I have largely avoided getting into any broad, sweeping thoughts on what the Redskins should or could look like going forward. Besides it being the dog days of May and June, when despite the lack of real meaty content, people really don't want to swim in the deep end of the Kool-Aid vat, we still just know too little about how this is all going to play out.
Now, don't get me wrong, we have a good idea---at least based on recent history. This movie has been playing on repeat for quite some time. I liken it to passing out with a DVD playing. At some point, the movie ends and reverts back to the title screen, where a 30-second piece of audio plays on a loop...forever. As the same piece of music or dialog plays endlessly, it infects your sleep. It invades your dreams. It burrows its way into your soul...you know, via your ear hole. You might open your eyes for a moment and not even fully comprehend what is happening. If the remote control isn't in reach, you might just turn over on the couch and go back to sleep. Each time you stir, the same piece of audio is playing. It tricks you into thinking you never rolled over and went back to sleep. After all, you remain in the middle of the same piece of music you were listening to just seconds ago, or so you think. All of a sudden the sun comes up and you feel like you slept for exactly 13 minutes. For days afterward, that piece of repeated music plays and echoes in the far reaches of your mind, like an image burned onto a screen...just faint enough to see it no matter what else appears on the screen.
Other than that, I'd say the experience of rooting for the Redskins in certain years since the mid-90's has been a real smooth ride. (It actually hasn't been all that bad, but maybe you are getting a sense of why we, much like Homer Simpson, believe that everything looks bad if you remember it.)
This brings me to trying to credibly articulate a positive vision of things under the new McLovin' regime. We have yet to see any threat to him being able to do his job, although that is not always indicative of future performance. Even so, I feel like now is as good a time as any to re-engage as an insufferable optimist.
There is no denying that in order for the Redskins to get to the next level, the overall talent level on our roster has to improve...and it is. We need better frontline players, more talented role players and a younger and hungrier group of players waiting in the wings to push other guys every day in practice. In his first offseason on the job, McLovin' is accomplishing these things. It won't happen all at once, and we are past those kinds of expectations I think (I hope).
In what is surely one of the best signs that I am seeing things clearly this summer, I am not held hostage to the daily updates on Robert Griffin III. Finally, it is not all about him (even if it is a little all about him). Hey, this is as good for us as it is for RG3. He knows he has to play well. We know he has to play well. If he does, we have something. If he doesn't, he is gone and we are on to the next thing. It's the perfect blend of cold blood and grandpa's cough syrup. It is far healthier than where we were before...like a bunch of damned tweeners with posters on our wall, staying up late talking to each other on burners underneath the covers in whispers so mom and pop don't catch us. We are graduating from the baby Jesus lying in his ghost manger, lookin' at his Baby Einstein videos, learnin' about shapes and colors, to the grown man Jesus...with a beard (and possibly wearing a tuxedo t-shirt).
I am beyond excited for what is possible under the direction and leadership of McLovin' and I don't think you have to be delusional to agree (that said, delusion still has a room at this inn, and we drink in that room most nights around 6ish).
I will leave individual moves for the comments section below to both raise and discuss. Here, I will simply laud the rebuilding of the trenches, the re-dedication to special teams and the return to a tried and true style of hard-nosed, physical football. Of course, talk is cheap. The summer is for words; the fall is when we prove that we will not stop at just rhetoric.
While it is true that teams rise from the ashes of mediocrity (or complete awfulness) on an annual basis, I no longer wait for the statistical wheel of probability to spin our way.
Doesn't it feel like this is the beginning of something better than just "let's see if this works?"
Doesn't it feel like this is the start of a story that isn't destined to end in a fiery, apocalyptic blaze?
Doesn't it feel like even the dark days ahead will have the kinds of bright spots that will lead us to greatness?
(Doesn't it feel like we have said this before?)
Either way, I'm McLovin' it!