FanPost

The chicken or the egg?

The Redskins have an incredibly frustrating habit, over many years, of letting talented people go from both the player and coaching stand point, and also missing out on procuring candidates to fill positions while those potential hires move on to other locations. For example, for years the best recommendation that a place kicker could have was that he used to be on the Redskins (when they went on to be very successful somewhere else). The latest version of this phenomenon was the series of interviews for a possible different experienced defensive coordinator.

This begs an interesting question about several possibilities:

Is it just that the Redskins personnel people (and we all know the two chief culprits to whom I refer) are so bad at evaluation of talent and make regular knee jerk decisions that they let good people go and over pay for bad people (both coaches and players) strictly due to incompetence?

or

After years of relatively dysfunctional ownership and a prolonged series of those knee jerk decisions (the classic being firing Schottenheimer, after he had appeared to turn the program around, to hire Spurrier), is the team's reputation, as an organization, under its current ownership and front office, so bad that potential hires avoid the instability and environment of the team just for their own self-preservation?

Or is it a combination of both?

The common thread through both scenarios is poor decision making and long-term planning by the front office. No coach wants to go to a team where decisions are made capriciously by the owner and executive staff? No player wants to come to a team where the coaching staff is unstable. A coach can never be expected to take a job if they anticipate not being given an adequate opportunity to succeed. I would argue that despite many on the comment threads being frustrated with Jay Gruden as head coach, it has been a positive for the organization, in the long term, that he has been given a number of years to put his program in place. Even if it does not lead to a championship, it will make it more likely to hire a talented new coach in the future that the team had some coaching stability for at least a few years. Without some stability, a talented prospect would have no interest in coming to the team. Getting back to the recent defensive coordinator interviews, one has to wonder if they all said no just to get to more stable situations (which they all appear to have done).

The most frustrating part of this whole discussion is that the common factors are Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen. Unfortunately, that is not likely to change soon.