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Kyle Shanahan emerges as a full-blown control freak

Donovan McNabb, Kyle Shanahan

Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, right, stands with quarterback Donovan McNabb at the NFL football team’s training camp at Redskins Park, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


In the NFL, where the “N” often stands for “nepotism,” characteristics like, say, being a hard-headed, full-blowb control freak often skip a generation.

That’s not the case for the Shanahans, where the son is emerging to be as rampantly obsessive-compulsive as the father. If not more.

Lurking at the bottom of a Dan Steinberg summary of quarterback Rex Grossman’s recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio is further proof that Kyle Shanahan has developed into football’s answer to Veruca Salt.

“During the course of a regular game, Kyle Shanahan wants you to run the offense exactly how he wants it, down to the amount of hitches you take to go through your progressions,” Grossman told Zig Fracassi and Solomon Wilcots, per Steinberg. “And if you really study that and rep that in practice, then it becomes a lot easier during the game. You’re not thinking as much as your body just goes through the progressions. That’s some of the things that’s really helped me start the second half of my career, and I feel like I’m a much better quarterback because of that.”

Think about that one. Kyle Shanahan wants the quarterback “to run the offense exactly how he wants it, down to the amount of hitches you take to go through your progressions.”

In the 1970s, the media and the fans bemoaned the trend away from quarterbacks calling their own plays, not just as audibles but in the huddle. The younger Shanahan’s attitude confirms that the trend away from quarterback decision-making has resulted in today’s OCD coaches want their signal-callers to receive signals and follow orders like robots, both before and during the play.

If nothing else, it’s now clear why the Donovan McNabb experiment didn’t work. And it’s amazing that the Shanahans ever thought that it would. An established, franchise quarterback will be the last player to ever allow himself to be grossly micromanaged by a silver-spoon assistant coach three years younger than the established, franchise quarterback.