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The more things change...

My esteemed blogging colleague Ben at The Curly R ran part one in what promises to be a 7 part series (with references; his blog posts are well-written and researched, what a nice contrast from my own hastily produced and frequently illogical/factually inaccurate writings) that I'll be eagerly anticipating. Treat this as encouragement to reader(s) that part 1 is worth reading as will the rest of the series, scheduled thusly:

Part 1: Who is Jack Pardee?
Part 2: Tomorrow Morning
Part 3: Tomorrow Afternoon
Part 4: Wednesday Morning
Part 5: Wednesday Afternoon
Part 6: Thursday
Part 7: Friday
I draw attention to part one, and titled the post after an Alphonso Karr quote, notable here for accuracy. Without giving credence to either this view or that, one frequent criticism of Your Washington Redskins repeated in popular media as well as by flustered fans is that we've failed to practice a draft-centric strategy that draws enough young players contributing on the roster. That we have fewer draft picks than other teams is not the controversial part of that argument; the data is clear on that point, and it is true. Since 2002 the Redskins have had 29 picks in the draft, fewer than any other team.

I bring that up only because it struck me in Ben's post that there was a time long forgotten when one coach's insistence on utilizing veterans instead of rookies was contentious enough to lead to firings. Ben says, with my emphasis:

Meanwhile in Washington, 1977 was the last season of George Allen's original six year contract. An agreement was in place to keep George in town until 1981, but the deal never was done. The Redskins also finished 9-5, and were knocked from playoff contention on a tiebreak in the last week of the season by Jack's Bears.

Edward Bennett Williams, now team president having sold majority ownership to a silent Jack Kent Cooke in 1974, had grown weary of George continually exchanging draft picks for veterans and when EBW learned George had been negotiating secretly with the Rams, he cut off contract talks and terminated George immediately.

Sound familiar? Except the part about the owner/management growing weary of said strategy, of course, as all accounts suggest that Dan Snyder is eager to trade picks for veterans. No comment here on that strategy (though please leave your own below). Perhaps history can tell us something:
Jack [Pardee], believing his vision still captured George Allen's winning philosophy from the previous decade, wanted to orient the team around veterans and Bobby wanted to test out the team's younger players...

Jack Kent Cooke, who had taken over day to day operations from Edward Bennett Williams that year, agreed with Bobby Beathard's philosophy and fired Jack after the 1980 season, moving to hire San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs in less than two weeks. Jack was devastated and the last traces of the George Allen mentality was wiped from the team.

Draw your own conclusions below, or head on over to The Curly R and offer Ben the benefit of your thoughts. Reader(s) strongly encouraged to also keep an eye there periodically this week, to catch the whole series.