1. Count Peter King among those that believe Robert Griffin III will be ready to go this summer. I find it fascinating that the expectation--not the hope, but the expectation--from many smart people is that this knee surgery recovery will be in the books in time for him to fully prepare for the first week of action. All I ask is that we hold off being amazed until he actually does something amazing...which we all know he will. The time has come for our collective attention to turn toward the field of play.
2. Watching our entire fanbase get swept up in the mania last year surrounding our franchise quarterback--and participating in it--made for an exciting roller coaster ride that ended in a playoff appearance. What matters most to me is that we transition from the kind of "Beatlemania" atmosphere we saw in 2012 and into more of a focus on one thing and one thing only: winning. Let me be quick to call myself onto the carpet for leaving FedEx Field last year in January after our loss to Seattle with less than a pocketful of anger and disappointment. I suffered from a severe case of "just happy to be here." On one hand, the dark stretch of awfulness we were all sentenced to witness for most of the '90's and the early 2000's kind of necessitated that there would be a transitional period for fans if and when we turned the corner. Alternatively, a third straight playoff loss to Seattle probably should have pissed me off WAY more than it did.
3. Even the manner in which we qualified for the postseason contributed to our inability as a fanbase to be get back to where we were when Joe Gibbs was here the first time around...you know, when we expected to win every game we played. Just as in 2005 and 2007, the Redskins were forced to win out to make it to the playoffs. It was all wonder and awe, and Christmas every week. It is hard to form a culture of belief when disbelief dominates the headlines. How ready can you be for a player like RG3 when the leadup to him includes Danny Wuerffel, Patrick Ramsey, Rex Grossman and John Beck? Disbelief is pretty much going to be breakfast, lunch and dinner for a while.
4. The winning streak that got us into the playoffs last year did it for me, and it did it for many of you. By the time Seattle showed up to DC for that playoff game, we had been treated to a ridiculous run that caused us all, as a collective group, to change our shorts. I just couldn't muster up the appropriate unhappiness at having lost a playoff game. Perhaps some of that was related to the knee injury to our quarterback. Perhaps some of that was related to the nine hours of tailgating. Like 2005 and 2007, I recall just being happy to be there. I like to think I am ready to move on from that sentiment with this team. I like to think that our system and our personnel are set up in a way that makes winning much more expected on a weekly basis. Instead of hoping for miracles, I am now just hoping we play to our abilities. (I like to think that I have the appropriate distaste for Seattle now.)
5. Think about that for a second. I am not incapable of pulling the curtain away from my overly optimistic outlook on things. I know that my preseason outlook for a while was the equivalent of believing every guy had a chance with Heidi Klum. This year when I predict 10-6, however, I am actually predicting something that has a high probability of occurring!
6. As we get caught up once again in the craziness surrounding our signal caller, I hope that we can all agree that we should expect more than just awesome plays and awesome stories. More than anything else he did last year, RG3 got this team to the playoffs. When that matters more than all the sideshow stuff, we will know we have arrived.
(For another day...does anyone really hate the Seahawks? Should we? Shouldn't we? I am so torn.)