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Ten Yard Fight: Redskins Sober Up With Scot McCloughan Hire

Redskins Nation is locked in an internal struggle between optimism and cynicism. The new GM hire is great, but until he is left alone to do his job, the train is still technically derailed.

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1. Actually, Maximus, the time for honoring himself has come and gone. The "himself" of course being Daniel "Commodus" Snyder. My emotions have been all over the map on this new day in Redskins Nation, but the possibility that Dan Snyder has forsaken the path of...whatever you want to call the path he has stubbornly stuck to since he took over this team, is rather enticing. There is reason to be excited, but with that must come some understanding that we need to actually see it to believe it.

2. Once again, we are left to wonder if what we are hearing is true. Has Dan Snyder agreed to step out of the way and let someone else be in charge--at least in charge of the things that impact the football field the most? This song has been sung before, to the tune of catastrophic results. It is absolutely fair to remember that this organization has gone to great lengths in the past to make it SEEM like Dan Snyder wasn't in charge, despite him being intimately involved in every single move the organization made.

3. When I say "intimately involved," I the bad way.

4. The Washington Redskins organization under Dan Snyder has hired a series of bullet-takers over the years. Whether Vinny Cerrato actually thought up some of the ideas we executed in Snyder's early years or not, his job was to stand in front of the cameras and absorb all the body blows. Once he had been turned into an irreparably deformed human crash test dummy, he was cast out and left to torment anyone in the Baltimore sports radio listening radius.

5. By the way, not for nothing, but the first time Dan Snyder jettisoned Vinny Cerrato, he took up residence just close enough to Snyder that Schottenheimer basically said, "Him or me." (The legend is Vinny lived out of a hotel not far from the park. Over time, that legend has grown into him living in a Winnebago--Walter White-style--in the woods behind Ashburn.) That went well. It is somewhat amazing how close Vinny still is without us ever really knowing it. Nobody thinks Dan will ever hire Vinny Cerrato back, but who thought Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green would get back together? (I also considered Snoop and Shante's breakup and makeup.) This point is just to underline how ridiculous things have been, and the distance this franchise has had to cover in coming to their senses.

6. Even though his predecessors were in the bullet-taking business, it is not fair to suggest that is what Scot Mcloughan has signed up for in Washington. His resume is solid, likely making him the most qualified person that Dan Snyder has hired to do a job that he intends to let that guy do (follow?). I guess my point here is that doubting Dan Snyder is fair game, but SMcDown gets the benefit of the doubt at this point, at least from me.

7. I am working on some nicknames for the new guy, and right now, SMcDown is one of my favorites. Scotty Mac is up there, as is McLovin'...I think I just fell in love all over again with McLovin'.

8. If it is true that Dan Snyder is embarrassed, that would really be something. In a time of polar vortexes, bomb cyclones and other weather phenomena that requires constant invention of new meteorological terms, the shitstorm in Washington over the last 15 years has been nothing short of absurd. Embarrassment would have been appropriate any number of times during that span. There is no need to rehash it here--we all lived it. Suffice to say, there simply has to be a breaking point for everyone. There is certainly reason to believe that Dan Snyder has reached his breaking point. Nobody wants to be the worst forever. Still, if you believe what Tom Schad and Zac Boyer printed in their recent Washington Times piece, Dan Snyder has continued to be his own worst enemy, meddling and inserting himself into the talent acquisition process--even after swearing it off and "giving other people control."

9. When the organization hired Bruce Allen, I sat back and said, "Thank You." After all, dumping Vinny and hiring a legit football executive was at the top of our wish list at the time. Similarly, the Redskins have just done something that we have spent a lot of time begging them to do: hire a REAL football man to evaluate talent and build a roster. Nevermind that we have jettisoned two amazing guys who were on our payroll who could have already been doing this job (John Schneider and Trent Baalke). I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth. This, like so many other moves we have made over the years, has all the makings to lead to success. Hiring a man that so many independent experts think is gifted in talent evaluation is a move we should rush to stand behind. That said, the memory of being kicked while standing behind the gift horse still resonates with many of us.

10. I'll say "Thank You" today. I'll focus on the things that make this decision so sound and right. I'll allow myself the time to play out dream scenarios in my head. You know the ones I am talking about. The ones where we dramatically upgrade the meat of our roster--not the just the career backup kind of players, but the second-stringers that are destined and capable of becoming starters. The ones where we routinely unearth starting caliber players in the middle rounds of the draft--not stars...just meat and and potatoes players. The ones where we don't get blown out on the field on Sundays because the gap between the Redskins and "good" is shrunk to the point where the meat and potatoes players are actually the difference in the games. The proof is in the pudding. It is okay to have hope today, but it has to come with a measured, cautious attitude. The Redskins have yet to navigate through truly uncharted waters at this point. I have said it before and I'll say it again:

In the words of my boy Chris Wallace: "Show me, homey."