While the sentiment is not lost on me, it is simply unrealistic to "Blow it up" in today's NFL after Week 3. First of all, when people want to blow it up and collect draft picks, WE are the ones they call since WE are the ones who have placed such a low premium on draft picks in recent years. Secondly, the Washington Redskins are currently worth LESS than the sum of all their parts. To think we would net any serious haul of draft picks or compensation in deals to ship out certain players on our roster is foolish. This goes back to the question we have asked ourselves so many times after disappointing seasons when it came time to determine who was a "core Redskin" worth keeping at all costs: "Yeah...but, the core of what?" More on this further down. Additionally, the people currently making the decisions in our front office would be left to "Blow it up" and rebuild--who among us is brimming with confidence in that crew?
Finally, despite being 1-2 on the heels of an HISTORIC loss to the Detroit Lions, one senses it just can't get much worse. I mean, short of Snyder announcing a 10-year contract extension for Vinny Cerrato, I am about as sick as I could be over this team. But the bad news is that it can get worse...a LOT worse. And we would be locking in that doomsday scenario by throwing in the towel in Week 3. Might as well see what kind of "character-building" we can do in the next three months. (my first attempt at calling out Snyder on this blog after the jump)
Where we are now is smack dab in the middle of EXACTLY where we have been for the last decade: a thriving culture of mediocrity and underachievement. Our (the fans) expectations for this team have been perennially overstated, while our actual chances of transforming into a solid squad capable of developing into a contender have been perennially squandered. Last week I asked, "Who are the Washington Redskins?" This week our answer is crystal clear: "The team that just lost to the 0-for-19 Detroit Lions." When I mentioned above that we have had occasion to ponder who merits being a "core Redskin" through the years, the question that pops up in my mind automatically was/is always, "The core of what?" Besides that playoff run after Sean Taylor's death, there has been nothing "special" to point to as the core of this team.
In fact, what truly lies at the core of this team--Dan Snyder--is better cut out and removed than saved. But that too, is unrealistic. I can't tell you how much the recent stories of the ticket scandal bothered me. The word out of Snyder's office was that he was unaware that this was happening. Let me tell you how that works: Snyder has created a labyrinth of businesses and entities that enable him to claim he is far removed from certain operational procedures that would be toxic if they could touch him. Plausible deniability is the name of the game. For a man who has made a name in this league for micro-managing and inserting himself into the nooks and crannies of his business, it is at least difficult to believe he would not know something like that was going on. Believe what you want. But answer me this Mr. Snyder:
WHAT CONCOCTED ENTITIES STAND BETWEEN YOU AND THE DECADE OF INSTABILITY, MEDIOCRITY, MISMANAGED RESOURCES, LACK OF DIRECTION, AND OVERALL UNDERACHIEVEMENT?
These have been the hallmark of your tenure, sir. These are irrefutable. And it makes me sick.
I get that players have to make plays. Not getting in on 4th and goal yesterday was on the players. Giving up the offsides penalty to let the Lions out of their end zone on the next down is on the players. And that is naming but two of the most recent examples of players not making plays.
Not for a second do I believe that Daniel Snyder wants to lose. I will even go so far as to give him credit for showing restraint in free agency once or twice in the last five years (though one can argue the subtle difference between "We have chosen not to dabble in free agency" and "We have no salary cap room to sign even our own players.")
The most troubling part is that all I have done is joined the chorus of a million people saying the same thing. A million voices with no actual say or vote in the matter. And then it hits me...Viva La Revolucion!
If history has taught us anything, it is that when a large, brave group of like-minded, intelligent people are ignored and marginalized by the power or powers that be, what results is revolution. Now, we aren't storming the gates of FedEx or Redskins Park. And I am not suggesting staying away from FedEx as the primary means of prosecuting our Revolution. On the contrary, we will wage our war from within. We must never stop supporting our team, its players and coaches, our fellow fans and of course the First Ladies of football themselves, the Redskins cheerleaders.
So what in the hell is this Revolution going to do and what could it accomplish? Stay tuned to find out. This thing is coming complete with its own logo, mission statement and HQ. I expect the battle ahead to be a long, protracted affair that at times seems unwinnable. Our short-term objective: to win over the hearts and minds of as many Redskins fans as possible, by proving that we are not trying to subvert our own team or advance the cause of negativity. Rather, The Revolution will stand as a symbol for every true fan ready to dig harder and deeper into the ground that we believe is ours...Should the Redskins become a winner and contender, it will be BECAUSE of the positive energy and vibe that The Revolution puts out.
Ten Yard Fight - 10 Chances to Make One Good Point
1) I took a lot of heat--mostly from Steelers fans--when I picked the Bengals to make the playoffs out of the AFC. I even picked them before I saw any episodes of HBOs' Hard Knocks. I have never watched that show before due to the multiple seasons that featured the Cowgirls but I was very impressed with Marvin Lewis and what they were doing this preseason. I am sure they can cut and edit that show a million ways to make a team look better, but I thought the Bengals made a good showing. Beating the Steelers at home for the first time since 2001 was also a great showing.
