By Matt Bush
The Washington Redskins formally introduced Mike Shanahan as head football coach Wednesday. Shanahan has a strong pedigree, but high-profile hires at head coach are nothing new for the Redskins, a team that's given fans little to cheer about in recent years.
Mike Shanahan steps into the job with two Super Bowl rings on his fingers--rings earned in back to back years with the Denver Broncos.
In Washington he faces a new challenge: getting a franchise believed broken by most fans, and without such proven greatness at quarterback, back to former glory.
"I cant tell you how long its gonna take, but I can tell you one thing--we'll get better every day, and hopefully it won't be long before we get back to where this organization has been," says Shanahan.
Shanahan brings a reputation as an offensive guru. Skeptics rightly point out that his success, however, dropped off considerably after Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway retired, and some of his defensive squads at Denver were downright porous.
Redskins Hall-of-Fame Linebacker Sam Huff, who broadcasts Redskins games, says there's no guarantee Shanahan's success in the AFC west with Denver will translate in the tougher NFC East.
"You play the Giants twice, you play the Eagles twice, you play Dallas twice," says Huff. "That's tough competition."
Shanahan will also hold the title of executive vice president, giving him final say on football decisions.
Perhaps as significant was the absence of owner Daniel Snyder at the podium for today's announcement. He's often been accused of meddling in the team's football operations.