I am a Redskin Fan. More than that I am a football fan. The passion that surrounds the game, feeds my inner hunger. I route for my team through the good times and the bad. I would do anything to help this team win, yet I remain powerless in the great scheme of things. Yeah, I think that the little pregame rituals that I perform before each game make a difference, but who am I kidding. Should a grown man actually trick himself into believing that wearing a certain player’s jersey for one half of the game, then switching to another players jersey at half time, really affects the outcome of the game. Does drinking out of the same Redskins coffee mug on game days really improve the product we put on the field? Of course not, and why should it.
Players, coaches, owners and general managers directly control the product we see on the field. Players can play their best, but they need good coaches to prepare them for games, and to be able to put them in the best situations possible for them to make plays. Coaches can be great, but without the support of a strong general manager, their team can crumble around them faster than Cowboys Stadium came crashing down. General Managers can be viewed as gods of the football world if their moves pay off, but in order to be successful, they need to have an owner that is willing and able to provide them with the resources to do their job effectively. Without this, they are simply swimming in quicksand.
I am thankful we have an owner like Daniel Snyder. Someone who is passionate about the Washington Redskins, and will do whatever it takes to bring a championship to The Nation’s Capital. There are many owners in the NFL who want to horde all of their profits. Some are not willing to bring in big name coaches because they demand a higher salary. Others are willing to let key veterans walk, in favor of a lower-priced player, just to avoid having to pay the veteran a large contract which rewards him for his time, dedication and commitment to the team.
We have a different type of owner in Daniel Snyder. We have someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Unfortunately we have not had the success since Snyder purchased the team in 1999, and that really is a shame. Much if this is Snyder’s own fault. He was enamored with big name players and big name coaches. He chased the most coveted free agents on the market, and overpayed for their services. This almost seemed to make the player fat and lazy, instead of hungry and motivated. The moves he has made in the past seem to raise some eyebrows. Signing guys like Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders did not bring a championship to DC. Trading draft picks for guys like Jason Taylor was just plain stupid. Hiring coaches like Steve Spurrior and Jim Zorn backfired. So where could he go from here?
Well, he went out and hired a proven GM in Bruce Allen, with a reputation for being a salary cap guru. Not to mention someone who has ties to the team (Allen’s father George was a coach for the Redskins). He then hired Mike Shanahan as his head coach. Shanahan brings a proven record of NFL success to this struggling franchise. His leadership and discipline are just what this team needs in time of turmoil and uncertainty. Finally, along with Allen and Shanahan, Snyder makes a trade for a proven Pro Bowl quarterback in Donavan McNabb. McNabb is unlike any quarterback the Redskins have ever had, and he immediately makes the Redskins a better football team.
We drafted smart in 2010, even though we didn’t have enough draft picks to stock an empty cupboard. We took a bookend offensive tackle, who should be a starter on our line for the next decade or more. We grabbed two more offensive linemen with our later picks, and filled some depth at fullback and linebacker.
So how can this backfire? It can’t, and it won’t. We will be better for the decisions made this offseason. We will be better because Snyder is now in the background, not the forefront. We will improve because the right people seem to be in the right positions in the front office, and on the sidelines. We will improve because the staff has not promised veterans anything; they will have to work for the right to remain part of this team. We will be better because the staff is more discipline. We will see improvement because there is competition at every position.
We will be better because we have an owner like Daniel Snyder, for without him, none of this would be possible.