In the first half of my phone call with Charles Mann, we talked about his endeavor to give financial preparedness to high school kids. In the second half, we talked Redskins football. Like the fans, I could sense a strong passion in Mann's voice for wanting to fix what is broken at Redskins Park.
Any year you played where the Redskins had a great season that was preceded by a terrible one?
Charles Mann: "(laughing) No. I only had one losing season that I remember. My final year with the Redskins we went 3-13. Petitbon's first coaching year. His only coaching year. The next year they got Norv Turner. I think we did go 7-9 one year. We weren't use to losing and having a bad season and then turning it around the next one. We went to the Super Bowl every 4 years."
The Redskins basically have the same cast of players as last year that was a top 5 defense in points allowed....(cuts me off)...
"What drastically changed?...Not only the coaching but the philosophy. You go from a 43 to a 34. I'm not buying it. Point blank. I am not buying it. You can't fit a round peg into a square hole. You got to look at the caliber of your team, the players, and then based on that, you put the players in a position where they can perform and achieve success. You just don't come roll out a system that may not work."
As fans we think we know more than we do, yet all of us hated the switch to the 3-4 this season. It looks like we got this one right.
"Yea, that was an easy one for you to get right. Normally it's not that easy, but in this case, it was really easy, and hindsight is 20/20, but just like you all, I was preaching this from the beginning, 'I don't understand.' This team has never been a 3-4 team nor or they going to be a 3-4 team now. Sure enough...true to form, they are just not getting it. This defense if anything during these years that have been horrible for us, we've at least had a fairly decent defense. Now, it didn't turn the ball over a lot last year, but it did keep games close where if the offense was clicking any one day we could win a game."
So I shouldn't get excited for next year?
"Uhhh...I'm always hopeful. (laughing). I'm a half-full glass full guy."
Having got to meet you, Dexter, a lot of the alumni, I can't imagine what your reaction would be if you played in the current day with these high salaries and had someone playing next to you like Haynesworth where they just lay down on the ground.
"I'd have you talking to my assistant. You wouldn't really be talking to me (laughing). I'm being funny. I would be way too high caliber for me to put my phone to my ear and have a discussion with anybody."
How would Dexter be as a personality in the current day?
"Oh man. He'd be a mess. He wouldn't be Mr. D. He'd have an entourage and eating grapes while he's talking...they'd be feeding him. We never played for money. We played for the love of the game. I never had a contract dispute. I never held out. I couldn't believe they'd pay me to play a game that I loved."
In the final post, Mann talks about trying to help Andre Carter through this struggles, the clear reason for the DL's poor pass rushing, and a FANTASTIC message to the Redskins coaching staff that I hope they take.