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You Can't Win Without a Good Quarterback

Even great team talent and Hall of Fame coaches can't make up for poor quarterback play.


I really don't care how good the rest of the team is. Fact is, without a good quarterback, you're destined to lose in the NFL. Think I'm mistaken? Take a look at the following, and see if you agree.

2000 - Head Coach: Norv Turner Record: 8-8

The 2000 Redskins were a talented football team that just saw them land the best offensive tackle in the draft in Chris Samuels and the nations best linebacker in LaVar Arrington, an even though the defense finished fourth in the league, and the offense had two book-end tackles, and averaged over 109 yards rushing per game, the less-than-stellar play from quarterback Brad Johnson (11 TD's vs 15 INT's), and eventually Jeff George sent them tumbling to an 8-8 record.

2001 - Head Coach: Marty Schottenheimer Record: 8-8

The offensive line was the strength of this team, but the defense slipped to 20th in the league. The struggles of the defense can certainly be attributed to the poor quarterback play of Tony Banks and Jeff George, who combined for 2487 yards passing(30th in the NFL), with just 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Result: 8-8, and no playoffs(Marty fired).

2002 - Head Coach: Steve Spurrier Record: 7-9

The Fun-and-Gun turned out to be not-so-fun, and was anyone really surprised? Spurrier elected to go with a combination of Shane Matthews, Patrick Ramsey, and Danny Wherffel at quarterback(maybe the worst trio the league has ever seen). The defense, which finished fifth overall, kept teams in games, but the aweful quarterback play sent this team to a 7-9 record.

2003 - Head Coach: Steve Spurrier Record: 5-11

Things just kept getting worse for Spurrier's Redskins in 2003. The Ole' Ball Coach had Patrick Ramsey and Tim Hasselbeck leading his offense, and they didn't do a very good job, even behind a very solid offensive line. The defense was on the field for a total of 1014 plays, which was over 100 plays more than the best defense in the league. The Redskins offense averaged 291 yards per game, which was 23rd in the league. This was a sign that Spurrier's offense, and mainly his quarterbacks, could not move the football. The team slid to 5-11 on the season.

2004 - Head Coach: Joe Gibbs Record: 6-10

Gibbs 2.0 inherited a poor Spurier team, and immediately began making changes. He brought in veteran quarterback Mark Brunell, and although he was not as youthfull as he once was, he was better than any quarterback the Redskins had since Brad Johnson left at the end of the 2000 season. Gibbs also added Shawn Springs and Marcus Washington on defense, and traded for Clinton Portis on offense. The results on defense were much better(3rd in the NFL), and the rushing attack let by a very good offensive line and Portis were outstanding, but Brunell was only able to start nine games in 2004, and that untimately led to a disfunctional passing offense(29th in the NFL), and a 6-10 record.

2005 - Head Coach: Joe Gibbs Record: 10-6

Gibbs finally had his quarterback Mark Brunell healthy for 15 games, and it paid off. Gibbs traded for Jet's speedy wide reciever Santana Moss, and the passing game accounted for 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions in route to a 10-6 season and a playoff birth. The defense was ranked 7th in the league.

2006 - Head Coach: Joe Gibbs Record: 5-11

Year three of Gibbs 2.0 saw Brunell only play in nine games, and despite a very good offensive line led by Samuels and Jansen, the offense sputtered in the passing game when Brunell was replaced with Jason Campbell, and the defense, that was thought to be a stregth of the team, finished 29th in the league. The team finished 5-11 on the season.

2007 - Head Coach: Joe Gibbs Record: 9-7

Third-year quarterback Jason Campbell was the signal caller, but the true leader(s) of this team was the offensive line and the running game that averaged 117 yards per game. The team won almost in spite of Campbell, who threw for 2700 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also fumbled eight times. Clinton Portis totaled 1651 yards from scrimmage, and 11 touchdowns. The Redskins snuck into the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

2008 - Head Coach: Jim Zorn Record: 8-8

2008 saw Gibbs retire(for the second time)and Jim Zorn take over. Zorn took over a talented team with returning starter Jason Campbell starting all 16 games, but the Redskins could muster only 8 wins, despite a rushing attack that was eighth in the NFL, and averaged over 130 yards per game. Campbell played much better in 2008, but even at his best, he averaged just 189 yards passing per game, which was 23rd in the league, and the Redskins as a team averaged just 16.6 points per game wich was 28th in the NFL.

2009 - Head Coach: Jim Zorn Record: 4-12

Talk about the wheels falling off.........well they did in 2009. The offensive line was banged up, and Campbell didn't have enough talent to overcome the team's deficiencies. The defense did its part finishing tied for eighth in the league, but the offense was aweful, finishing 22nd in the league in total offense, and 26th in total points scored. The Zorn era was over before it had begun.

2010 - Head Coach: Mike Shanahan Record: 6-10

Enter Mike Shanahan, armed with division titles, conference championships, and Super Bowl trophies, but he brough a water-gun to the battle when he traded for the declining Donovan McNabb. McNabb started 13 games and was ineffective for Shanahan. Rex Grossman eventually took his place and was not much better. The result of more poor quarterback play was a 6-10 record.

2011 - Head Coach: Mike Shanahan Record: 5-11

I didn't think I'd ever see a worse quarterback situation that what we saw in 2002 under Steve Spurrier, but Shanahan trumped the Ole' Ball Coach when he entered the season with the two-headed monster of Rex Grossman and John Beck. I don't need to tell you how bad things got; the 5-11 record speaks for itself.

So, for the first time in a decade we have a true drafted quarterback in his prime that's actually pretty good. We also have the luxury of developing this young player as he grows with our team.

One can only imagine what the previous decade would have looked like had RG3(or basically anyone worth his shit)been a part of our team then.