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Misinformation and NFL coaches

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - On Tuesday, Washington head coach Mike Shanahan indicated that rookie running back Roy Helu was not ready to be the workhorse back for the Redskins.

He was quoted as saying, "I like Helu. He's doing some great things. I don't want to put too much pressure on him too early. He's not ready for that."

Five days later, Helu ran the ball 23 times for 107 yards and caught seven balls for 54 yards. Meanwhile, Evan Royster got one touch and Ryan Torain none.

It's just another case of Shanahan being less than truthful with fans, fantasy owners and the media. It's also not the first time.

Fantasy owners have for years regretted the day they drafted a Shanahan running back. For the Washington and former Denver Broncos coach, running backs are an interchangeable piece of equipment.

In his 14 years as a Denver head coach, he had eight different backs lead his team in rushing. Terrell Davis did it five times, Clinton Portis and Mike Anderson twice and one each for Olandis Gary, Reuben Droughns, Tatum Bell, Selvin Young and Peyton Hillis.

Now in his second year for the Redskins, he's already had five different starting tailbacks in 27 games.

Sure injuries have caused many of the changes, but his lack of forthright communication makes playing fantasy sports much more difficult...and less enjoyable.

I know in my case, if I have a choice between a Shanahan running back and an equally talented back on another team, I'll choose the other guy 100 percent of the time.

Unless the other guy plays for Bill Belichick.

If Shanahan is No.1 in misinformation, then Belichick is No.1A.

Belichick's technique seems a little less devious, less intentional misdirection, as he simply doesn't give out any important information at all.

During any given week, Belichick can, and has, featured a different back. In 2011, four backs (Danny Woodhead, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley, Kevin Faulk) have led the team in rushing and no single back has led the team three consecutive weeks.

And have you ever seen a New England Patriots injury report?

It appears Tom Brady's right shoulder has bothered him every Sunday since he took over starting duties from Drew Bledsoe in 2001. Yet except for missing the 2008 season after destroying his knee, Brady has never missed a game. Throwing out the final 15 games of 2008, Brady has started 154 games in a row.

Deion Branch and Wes Welker were on this week's report and together they racked up 14 catches, 240 yards receiving and two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. I'd hate to have to play them when they are healthy!

The bottom line is, there are 30 NFL head coaches who try their best to help you, the fantasy owner, to get the right lineup on the field and two that make life miserable.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


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