Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Zorn Era Ends, Shanahan Era to Begin

Well, it should be official today. Or, as rumor has it, if Buges announces his retirement today, then it should be official tomorrow. That would be the classy thing to do, so as not to overshadow someone who has been with this team for so long and has meant so much to it. So, they'll probably announce Shanny today. It will be interesting to see what he does, once he gets here. The scuttlebutt is that he's cleaning house in the coaching staff. Not shocking. I think we could stand some new blood with the assistants. Supposedly, he's bringing his son in as Offensive Coordinator, and Mike Zimmer from Cincinnati as Defensive Coordinator. Not bad. Cincy's got the 6th overall defense in the league. And.... really? The Texans (where little Shanny currently is OC) is the top passing offense? And 10th overall offense? Wow. Ok. Anyway, given our dismal record, and the flashes of talent we showed, I think a shake-up may do some good.

The real interesting part will be seeing what Shanahan does with personnel. GM Bruce Allen said in his press conference yesterday that the new coach (he refused to name him yet) would start off with the players here, implying that wholesale change is not in the cards. This could be good news, or this could be disaster. Word is that Shanahan likes to draft young QBs and mold them to his system. This could be a fiasco if he tries to do that here, at least right away. It seems glaringly obvious to me (and to 95% of the announcers and analysts on TV & the Internet) that our top priority needs to be the O-line. If that isn't addressed this offseason, it won't matter if we put Peyton Manning in at QB. Well, maybe not Peyton, but nearly anyone else. I've made my case for Campbell here previously, and my opinion hasn't changed. He was running for his life nearly all season and still managed to throw for over 3,500 yards, 20 TDs and only 15 INTs. If you look at what he has done when he got protection, you can see he's thisclose to taking his game to the next level. I say give JC the protection he needs and keep him around. If coach wants to mold a young QB, draft one in a few years and begin the process. If Shanahan comes in and addresses the line, I will be hopeful. If he comes in and tries to draft Bradford or Claussen, then my suspicion would be that Snyder's still pulling the strings and we're in for another tough year.

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