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Thursday, October 22, 2009

It Could Be Worse...Or Could It?

The Washington Redskins have been my favorite NFL team since I was born (well, at least since I became aware of football). When I was little, my parents would dress me in t-shirts with slogans like "My two favorite teams are the Washington Redskins and whoever is playing Dallas" and I still have a "Dallas Sucks" button from 25+ years ago. I still absolutely despise the Cowboys, but after spending four years in the Philadelphia area for college and living in New York City for the past 12 years, my hatred for the Eagles and New York Giants has increased tenfold. Honestly, I hate the Giants more than the Cowboys at this point in my life. It is a nightmare being surrounded by Giants fans at all times especially since the Giants are such a damn good football team right now.

Anyway, anyone who follows the NFL knows that the Redskins are an absolute disaster and continue to make life miserable for their long suffering fans. The Jason Campbell experiment has proved to be a total disaster, Clinton Portis is way past his prime, the defense is in shambles since letting defensive coordinator Greg Williams go (and the sting is made even worse by the excellent job he is doing with the Saints right now) and the cherry on top of the sundae is that even the kicker sucks. As with all NFL teams, the head coach receives the blame, so this week the Redskins management took Jim Zorn's play calling duties away. I just read this article on ESPN that discusses their new play calling strategy. As far as I can surmise, he is still going to be standing on the sideline with a headset looking like a head coach, but "offensive consultant" Sherm Lewis will be relaying the offensive play calls to Campbell from the coach's box. What? How does that solve any of the current offensive woes? The best part is that Sherm Lewis is two weeks out of retirement and was most recently, in his words, calling Bingo games at a senior center. Oy f'ing vey. The reasoning behind this is completely befuddling. The only thing that makes sense is that management is trying to shame Zorn into quitting and defaulting on his contract.

The real problem with this team is the owner Dan Snyder. Since he acquired the team from the Cooke family, it has been a dramatic and painful downhill slide for this storied team. He thinks money solves everything and brings in big name players that are way past their prime and contribute nothing new or inspiring to the team. And look what he has done with head coaches. Steve Spurrier? The "Fun 'n' Gun" was a total disaster and the guy bailed on his contract early. And it was the most lucrative coaching contract in the history of the NFL at the time by the way. How bad must things have been for a guy to walk away from that much money? Joe Gibbs? All Redskins fans love Joe Gibbs, but he had been out the NFL way too long. The players and the game had changed dramatically since his time there. At least he got the team to the playoffs though. And poor Jim Zorn. He's a goner somehow some way next season for sure. And quite frankly, it was way too early for this guy to be a head coach...he hadn't even been a coordinator yet! And now what? Who in their right mind would want this job? Jon Gruden? He isn't going to turn this team around.

The concept of getting a bunch of young guys in, letting them develop and slowly building a championship team is completely lost on Snyder. All he has to do is look at division rival the NY Giants to see a team with a plan that worked and continues to work.

I don't know if or how an owner can be ousted, but that is the only solution for saving the Redskins.

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