- I have been trying to think about the way I wanted to wrap up the season in this week’s Sixpack. Like many of you I am sure, I have been battling a little illness, so I will keep this somewhat abbreviated. When my dad asked me about when it was coming out today (it’s a bit late), he was inquiring about the eulogy. On one hand, that has been typical of season-ending Sixpacks in the past, offering up some words to help put the season we just witnessed to rest. On the other hand, we have already used this space this season to celebrate the moments we did have and we kind of came to grips with the season-ending nature of things a while ago. It kind of sets up more of a bigger-picture collection of thoughts, in the hopes I can find one or two positive points to make as we look forward to yet another Offseason On the Brink. Alright, let’s at least get off on right foot before we descend into the lower layers of the hell with which Redskins fans are all too familiar.
- I started the season by being over-the-moon about the strength of the Redskins defensive line. Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne are going to continue to form one of the better d-line interiors in the league. They are beastly, strong and relentless. We also learned they can’t do it all by themselves. We learned that teams could run around this wall of ours instead of trying to ram through it (which a team or two did). The Redskins still have youth in the secondary and we are sure to see a new look at linebacker in 2019, with recent picks Ryan Anderson and Shaun Dion Hamilton readying themselves for increased roles. In short, the Washington defense is a positive heading into the 2019 season, even by the loosest definition of “positive.”
- We have used many a pixel debating the future of Jay Gruden, and I have been somewhat firm in my position that the head coach is not where our problem lies. The Redskins organization is again embroiled in chaos and confusion. After eight short months, Dan Snyder jettisoned the team of execs that had been hired to help save him from himself. Bruce Allen continues to drive this 18-wheeler at breakneck speed towards embankments, cliffs...and other 18-wheelers. All indications are that Bruce and Dan are barricading themselves inside Redskins Park to ride out what they have deluded themselves into thinking is a short-term crisis. There are few things more insulting to the intelligence.
- You know, it wasn’t like the Redskins were 3-13 or 4-12...at 7-9, there was room for an argument to be made by the club that a second straight year of improbable injuries and misfortunes kept the team from achieving its goals. Even at that, wasn’t 7-9 a pretty reasonable expectation for the Redskins performance in 2018? I mean, none of us would have wanted to hear it, and none of us here would have let it slide, but the team could have at least made the argument. Instead, Dan Snyder began cleaning house both on the field and in the front office—and he did it in a way that seems to allow him to point the finger at everyone but himself. I am not going to rehash my #FireBruceAllen argument, mostly because it is a universal refrain amongst us all at this point. The fact that Bruce Allen still works for the Washington Redskins is a pile-driver to the nuts of the Redskins fanbase.
- Before going out on the sour note this season calls for, here are the things I am looking forward to in 2019: Derrius Guice, a healthy offensive line, Jeremy Sprinkle’s year-over-year progress, facing off against Kirk Cousins in Minnesota, playing at Lambeau Field and the chance to see Adrian Peterson continue to make his march to the Hall of Fame while showing our young roster the way. There are others, but these would be my top ones. From a pure football standpoint, there is reason to think this team could improve from what we have seen this year. Once again, it would be reasonable to expect less injuries than we experienced this season, because of, you know, math (there is no way we can take this kind of injury punishment three straight years, right?!?). It should also be noted that once again, we are relying on math and optimism as we look to the next season (not exactly the Patriot Way).
- I heard that Dan Snyder is confused by the backlash from the fanbase. This kills me. The only guy who has been here long enough under the Dan Snyder tenure to perfectly understand the backlash is DAN SNYDER (first use of caps). We are stuck with this guy forever and it would be awesome if he ever got a freaking clue. After milking the Redskins fanbase for every available penny, he finally ran out of Redskins fans to pilfer, so he has gone into the business of milking opposing fanbases. We spent the beginning of last year’s offseason with a message in this space and on our weekly podcast that things were going to start feeling really different, in a bad way. It was evident from the beginning, with one of the least-attended home openers we have ever seen. (By the way, we are still live every week, but no longer on Facebook—we are on YouTube Live, and here’s the link to our channel. If you’ve been looking for the official Redskins podcast of Hogs Haven, now you know where we went!) Even when we won in 2018, it didn’t really feel that great. Any true Redskins fan that made it to FedEx had a crappy experience, surrounded by fans of other teams...en masse. The locker room went sour, we ran out of players and it only exacerbated the root of the true problem with this team...a root we have no power to remove. Dan Snyder won’t fire himself, and his reluctance to rid the organization of yet another failed team president only underlines his failure as a businessman. He thinks we should just be happy to have fought hard for the seven wins we got. There’s always a point where any fanbase is going to appreciate the rebuilding and “almost-there” nature of an up-and-coming squad. That ain’t what these Redskins are. Sure, they could get lucky and make it farther next season. Sure, they could hit on a few draft picks, but the rotten core of this organization has a way of rotting anything it touches. What more sign of rottenness do you need than a stadium FULL of Eagles fans? I am happy that Snyder was able to spend his holiday time at FedEx with the only people on earth that want to spend even one second with him: Eagles fans. I hope he stayed until the end to hear them chant and roar. I hope he stayed long enough to really drink in the toxic atmosphere he created. Given the manner he has run this team so far into his stewardship, my guess is he saw a sea of green as, well...a sea of green$$. The race is on to see how much worse Snyder can make things. It is actually impressive how he always manages to come up with a next-level trick to add to his villainous repertoire. Retaining Bruce Allen is just the start, y’all. Just give Dan a few weeks into the offseason...he’s reinvent himself and his story. It’s up to us to continue to point out that this emperor not only has no clothes, he is constantly trying to pants the whole lot of us (joke’s on you Dan...I don’t wear pants). I wonder how far the league will let a guy like this go...Snyder is no longer turning people off of the Redskins—he is turning people off of football. He’s killing the product in one of the biggest media markets in the world. That has to get somebody at the league office involved at some point? Maybe...maybe not. Either way, I’m flying my #FireBruceAllen flag and readying for what could be a rocky offseason. I don’t see things getting better at FedEx even if the team was to win some games—we won some games this year and still it was a very negative place. Strap in everyone...luckily, these aren’t uncharted waters for us. Shit, we could give a tour of this territory with a blindfold on. The same blindfold Dan Snyder didn’t have the decency to give us before he executed our favorite sports team.
The Redskins season is officially over, after having felt over...for some time.