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Keeping an Eye on the Future While Enjoying the Present

In a column earlier this week, I talked about a potential scenario that might find the Redskins picking late in the first round of next year's draft and how that could play out if Washington was hell bent on drafting one of the top quarterbacks. It was one of ten random bye week thoughts.

It was one that struck at least a few nerves...but not because I brought up Andrew Luck, or trading up to get him. People took issue with the idea that now was an acceptable time to discuss such offseason topics.

I hope some of those people come back to this comments section, because I am interested in pushing farther into the debate. It seemed that at least one commenter was upset because, according to him/her, we should save our "winning the offseason" talk for the offseason. They railed against the tendency of Redskins fans who constantly dwell on what additions can make their team better as opposed to getting behind the team on the field, or the quarterback on the roster as it were.

Actually, I get it. I don't agree, but I do get it. Now is the time to root for the product on the field, not root for changing it in the upcoming offseason. That makes sense. But I guess where I disagree is that we finally have an organization that is focused on more than just one year at a time. This team is evolving. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan could go in any number of directions, but some of their probable next moves seem more obvious than others--like the drafting of a "franchise quarterback." 

Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato conditioned us over the years to think in one-year chunks. It got to where at some point during each of those seasons, we were resigned to thinking about the following year. The manner in which we looked forward to the offseason and future seasons was more of a depressing "this year is lost, maybe next year we can get that piece we need" kind of deal.

That isn't the way we view future seasons today. We see what we have as the starting point and we know the best is yet to come. Somebody made the point the other day that we weren't placing our focus on the team properly by allowing ourselves to look ahead. I argue the opposite. I think Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan are keeping their eyes on the future as they watch this season unfold. I think the manner in which we are now considering upcoming offseasons is more linked to what we are seeing on the field--in a positive way--than in previous seasons.

It is not hard to speculate that this front office will tab a young quarterback as the next cornerstone of the franchise sooner rather than later. Similarly, we all know that we need to bring in a few more horses on the offensive line. This doesn't detract from supporting the guys on the field now. This also isn't what "shitty" fanbases do either--another comment made the other day. It is what GOOD fanbases do.

It is the difference between wondering how you can make your team better, and wondering what can be done to SAVE your team. Previously, we were looking for something that would magically transform our team from awful to awesome. (I am randomly reminded of that scene in "Spaceballs" when they switched the giant vacuum from "suck" to "blow"...kind of sums up the way our team was transformed each year under Vinny Cerrato.)

Now we think of it in terms of adding complementary pieces to a growing foundation of young players. This I have no problem with. This I see as something solid teams and their fanbases engage in.