Kyle Shanahan on Pursuing Peyton Manning: “If he can recover and the doctors say he’s healthy, then that’s enough for me.”January 30, 2012 – 6:15 am by Steven Cuce
No job is safe on offense according to the words of Kyle Shanahan. The Washington Redskins offensive coordinator is very candid in the following interview about his evaluation of Rex Grossman last season. There were some positives, but Grossman’s inconsistency has prompted Shanahan from pursuing other players at the quarterback position in the draft or free agency.
Time to put some quarters into the speculation machine when it comes to the most sought after name in free agency: Peyton Manning. Manning, who is owed a $28 million bonus March 8th, may be on his way out of Indianapolis while recovering from neck surgery, and he could be a perfect fit for the Redskins’ woes at the quarterback position. Shanahan wasn’t ruling out this possibility if No.18 is healthy this March.
Kyle Shanahan joined ESPN 980 in DC with The Sports Fix to discuss whether the Washington Redskins have found their quarterback yet, if he’s confident with Rex Grossman as his starting quarterback, pursuing Peyton Manning if he is healthy, and how confident he is that Peyton Manning will be healthy enough to play effectively in 2012.
Have you found a quarterback yet?
“We’re still looking. There’s a few guys down here and we got some good players, but I am definitely not going to be quick to judge because we got a four month evaluation process that’s going that really just started on Monday.”
Do you still have the same level of confidence with Rex Grossman as you did a year ago?
“Yeah. Definitely. I pretty much feel the same way about Rex now as I did a year ago. I know Rex needs to get better. Everybody wants a franchise quarterback… unfortunately there’s only about 10 of them on the planet. So people make a lot of mistakes trying to trade their draft away or pay a lot of money to people who really aren’t that. You have to be able to evaluate, you have to make sure you get the best guy possible. Everybody wants one of those 10 guys, but you don’t just go get one of those guys when they’re not available. Rex to me he did so some good things this year. He helped us move the ball. We lost 7 starters of 11 on offense. Despite that he was still able to move the ball up and down the field. Rex, had way too many turnovers. Kept both teams in the game. He gave them a chance to win games, but he also gave them too many plays too. That’s a very tough combination to win with. When you look at our team Rex can be better. That starts with being smarter with the ball. The one thing I give Rex credit he’s not…he gave us a chance to win games. We do need to get better at that position. He needs to play better and until you can get a better guy, you have to also get better guys around him where you don’t have to feel like Rex needs to make all the plays to get us to win. One stat that shows that the most for me is every touchdown pass we had this entire year was caught in the end zone. Our first time we ever had threw a ball that someone caught outside of the end zone and ran it across the goal line was until Week 16 against Philly. When you have a situation like that you gotta have some guys that can make plays on their own and turn a shallow pass into a big play and score some points. When we took Rex out those three games we stopped moving the ball. We stopped making plays. I know Rex has got to do a lot better. He can’t turn over the ball like that if he wants a chance to win. You also have to give Rex some credit. He was the best playmaker we had on the field.”
If Peyton Manning were available, what would a team have to know for sure before signing him?
“Just make sure he’s healthy. Everybody knows Peyton Manning is, if not the best quarterback to ever play the game, he’s tied for it. So Peyton is as good as it gets. Everyone knows that. The Colts know that. I think the question on Peyton is the matter of his health. You got a guy like that who is so driven, so passionate about football. He truly enjoys it. The way he plays. I know he’s up there in age, but if he’s healthy, age is not an issue.That guy takes care of his body..his arm’s not leaving. He can take the hits. You just hope his neck’s alright, and then he’ll be Peyton Manning.”
How are you sure of the health thing for Peyton Manning?
“I don’t know. That’s a good question? I definitely didn’t study that stuff in college, so no one is asking me about his health. Hopefully the doctors can pass him. A guy like Peyton…the doctors say he’s healthy, and then he’s healthy cause that guy I know he played through a lot of that pain for years and then it just got unbearable and he got the surgery and it takes some time to recover. But if he can recover and the doctors say he’s healthy and he says he’s healthy, then that’s enough for me.”