2) Both teams that were in the Super Bowl last year are 1-2...same as YOUR Washington Redskins. I simply must believe that expectations were higher in both of those cities than here. Check that. Expectations belonged higher there than here.
3) The Rams put up almost 100 more yards on the Packers than they did on the Redskins. This would be a way better point if our defense had not just given up 381 total yards to the Lions.
4) The team that couldn't step out of one pile of crap without stepping into another heaping, steaming pile of crap this offseason is 3-0. I speak of the Denver Broncos of course. Nothing went right this summer and then all of a sudden Brandon Stokley catches a tipped pass and takes it to the house with next to no time remaining against the Bengals and they are 3-0. They remind me of the Indians from the movie Major League and the way the Cleveland fans spent all spring training saying things like, "These guys suck." Then a few breaks go their way and Josh McDaniels looks like he knows what he is doing.
5) Losing Chad Pennington for the season might not hurt the Dolphins as much as you would think (if you thought it would at all.) I believe in his leadership and accuracy. But that offense is not built on his arm. Between Chad Henne, Pat White and Ronnie Brown, they have built enough depth at the quarterback spot to keep doing what they do. The big 3rd down throws from Pennington will be sorely missed, but they really like Henne down there. Pennington earned every second he got but he was always on borrowed time.
6) All preseason long I told you how much I liked Brandon Coutu, the kicker in Seattle who has essentially battled Olindo Mare for the kicking job for over a year. They went with the veteran incumbent and now he is strugg-a-ling. Where have I heard this story before? It is refreshing to see another team besides the Redskins struggle at the kicking spot. Everyone has to decide for themselves if the game hinged on those kicks but if you ask me, I think Mare lost them that game.
7) Why should this be so hard to say? The Ravens are freakishly good right now. MVP through week 3: Ozzie Newsome, their GM.
8) Memo to Eric Mangini: Seriously, with your ongoing quarterback battles? I can't remember a less compelling mystery. It's like expecting everyone to hold their breath and wait for you to announce what kind of dump you just took. "It was a squealer people...a squealer." Just put Josh Cribbs behind center and be done with it.
9) As we were watching the scores come rolling across the screen on Sunday, the least surprising was the Patriots taking care of business against the Falcons. Last year the Pats sat out of the playoffs despite an 11-5 record. Now that the Jets are destroying everything in their path, Tom Brady and company know that they have little room for error again this year.
10) Despite Favre pulling off his miracle magic yet again, I was left more impressed by what the 49ers did than what the Vikings did. They held Adrian Peterson in check and until the last drive, they had Brett Favre under wraps as well. If one play is going to define that game for me I will let it be the downfield pass Favre threw to Bernard Berrian. Berrian backtracks a little to get some more ground and Favre came barrelling down the field to block Patrick Willis. I think that the reason Favre is able to pull off so many miracle moments in games is because teammates are always going to play to the last second for him. Sure, he has the talent to pull off the impossible, but when people see a 40 year old man run down the middle of the field and sell out on a block of one of the toughest players in the league (I love Willis) you know that when the chips are down, he is going to get everything every man has until the echo of the last whistle.
Give Me the Numbers, STAT!
Oh man...back to reality. I have been spending a lot of time on the defensive side of the ball in recent weeks. Let's look at the position that just might be getting unfairly blamed right now: the quarterback.
Jason Campbell is 9th in the league in total passing yards with 793, 9th in the league in QB rating at 92.6, and he is 5th in the league in completion percentage with a 67.6% rate. He sits just on the fringe of the top ten in total attempts. I see this kind of production and I just don't see Jason Campbell as anywhere close to our problem. In fact, I know we can all think of plays where either the line or a receiver let him down in a crucial situation. He is never going to be confused with Joe Montana, but he has played well enough for us to win games. This team is simply not equipped to overcome costly mistakes by anyone at any position. So JC is forced to play perfect ball just so we can have a chance to win.
Somebody asked me on Sunday if I thought we would be winning these games if we had an MVP quarterback. I answered, "Of course we would. Having an MVP quarterback implies near perfect decision-making at all times and sets up the team for success in other facets of the game." Any team that could upgrade to an MVP quarterback would be better. We need to elevate the play around Jason Campbell, because there is no MVP quarterback on our bench. But the one we have is capable of winning games for us if everyone does their job around him.
Just as the team has to do some serious soul-searching to figure out what direction they take from here on out, we need to do the same. I know I don't want to be "Bag-on-my-head Guy", but for some people, that is where they are. I'll be cheering just as loud as ever when the defense is on the field this week at FedEx. I just think it is more fun to support my team that way. But make no mistake...
The Revolution begins today.