I had an epiphany when thinking about how this team should get itself back. I was trying very hard to think of what actually needs to happen to turn this franchise around. We all know that it's not simply a player here and a player there. There are structural changes that need to take place. Unfortunately, this all begins with Snyder swallowing his pride.
This may be the toughest part of this process. I just don't see it happening any other way. Snyder has to get rid of Cerrato, which may be closer to happening than we think. I know that nobody has any faith that this will ever happen. In fact, this should have been fairly obvious a number of times. For starters, when Schottenheimer fired him, nobody showed any interest in him. Nobody! Not even the Raiders. Then there's the obvious fact that he's the only constant, besides Snyder, from all the miserable seasons the last 10 years. How could he be kept in this organization after the year we are having? This is a big part of what I think will begin the re-emergence of this franchise. We just have to hope that Snyder walks in one day and says "Holy hell. I can't get this done with the people I have and with the business model I have been using." I'm even fine with giving Cerrato a figurehead position as long it comes with no authority or presence anywhere near the team, facility or stadium.
Intermission 1: By the way, every time I write the word 'Cerrato", a red squiggly line appears beneath as if I have misspelled a word. I know that all I have to do is right-click and add the word to the dictionary. But I can't bring myself to do it. I am so hopeful that he gets fired that I can't even add him to my dictionary. It's as if the little red squiggly line is my own protest to Snyder that Cerrato is not even dictionary-worthy.
The second part is equally big. Get ready for this. Why not go out and form a committee of the great Redskins and get their opinion of what this franchise needs. I know this seems unorganized, but look at history. Gibbs used to value his veterans so much that he formed a group of them that let him keep up with what the needs of the team were on a week to week to basis. This isn't much different. Who would know better what the team needs than the guys who have been there and done that? I'm not saying these guys will be there forever, but don't you see a place for these guys for the next 1-2 years as they advise Snyder on the GM, and the direction of the franchise?
This needs to be an organized, paid consultant committee that advises Dan collectively to make the right personnel moves to get this team right. I know they won't have any final authority but you know that Snyder would value their opinions since he is such a fan. He could use them starting right now. They can be sequestered in a fancy resort somewhere in the Caribbean where they will deliberate on moves to be made, actions to take place, and personnel to be retained or not retained. This committee will be invaluable in getting this franchise back to where it belongs by guys who have bled for this team. These guys will have to pour out their hearts to get this right. From a fan perspective, who wouldn't be excited that a group of legends are helping shape this franchise? I would be on board with this and very excited if Snyder asked these guys for any advice. Hell, I'd be excited if Snyder asked anybody for advice.
Intermission 2: Is there anybody that thinks Snyder is consulting with Jerry Jones? The cynical bastard in me thinks Snyder is asking Jones for his advice and Jones is just sabotaging the whole thing. What a laugh he must be having at our expense!
My list of candidates:
Brian Mitchell - I know he is negative at times. I know he speaks with his heart more than his head. But this committee will need that honesty and heart to temper the intellect in that room. This committee needs a person who is going to stand up and pout and throw chairs when Snyder hears that Ochocinco is a free agent and we should drive a truckload of money over to his house.
Darrell Green - He is totally underused as a former veteran of this team. This guy is a true Redskin in every sense of the word. He has always had a ton of pride playing for the Redskins so he has to be among the former players that are very embarrassed by this organization. Darrell will take a very cerebral approach to who is brought in. He was always very smart. His athleticism was always front and center but his intelligence is what got him through 19 years of one of the toughest positions in the game.
Joe Theismann - So Kornheiser thinks Joe Theismann should be the head coach. I won't go that far, but he's a lot smarter than he gets credit for. He gets killed for being a loudmouth. I won't dispute that nobody likes hearing Theismann talk more than Theismann. But you can't tell me that he doesn't have the pride in this organization to get in a room with the rest of these guys and hammer out an idea of what Snyder should be looking for. His ideas would benefit this team and we would be better for it.
Joe Jacoby - I always have a special place in my heart for this guy. But this committee can't be without the one thing that was a staple for this organization in its success and the thing that has been mishandled for years. The offensive line has to be part of the process and that comes from having a member of the line on this committee. I can be talked into replacing Jacoby with any member of that line (Bostic, Lachey, May, Starks, Grimm, Mckensie, or even Brown and Simmons). But they must be represented.
Sonny Jurgensen - Lets face it. Jurgensen already has Snyder's attention. The real question is whether Sonny will be part of a group that has to render a collective recommendation and serve as a consultant. He needs to just give Dan a box of SJ9's (you cigar smokers know what I'm talking about) and tell him not to come back until the box is gone. By that time, the real work will be done.
Mark May - I know that May already has a job. But he has shown to have a great football mind and I think his opinion would be invaluable. His recent book (Mark May's Tales from the Washington Redskins) shows that he takes a lot of pride in being a Redskin and I have to believe that he wants to see this turned around.
Gary Clark - I just want to see what happens when Brian Mitchell and Gary Clark disagree. I think I would actually pay to watch that. It would also breed the best possible resolution for the Redskins organization. EVER!
Mike Nelms - My second favorite Redskin (behind Art Monk). He never fair caught on the field and he won't fair catch this issue. Catchy, right?
I thought about guys like Art Monk, but I don't think he is aggressive enough to tackle this issue. He would probably be better as an assistant coach than a consultant. I also thought about other guys like Schlereth, Williams, and Gibbs (probably tough to get right now). These guys have other jobs or other reasons to not come back.
This committee is for consultation only. This committee would tell Dan Snyder what it means to build the franchise up the right way and they would protect him from himself. They would tell him who to bring in and what kind of philosophy is acceptable. I would even go so far as to include them in the interview process and selection process. What potential GM wouldn't take this franchise seriously if they were sitting across the table from the likes of Brian Mitchell, Joe Theismann and other legendary Redskins? What GM wouldn't want to be part of a franchise that respects its alumni so much that they are willing to get involved and make sure the organization gets back to what it once was?
This is an outside-the-box idea but why wouldn't we be thinking outside-the-box right now? As a fan, I would respect the hell out of this. I would even listen to Snyder if he were standing next to these guys and had their support. I guess its either this or trade our next three first rounders for Culpepper.