February 10, 2010

Sources 'R Us: Shanahan Eager to Draft QB

The (Quasi) Daily Redskin 2.10.10

With apologies to my friends from places like Montana ...

Damn that's a lot of snow.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

According to Redskins Insider, the ubiquitous, all-knowing "league sources" are back and sharing that "[New Redskins Head Coach Mike] Shanahan is eager to draft and develop a young quarterback."

The Insider goes on to mention, separating the two thoughts with a comma, that "former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has been linked to the Redskins in most mock drafts."

If one accepts those casually joined statements at face value, he might walk away thinking chances are pretty good the Redskins will be drafting a quarterback with the 4th overall pick in April's Draft.

If, however, one is a little more skeptical of either anonymous sources, casual inferences or both, he might be motivated to look at least a little deeper.
For instance ... the following is adapted from an earlier BGO thread on The Shanahan QB's:

(Tip of the cap again to Nighthawk at ES)

With all the talk about whether or not Jason Campbell will be here next year and whether or not we'll draft a QB with our 1st pick, I decided to take a look at Shanahan's coaching career and the QB's he's had and how the were obtained.

1988 Shanahan is hired to be the Raiders HC. The Raiders trade for Jay Schroeder (3-5) and draft Steve Beuerlin (4-4), 4th round. (A veteran starter and a rookie backup)

1989 Shanahan is fired 5 games into the season. Schroeder (4-5) and Beuerlin (4-3) split the season.

After stints in Denver and San Francisco, Shanahan is hired as HC of the Broncos.

1995 Shanahan inherits John Elway (8-8). He brings Bill Musgrave with him from San Francisco. (veteran starter, young backup)

1996 John Elway (13-2), Bill Musgrave (0-1) and the Broncos draft Jeff Lewis, 4th round out of Northern Arizona. He lasts 2 seasons in Denver. (Denver loses to Jacksonville in playoffs)

1997 John Elway (12-4), FA Bubby Brister, Jeff Lewis (Denver wins Superbowl) (veteran starter, veteran back-up, young back-up)

1998 John Elway (10-2), Bubby Brister (4-0), and the Broncos draft Brian Griese, 3rd round, Michigan. (Denver wins Superbowl) (veteran starter, veteran back-up, rookie)

1999 Brian Griese (4-9), FA Chris Miller (2-1), Bubby Brister

2000 Brian Griese (7-3), FA Gus Frerotte (4-2), and the Broncos draft Jarious Jackson, 7th round out of Notre Dame. He lasts 4 seasons. (Denver loses to Baltimore in wildcard playoff game.)

2001 Brian Griese (8-7), Gus Frerotte (0-1), Jarious Jackson

2002 Brian Griese (8-5), FA Steve Beuerlin (1-2), Jarious Jackson

2003 FA Jake Plummer (9-2), Steve Beuerlin (1-1), FA Danny Kanell (0-2), Jarious Jackson (0-1) (Denver loses to Indianapolis in wildcard playoff game.)

2004 Jake Plummer (10-6), Danny Kanell Denver drafts Matt Mauck, 7th round, LSU and Bradlee Van Pelt, 7th round Colorado State(Denver loses to Indianapolis in wildcard playoff game.)

2005 Jake Plummer (13-3), Bradlee Van Pelt (Denver loses to Pittsburgh in Conference Championship.)

2006 Jake Plummer (7-4), Denver drafts Jay Cutler (2-3), 1st round, Vanderbilt.

2007 Jay Cutler (7-9), FA Patrick Ramsey

2008 Jay Cutler (8-8), Patrick Ramsey

Assuming the research is right, Shanahan has drafted seven quarterbacks in 16 drafts:

Steve Beuerlein (4th), Jeff Lewis (4th), Brian Griese (3rd), Jarious Jackson (7th), Matt Mauck (7th), Brad Van Pelt (7th), Jay Cutler (1st)

Until taking Cutler in Round 1 of 2006, he hadn't taken one higher than the 3rd round (Griese). Future Hall of Famer John Elway was gone by 1999, so between then and 2006, Shanahan elected go into camp with the likes of Griese and Plummer as incumbent starters, with later-round draft picks or other established league veterans backing them up, over drafting a quarterback high in the 1st round to develop.

Now that doesn't necessarily mean the anonymous source is wrong this time. Maybe Shanahan's "thinking" is different now and he has recently shared that thinking with said inside source. I mean, it's possible the man has not only made up his mind about the first pick here in early February, but also decided to mumble something about that decision to someone likely to run to the nearest cell phone to share it with local beat reporters.  Stuff happens, right?

I can't help but marvel though, as I often do, at how easy it is for anonymous sources to say something that has little or no basis in history ... and how said utterances are accorded gravitas and take on a life of their own.

Such is the beauty of anonymity.  And a news-starved audience.

Gotta love the offseason.

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