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The 5 O’Clock Club: Now 33% Less Freaking Out!!

The Washington Redskins are already deep into year three of their rebuild, and there are plenty of reasons to feel good about it.

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

These days, the worst-case scenario seems to be the most likely theme to any Redskins-based conversation. Trust me, I get it.

From the impending trade of Kirk Cousins to the 49ers, and the jettisoning of Jay Gruden, and of course the inevitable botching of the draft, Redskins fans are gravitating to their worst fears. I would argue there is plenty to focus on that is good and positive, and plenty of time for none of the above things to happen—or for those things to doom our favorite team.

For starters, I don’t see any earthquake-sized fault line between Scot “McLovin” McCloughan and Jay Gruden. The possibility of tension there is real of course, but the overall direction of the team the last two years makes it hard not to conclude that a positive working relationship exists in our front office. Since you didn’t ask, the people in low places that I get to hear from at Redskins Park indicate Gruden is the kind of head coach you hang onto, with core strengths in delegation and leadership that make a sideline staff effective. Are there things to work on? Uhhhhh, yeah, if you think coaching has anything to do with failing to play with urgency in games that had playoff tickets on the line.

The trendy topic today is the certain trade of Kirk Cousins to a team that will feature as its head coach one of his mentors (Kyle Shanahan or Sean McVay). Listen, I can’t say this won’t happen. Nobody can. This Kirk drama has gone on too long already, and the war weariness alone could be a factor in the decision. Since you didn’t ask, I don’t think we will trade him, BUT...

Isn’t trading a player at the HEIGHT of his value exactly what we have seen other successful organizations do—and doesn’t it make you slightly jealous? Trading a player that I think is our franchise quarterback feels a little like walking down the middle of I-95 during rush hour, but the end result from a value perspective is arguably a good one (long-term) for the team if you believe McLovin can make solid choices in the draft.

As I said on The Audible—give us a listen:

...everything is kind of coming together for this rebuild right now. In year three, you expect to see a very real and tangible improvement on the field that translates into wins and playoff trips. It almost defies logic that you would endure some of the pain we have endured the last two years only to reset in year three.

We can’t do anything about it if Kirk just flat out doesn’t want to be here, but we can’t determine that is the way he feels until he turns down a sizable contract. It would be hard to believe that Jay Gruden doesn’t want Kirk around, as he kicked out our most expensive player EVER to install Cousins as our starter. Based on that, I have decent hope that the resolution most of us want will materialize in a long-term deal for Cousins and a greater sense of direction for this organization as it moves forward.

I understand that things can and do move fast once a team hits the offseason, but our rush to freak out about everything should move at a slightly slower pace than that. My worry meter is certainly beginning to amp up a little bit, but I also think the tail is wagging the dog at the moment.

Either way, the attention paid to this particular offseason is going to be—rightfully—more intense than in previous years because of how successful the rebuild has been going. Until proven otherwise, I choose to believe that this success is recognized by everyone inside the walls at Redskins Park, and that decisions will be made to keep this train on the tracks.

I yield back the balance of my time to the commentariat. I look forward to this discussion, and am anxious to hear from jrhooo about any further IT disasters he has come across.