1. I feel compelled to kind of change up what direction I come from when I post articles up on Hogs Haven these days. I don't always feel incredibly negative towards this team, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to escape that sense of "Holy crap, there is literally no end in sight to this mess." If you think I forgot to post a Sixpack last week, you would be wrong. I can't remember the last time I did not put up a Sixpack--I think I have hit every single week for at least three or four years. I woke up last Monday morning and I just couldn't bring myself to join the conversation that was taking place. I had written maybe 1,500 words but they will never see the light of day. It wasn't even a case of, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I had plenty of things to say that were not at all nice, but most of those things were already being said. Since I chose not to speak about it last week, I will not use this space to put my two cents in now on the Rams game. Suffice to say that I felt about as low as I have ever felt as a Redskins fan.
2. Feeling low as a Redskins fan is still on the table I suppose, as the losing continues and the disaster of a season plays itself out. I try to think about why this season feels different--in terms of dumpster fires, that is. We are no strangers to low win totals. We are no strangers to seeing Dan Snyder's decisions not pay off. We are no strangers to the sideshow that the Redskins become almost annually. So why does it sting so bad...again? You'd think we would become immune to it. I think a solid portion of the fanbase has become somewhat immune, leading to the indifference I spoke of a week ago. But the rest of us continue to fully experience the pain of loving a team that proves each year that it is not up to the task of competing in the NFL. For my part, I foresee that continuing into perpetuity...to my detriment.
3. Enough of that for a moment...let's discuss the, uhhh, product. I did not enjoy seeing Colt McCoy get hurt, but I was happy that Robert Griffin was back under center. With McCoy at quarterback, you kind of know how good your team can be that day. It can certainly be good enough to win, but with Griffin, the ceiling at least seems higher. Call it irrational fan feelings or whatever, but seeing #10 hit the field gave me the feeling that something awesome was possible. Not only that, but keeping Griffin on the bench for the rest of the season would not help this team's future very much at all. Was anyone excited about being in the "developing Colt McCoy" business? I would rather see the Redskins put Kirk Cousins on the field for the rest of the season than that, and in no way do I mean any offense to Colt McCoy. Colt is a pro. He seems to understand what goes into being a professional athlete. He has limitations, but he is the kind of player that you kind of know what you have when you put him on the field. You can say we know what we have with Cousins and Griffin, and you would have a point, but the future of the franchise depends far more on what is possible with Captain Kirk and RG3 than it does with Colt. There is no way Colt doesn't deserve the chance to participate in an open competition next summer for the starting job in Washington, but he doesn't need to play the last two games of this season to keep that right.
4. New thought line: Will Montgomery is the starting center in Denver. Baccarri Rambo had two interceptions for the Buffalo Bills yesterday. We could act happy about the fact that finally we are seeing players we discard enjoy success elsewhere in the league. After all, the Redskins were at a point not too long ago where their castoffs could barely make CFL or AFL rosters. On the other hand, neither Montgomery nor Rambo were considered to be...ummmm...very good. The thought was we upgraded by letting Montgomery walk. As for Rambo, he simply did not play well in D.C. at all. What to make of this? We need to collect more evidence, but it is beginning to look like the problem is what we have feared for some time: we have created the perfect environment for players to fail. I am running out of other explanations, and I live to trot out alternative explanations for this. The refusal by this organization to aggressively--but painstakingly--pursue a path of cleaning up the mess it has created while simultaneously setting itself up for success in future years only serves to guarantee that the atmosphere at Redskins Park can only get worse.
5. Who thinks Griffin will play meaningful football elsewhere in the league? Who here thinks that Kirk Cousins can or will compete for a starting job somewhere else sooner rather than later? Who believes that it just doesn't make sense for so many second and third round offensive linemen to simply not be ready to play in the NFL? While it is still very much possible that we are consistently picking the wrong players, we should also consider that the Washington organization is so toxic at this point, that developing players--hell, developing a team--has become a very, very, very iffy proposition. Look at what happens to every coaching prospect who comes through. Except for Joe Gibbs, coaching careers have come to Washington to die. Good players come here and either don't pan out on the field, or they simply become disasters off the field, which prevents them from even getting on the field. How can you establish organizational momentum when you are constantly committing the same mistakes over and over again?
6. I can't fight off the urge to end on a high note. There is no way I will believe that we are doomed to be this bad forever. There are moves that can be made that can show us there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Drafting an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2015 draft is one such move. Bringing in a "football man" to make that pick, while keeping Bruce Allen around to do...the things he does best, would also be beyond wise. It's okay to draft a quarterback, but not until the fourth or fifth round. There are too many other holes to fill and until we can protect him, it makes little sense to invest heavily in yet another signal caller. With our very high second round pick, I would like to see the best safety available brought into the fold. If you think going center or guard in the third round is a bad decision because we have struck out repeatedly doing that, you are justified in thinking that but I would do it. More than anything else, I think that telling Jay Gruden, "We're going to keep Griffin for 2015, but you get to decide if he wins the starting job or not," would go a long way. I am not convinced he has that power today. Even if keeping Gruden and Griffin together for one more season comes with a bit of awkwardness and uncertainty, making it clear to the world that the head coach is the head coach would be a great development. Finally, changing defensive coordinators would be like opening the curtains and letting the sunshine in for so many in this fanbase. We can all agree that there are actual, real football-related reasons to make this change, but true hope is never going to blossom in this city as long as Jim Haslett remains the DC in D.C. Unlike other coaches that have come through here, he has had plenty of chances. And yes, I absolutely expect him to go somewhere else and be a Hall of Fame-caliber coach. There is no escaping that at this point.