.”

“And so, they’re doing it different,” Green said of players today. “And here comes this coach in Shanahan, and he’s got his son, and they’re trying to do this thing.”

Green emphasized that we don’t yet know whether the Shanahan regime is working in Washington or not, pointing to the division championship in 2012, before balancing it with “this year is not good.”

“So again, maybe there’s more foundation being laid than we realize,” Green said. “Because even as you’re building the foundation – and you started off the question about ‘winning, is winning everything?’ – well, I know winning is everything, but, when you’re building a foundation, maybe there’s something that we can’t see. You can’t see the foundation of a house, you gotta go down in the basement, you gotta dig down there and see. Maybe they know that they’re building a foundation that is going to give them a chance to stand for a long time, organizationally and personnel-wise. So I don’t really know. I’m not sure.”

“We only judge the house from the outside,” he’d say. “We’re just looking at it, and it either looks good or it looks bad, and right now it doesn’t look good.”

“This coach should know how to build a foundation, unless when he went to Denver, the foundation was already so so laid, he just rolled on right with that,” Green added. “Maybe this is his first time really building from the ground up.”

“That’s a terrific point,” Holden said. “And of course, maybe he had to build up again from Elway and never got back to where he was.”

Earlier in the interview, Green did say though, that it’s fair to judge a head coach on his record. Mike Shanahan is 24-34 through 58 games in Washington.

“Unless you’re on Mars,” Green said. “Everything in this country is about winning. It’s about ‘What have you done for me lately?’ It’s about the bottom line. Yea, absolutely, and he knows it, you know it, and they’re going to judge you by it as well, everybody. Now, whether that’s right or wrong, but absolutely.”

Green also talked about how RGIII’s doing a better job of acting like a human being, which makes him more endearing to media and fans.

To appreciate the full context though, you’ll really have to listen to the interview below.

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