This isn’t just about a quarterback.
It’d be easier if you could point to Robert Griffin III and say “he sucks! If he didn’t suck, we’d be winning!”. That seems to be the larger sentiment from the fan base at the moment. If only Robert played well, we’d be winning.
This is, of course, BS. The Washington Redskins aren’t good enough to win. No amount of RGIII playing better will fix that team.
Last week, I quit watching the Redskins. I didn’t watch (much) film. I’d had it. At some point while the Redskins were losing to the Minnesota Vikings, with Jim Haslett’s defense getting shredded by one of the terrible offense in the NFL. That day, Griffin played good, not great. But the Redskins did have four scoring drives in the second half, and it might’ve been his cleanest game since 2012.
And yet the defense still gave up two 80 yard drives. Haslett was thoroughly out coached, though that’s nothing new. Haslett has been around for an inexplicable 5 seasons.
And at that point, I had an epiphany.
Dan Snyder will spend millions of dollars to defend a name that is a dictionary defined slur. He will spend millions for photo ops with disgraced leaders of Native American tribes, hire people who helped dictators and who misappropriated government funds. He’ll fly around the country and listen to and in turn ignore Natives telling him they find the name offensive.
He will spend millions to defend the Redskins “brand”…
And yet he retained Jim Haslett, to save money after Mike Shanahan’s firing. He more or less forced him on a first year head coach. Bruce Allen spun PR gold convincing the world Haslett would finally be let loose and be able to call the defense his way. And yet somehow, he may actually have gotten worse.
Dan Snyder will spend millions defending the brand name “Washington Redskins”, but he won’t take a loss to fire a coach who has one year left on his deal.
The Washington Redskins are a marketing company disguised as a pro football franchise. They’ve exploited the absurd amount of loyalty that fans of the team have to become the second most valuable franchise in football, but they’ve made none of the moves necessary to become a consistent, winning football team.
It’s easy to say that putting in Colt McCoy would solve all the problems. It’s too easy. It’s an easy fix for a team who always tries to take the easy way out. Here’s the truth, and Redskins fans continue to be in denial about it; this team failed Robert Griffin III. It failed the fans in Washington. Dan Snyder doesn’t deserve your loyalty.
I quit. I turn in my fan card. At least for the foreseeable future. I’m not wasting my Sunday’s in this team anymore, nor my hard earned money.
Snyder has often been called the ultimate fan. I think that’s bull. I think Snyder sees a money maker. And when you profit off people’s misery, regardless of the product you put on the field, why improve the on field product?
Why should Dan Snyder hire a true team architect, with a background and philosophy geared to building with personnel, when he can fire Vinny Cerrato, and hire Bruce Allen, who had even less experience than Cerrato did in personnel?
Allen is the perfect team president; he’s a master politician, a good PR guy. He’s great at reconnecting with the alumni, rallying fans, and reminding everyone of when the Redskins weren’t totally bad. But he’s not a general manager. He can’t wear both hats.
Under Allen, someone in the front office thought that Andre Roberts could be a number two receiver, despite being supplanted as a number three in Arizona. Someone looked at the Redskins offensive line –maligned for years as terrible — and decided to keep nearly everyone. They kept mediocre starters Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus. And then, they added someone even worse in Shaun Lauvao.
Both Chester and Lauvao are paid lower tier starter money. Chester was a back-up guard in Baltimore before Bruce Allen gave him a 5 year, 20 million dollar contract. Lauvao was paid 17 million over four years. Neither one are capable starters.
The Redskins gave out contracts totalling 91.5 million dollars to the defensive line group of Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, and Jason Hatcher. Bowen was a middle of the road, back up defensive end. Cofield was a marginal run stuffer from a 4-3 defense. Hatcher was a marginal player at best until last year when he had 11 sacks at age 31.
All of them found their stride in 1-gap systems. All have been forced to 2-gap in Haslett’s inept 3-4 defense. They Redskins paid big money to guys who were barely capable starters, then forced them to play in a system they didn’t fit in. This is nothing new, when you consider they’ve done the same to guys like Andre Carter, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Archuketa, and a whole host of other high profile FA busts. Hatcher has made zero impact. Bowen was a healthy scratch on Sunday.
The Redskins desperately needed help in the defensive backfield in the offseason, but they knee capped themselves by franchise tagging Brian Orakpo, who only had a half sack in 7 games before he got injured again. They signed Tracy Porter, who spent much of the season in the bench with a hamstring injury.
They bought back Ryan Clark, who has struggled with two sprained ankles and hasn’t been effective, on top of being on the wrong side of 30. They retained Merriweather and, for some unfathomable reason, seemed to oddly count on Tanard Jackson, who immediately got suspended after being suspended for two seasons. They trusted that draft picks Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas would become starters at some point, and then cut Rambo after two games, while Thomas spent the beginning of the season injured and hasn’t been seen on defense.
In addition, their inability to develop their own players is staggering. It seems almost as though some players — Ryan Kerrigan, Bashaud Breeland, Keenan Robinson, Trent Williams, Alfred Morris —- succeed on their own. Their two best receivers are both from other teams. None of the linemen they’ve drafted have been able to supplant the terrible starters in front of then. Jarvis Jenkins has made zero impact outside of training camp in 2011.
These are choices laid at the feet of Bruce Allen. And yet Allen — the general manager — still hasn’t appeared in front of the press. He’s been MIA. He answers no questions from fans or the media or anyone.
That is not a Robert Griffin III problem. This is not to excuse his poor play. But other teams have quarterbacks who have the same issues Griffin has. Both those teams have things in place to mitigate those mistakes.
That’s impossible for most Redskins fans to understand, because the team has done a fantastic job of making quarterbacks the end all be all. In their minds, the quarterback HAS to carry the team. It’s funny, since that’s the exact opposite of how they won their Super Bowls in the 80s.
But to hear certain fans talk, they believe that if only Griffin played better, they’d win.
The Redskins are not constructed to win. Not any time soon. Not consistently. Not now, and not in the future.
The entire dynamic has to change, and that starts at the top. Winning isn’t about scheme; it’s about culture. And the Redskins have cultivated a culture of losing.
But nothing will change. Snyder is too unwilling to relinquish full control. Allen is more concerned about reliving his father’s glory years to think about building for now. Allen, like Cerrato, can’t see the forest through the trees, and would rather wield power than relinquish it.
They need to rethink how they approach the draft, how they approach free agency. They need to not only not handcuff coaches to terrible assistants (Haslett, Raheem Morris, Chris Foerester, Jacob Burney), but hire coaches who actually believe in the players they have and are willing to develop those guys. They need to rebuild the team with players who hate losing more than they love winning.
But it’s much easier to watch the money pile up. It’s much easier to abuse the loyalty of good people while putting a crap product on the field.
Well, not me. Like I said, I quit. You should too. Because things won’t change unless fans make them change. They won’t change unless people cancel season tickets. It won’t change unless the terrible stadium is empty. It won’t change unless you stop paying for merchandise. Stop calling into the radio stations, stop watching the games, stop clicking on articles about them. Just stop.
Dan Snyder fears two things. 1.) Losing money, and 2.) fan apathy.
You’re not helping the team by chanting “We want Colt!”. You want to win?
Tune the Redskins out. Ignore them. Watch NFL RedZone. Catch up on the Walking Dead, learn a new hobby. I’ve taken up baking.
Just don’t give Snyder or the Redskins your time. They haven’t earned it.