- The Washington Redskins have entered that very special portion of their season, when games are unwatchable and storylines range from disastrous to the football version of catastrophic. I was at FedEx Field yesterday. I could have very easily stayed home, but I have developed a habit over the years of trying to be there when the doctor calls the time of death for a campaign. We all define that moment our own way, and I know many of you will point to moments prior to yesterday, but for me, it happened yesterday. It is important to note that this won’t stop me from watching the remaining games on the docket, AND ROOTING FOR WINS. I will neither pull for losses nor relish in them, which is consistent with my philosophy here since I began this column ten years ago. That is just me though, and I am not here to argue about what fans should and shouldn’t do.
- It is worth mentioning though...since it was brought up...that people are constantly talking about losing to get a better draft position while simultaneously lamenting the fact that Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen have proven time and time again that they are not exactly killing it in the franchise-building department. Part of what at least makes it easier to continue to root for wins is my belief that it just...doesn’t...matter...what pick we give to Snyder and Allen. I know Doug Williams is on the scene now and I will hold out hope he is able to contribute positively to this process over the offseason, but we all know who casts the largest shadow over these decisions. I would rather have a win any day that root for an outcome solely based on giving Snyder and Allen a pick a few slots higher.
- There is something (obvious) that needs to be said about what happened yesterday: the manner in which the Redskins lost to the Giants warrants some major house-cleaning—but not necessarily on the sideline or up and down the roster. We could argue about whether this was the case before yesterday or not, but being down 40-0 to a team with four wins says a lot about the state of things at Redskins Park. It would be VERY fair to point out that from Mark Sanchez, to a patchwork offensive line, to losing Jordan Reed right away all factored in yesterday’s result...BUT there was a whole lot of uninspired play on the field out there yesterday and the season was on the line. The defense continues to play without a ton of purpose, which kills me as I stood on a chair all summer and tried to convince people this was the strength of the team. Blowouts mean something to professional sports organizations. When you are the team blowing out your opponent, you savor in it and suggest that something positive is happening during the week that leads to domination. When you are on the receiving end of a blowout, you have to look in the mirror and wonder what is going on? We weren’t playing the Rams, or the Chiefs or even the Saints. We were playing the lowly New York Giants—WITHOUT their best receiver and WITH a very unproven offensive line. The Redskins, as currently constructed, are in shambles, and the guy doing the constructing has got to face consequences.
- Bruce Allen needs to be fired IMMEDIATELY. We can talk about Jay Gruden all you want. We can talk about Greg Manusky’s defensive play-calling all you want. The man putting the pieces in place has let both of those coaches down, even if those coaches had any say in the decisions along the way (as I’ll say below, let the new team president decide on Jay—I am fine with that). Neither Jay Gruden nor Greg Manusky was recently voted the least trustworthy decision-maker in the entire NFL—that would be Bruce Allen. People will point to the success the Redskins had in the beginning of the season and wonder how Bruce Allen can be at fault for that success vanishing like a fart in the wind. Here’s why: the Redskins were built to play one way: ugly. It requires a team wanting to get into an ugly game with us, and then sticking to an ugly gameplan. Once teams figured out they could put in the “beautiful” gameplans and rack up yards at will against this defense (over 400 yards a handful of times against us), it was over, because the Redskins were not built to play any other way. That is Bruce Allen. The Alex Smith deal was not one that killed this franchise, but it was part of a plan that set up the Redskins to be completely incapable of recovering from the loss of one or two key pieces (in this case, Derrius Guice and Alex Smith). Asking Colt McCoy or Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson to come in and compete with questionable “weapons” is laughable. That’s Bruce Allen. The defense is as slow as it is powerful—and it’s VERY powerful. Teams are running around and past this defense weekly. I mean...we’re talking about safeties completely unable to take an angle and keep a running back from going the distance. That is pee-wee football 101, and we aren’t staffed to do it. That is Bruce Allen. You want to talk injuries, and a team that seems to be targeted by injuries more than most teams? The team president should have already taken a long look at the guy in charge of player’s health who got an online degree (seriously, there is a strong chance that our injury problems are at least partly due to the Redskins having the medical equivalent of a priest that officiates a wedding after being ordained online). That’s Bruce Allen. Whether you liked Kirk Cousins or not; whether you liked Scot “McLovin” McCloughan or not; both relationships were mismanaged by none other than Bruce Allen.
- If Dan Snyder is still struggling to find a discernible reason to fire Bruce Allen after thinking through this short list (really just the beginning of a much longer list), I am at a loss, as the confidence in this franchise is once again sitting at or near rock bottom levels. The Washington Redskins are being mismanaged well before they are even having a chance to be poorly coached—if that is what you truly believe is happening on the sidelines. You think players don’t understand this? You think all of a sudden agents and their clients are magically going to start trusting a man that has apparently worked pretty hard for his league-worst standing? Come on...
- So I am not here calling for Jay Gruden’s job to be saved. I am not here begging this team to continue down the Greg Manusky road, or even questioning why they wouldn’t work out a player like Colin Kaepernick when guys like Kellen Clemens and E.J. Manuel are getting calls. That is not where I’m living these days. Once again—and it is so sad that this is true yet again—the Redskins have no direction. They are a rudderless ship. Dan Snyder has proven he wants to cheer on victories. He has proven he has at least some passion for trying to win. The failure to cut ties with Bruce Allen at this point is straight NEGLIGENCE. The Redskins need a new team president. That person should then have the call on whether or not Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky are retained. That person should then have the call on who to draft or what kind of team to begin building around some of the young talent that we do have in place. That person should be responsible for steering this ship through what promises to be a rough patch the next year or two, given our salary cap issues. That change in the front office has to begin now...today, even. If the team can eke out a win or two to soften the blow of an otherwise crappy December, that will say more about the hearts of the men in pads than it will about the guy in the suit running the show. From this moment on, the path the Redskins need to take is very well-lit thanks to the raging fire in the front office. Here’s hoping Dan Snyder gets serious about fighting the fire and not just donning a flame retardant suit.
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
The Redskins season seems to be wrapping up ahead of Christmas...again. Bruce Allen should be given the benefit of a headstart to finding a new job.