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With Stability Comes Uncertainity. Can The Redskins Adapt?

Stability is not really a word you toss around lightly when it comes to the NFL.  That word is almost a paradox when mentioned in the same sentence as the National Football League.  It wasn’t that long ago that’s a team’s success was measured by the dominance of a decade.  Now we are lucky if a team who went to the Super Bowl the prior year even makes it to the playoffs the following season.  Every successful NFL franchise has some measure of stability, whether it be in the form of ownership, coaching staff, or group of core players.  Some teams are fortunate enough to have it all. Those that have none of these usually fall into the abyss that is the bottom feeders of the league; destined to stay there until some form of the "S Word" becomes prevalent.

The Redskins have not had any stability since the late great Jack Kent Cooke owned the team.   Since Daniel Synder bought the team in 1999, we have seen 7 different coaches attempt to provide stability.  Norv Turner, Terry Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibs II, Jim Zorn, and newly hired Mike Shanahan.  None of the previously mentioned, with the exception of Shanahan, lasted more than 4 years.  To put that into perspective, Andy Reid has been the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for 11 years throughout that same time frame.  During that time he has led his team to 5 NFC Championship games, including 4 straight from 2001-2004, and a Super Bowl appearance.  The Redskins have a total of 3 playoff appearances during that span.

With newly hired Mike Shanahan, the Redskins now have a proven Head Coach with a history of stability with an organization.  Shanahan spent 14 seasons as the Denver Broncos Head Coach before being fired at the end of the 2008 season.  He sat out all of the 2009 season, but his prompt return as the new coach of the Redskins shortly after the firing of Jim Zorm, has led fans to have renewed hope and dreams of stability in the Nation’s Capital.  Will Daniel Snyder stop his meddeling ways, and allow Shanahan to do what he does best; build a franchise.

Shanahan has taken a unique approach to the offseason.  He has made some questionable moves in both free agency and the draft.  First, we signed Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to compete in the backfield with Clinton Portis.  We have brought in other teams cast-offs in defensive linemen like Howard Green and Adam Carriker, both who have underachieved with their previous teams.  In the draft we bypassed the best offensive tackle in Russell Okung to select Trent Williams.  This was seen as a questionable move by many NFL analysts.  After trading away our second pick in the draft to get Donavan McNabb, and not having a third round pick after using that one in 2009 to select Jeremy Jarmon, we were left with nothing more than a fourth, fifth and seventh.  After some questionable pick and some trades to obtain a few extra seventh round picks, we came out of the draft not exactly smelling like roses.  Most recently, we released promising wide receiver Marko Mitchell, shortly after signing the geriatric Joey Galloway, adding even more of a veteran presence to an already aging roster.

So with stability comes great uncertainty; uncertainty about the immediate, and long-term future of the Redskins.  Fans have been patient, yet a return to glory can’t come soon enough.  How much more patient with this new regime are Redskins fans willing to be?  Only time will tell if these uncertain time will eventually bring much needed stability to DC.