Whelp, the proverbial shoe that we have all been waiting for has fallen. Jay Gruden is out after 5 years and 5 games, with an overall record of 35-49-1.
I do firmly believe that Gruden kept a sinking ship above water as long as he possibly could, plugging the holes created by those above him and beside him as he himself threw bucket after bucket of water overboard. Since the day he arrived in Ashburn, this vessel’s hull was in bad shape and bow swung in no coherent direction. An able quartermaster in Kyle Smith and his grizzled sailing masters replaced yet another able man thrown overboard and keelhauled, a punishment he didn’t deserve. This marked one more change made on a whim; the third major organizational change decided upon by Captains Snyder and Allen.
Still, from the helm, the two drunken captains spun the wheel merely to dodge oncoming threats, never in the direction of a unified objective. Such negligence, such malpractice, would only be allowed on a ship in which mutiny was impossible; where the captains held absolute power, and lucky for our captains, they possess such power. Gruden was simply a first-mate, offering advice as he could while trying to maintain the morale of his crew of malcontents, assembled by his captains without truly considering the advice of any of the experts of the sea they employed. Still, those two sail on, without direction, rhyme, or reason. With a deal for a shiny new ship being negotiated, there is no severing the ties between the two men that will inevitably drive their comrades into endless unnecessary hazard, pointing the finger back at their crew all the way.
Into The Fire
As we look forward at the bleak future of the Redskins, we could also look at the situation as a burning building. Not a building in which a firefighter or mortal hero might enter to save a stranded kitten (why anyone would risk their lives to save a kitten is a different question altogether), but a crumbling, already-foundationless building that only a Superman would dare enter. The only problem, of course, is that no matter which suit our proverbial Clark Kent is wearing, Bruce Allen waits inside, clutching that kitten with a nefarious grin in a room rigged with kryptonite. Ryan Day, who created an offense perfect for Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin at Ohio State, could come in and be given all of the power and money he could ever ask for, but he will be slowly sapped of his power by those who lie in wait for his first show of weakness, ready to pounce at his first mistake. As the power is stripped, as the foundation rots once again, as the structure will begin to collapse, and the organization finds itself on a familiar ‘rock-bottom,’ Allen and Snyder will lay the kindling for the building to ignite into flame once again, awaiting its new, hapless hero.
“The culture is actually damn good.”
Done with the metaphors? Fine. Bruce Allen blows. For those of you thinking, even for a fleeting moment, that the firing of Jay Gruden will make any semblance of a difference for this organization, think again. The delusional Brucifer’s press conference wasn’t just offensive because if his use of mild curse words (*gasp*), but because of his a) lack of connection to the real world and/or b) feeling that the fan base is stupid enough to buy into his ridiculous pretense. Of course, I shouldn’t have said “and/or” just then...it’s definitely “and.” Bruce Allen is in the middle of negotiating the most important deal in Snyder’s 20-year history, and is reportedly close to bringing a new stadium back the RFK site, so he is going nowhere. Regardless of the product on the field, Snyder will at least secure his new field before he worries about his disintegrating fan base, which I can understand on some level. What I can’t understand is why Snyder can’t see that Bruce should be immediately removed from every facet of the organization that has anything to do with football. Bruce’s poison bleeds into every corner of Ashburn, and even if Snyder banishes him to the singular role of politicking the new stadium, he will inevitably meddle in football operations. The sad thing for Redskins fans and employees alike is that Bruce will likely be directly involved in hiring the next coach, and possibly regime in early 2020. We all know how that will go.
Out of the flames
It’s week 6 and I haven’t written a single positive thing about the Redskins since training camp, and even then I didn’t make too many readers happy with what I had to say. But...let’s...just for a moment...try to find a way out of this inferno. I’m going to be honest; they’re aren’t very many ways things will change, as I don’t see Brucey moving on in almost any scenario, but let’s assume fans hit the inside straight. *Deep breath* Here we go…
As I, and just about every member of the local and national media, have repeatedly stated, this culture of poo-poo starts at the top. Without a change there, not even a transcendent talent at quarterback will overcome the toxic atmosphere of 21300 Redskin Park Dr. The only avenue I can see for a Bruce exit is through a retirement. He will not retire until the stadium deal is reached. So, the hope for all of you reading is that Bruce triumphantly announces a new stadium deal before the end of the 2019 season and then rides off into the sunset. Now, while we would all cringe through a press conference in which he, once again, in the fact that the organization continues to excel off the field, we would all rejoice in the idea that life exists without Bruce Allen (Oh...sweet mercy...). If Dan Snyder can come to his senses and make this pertinent step, then he can hire a real GM. Now, the caveat would be that Snyder actually gives this GM full power over the entire organization and agrees not to meddle with football operations, but hey, we are hitting that inside straight, remember? That GM would then be able to hire whomever he pleased and would be able to surround himself with whomever he pleased, creating a real-life football organization for the first time since that fateful day Daniel Snyder bought the team in May of 1999.
With Bruce gone, and without any idea how to actually run an NFL organization, who would Dan turn to to help him make decisions? His only remaining ally; Joe Gibbs. Yes, my friends. In this fantasy Gibbs will help guide him in choosing his real-life GM, and in turn, lead to the hiring of a real-life coach. If I had to guess, I’d say Louis Riddick is the next GM. No, not because everyone is saying it now, but because he tweeted out, about a week after he began his non-stop praise of the Haskins pick, tweeted out “Stay Tuned” in a tweet that was since deleted. The moment he tweeted that out, I thought it had something to do with Redskins management, and I think it did, but I think he was told to wait. If you have been listening to his comments of late...they don’t distract at all from my hypothesis. Plus, he’s a good-looking, nationally-recognized, smart, former Redskin executive. Now, who would Riddick hire? Another Gibbs favorite; Todd Bowles. Bowles has demonstrated the ability to take mediocre talent on defense and create a competent unit, and that’s precisely how the Redskins will win. O’Connell will be retained as the OC because of his relationship with Haskins. The Redskins will finally switch to a 4-3 base defense and back to a zone-running scheme and the defensive front will be dominant and the secondary will actually be somewhat professional and the running game will flourish and Haskins’ ability on play-action with the deep ball will make Terry McLaurin a star and…...
Sorry. I got carried away. I guess we can always cross our fingers? In the meantime, LOSE TO THE DOLPHINS THIS WEEKEND!