There’s little sympathy for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan today, but it can’t be easy having his job in the last week of the preseason. This is when tightening the roster forces decisions such as cutting beloved veteran Chris Cooley. He’s been a fan favorite because of his game but also his involvement in the community (and it didn’t hurt that he vocally hated the Dallas Cowboys). Kicker Graham Gano also got let go, but that didn’t prompt the fan wails that greeted the Cooley release.
Of course, Shanny’s decision might be forgiven if he’s shaping a team that shows some fierce resolve in the regular season, starting with a trouncing of the Saints on September 9. Tonight the Redskins have their last preseason game, at FedEx Field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Alas, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III will not be playing, but the team’s other rookie QB, Kirk Cousins, will be and, hopefully, showing some of the same pluck he did against the Colts. It’s still to be decided whether Cousins or veteran Rex Grossman, who had a good game last week, will be the official backup to RG3.
But back to Cooley, who has been topic A among the sports chattering class today; the news of his departure even scored the front page of the Washington Post. We took to Twitter to capture a selection of comments, and noticed a trend toward nominating Cooley for practically every team in the NFL. Of course, like so many, we hope he gets picked up soon and comes back to visit often. Future touchdowns on Redskins turf is one way to say, “Thank you, Coach Shanahan.”