Monday, November 29, 2010

Bang The Table

Dress and scream all you like, Redskins fans.

But this is how mediocrity feels.

Eerily similar from week to week, the highs and lows normally associated with NFL fandom, drained from your body.

Right now, the Redskins remind me of an old saying amongst lawyers. It goes (roughly) like this.

When you have the facts on your side... argue the facts.
When you don't have the facts, argue the law.

When you don't have either the facts or the law, bang the table.

Adapted for the NFL, it might go like this....

When you have the talent to win, agonize over every play.
When you don't have the talent, argue about the coaching
When you don't have the talent OR the coaching... bang the table.

Or in our case... talk about "changing the culture."

The Redskins are a talent poor team, that needs a near perfect confluence of factors to win, even with a veteran QB at the helm, and a veteran coach on the sideline.

We can moan all we want about dropped passes, penalties that negate touchdowns, but these are not afflictions unique to Redskins Nation. No, in fact they are actually pervasive around the league, and no more rare than the common cold. Every team must endure these setbacks and overcome them to win games.

Or winning teams simply overwhelm their inevitable mistakes, bad luck, and bad calls, with superior play in other areas, and deliver a point total that is insurmountable, or renders their opponent hopelessly behind, and without benefit of their carefully considered game plan or patience.

We shall see if this "change in culture" actually nets any tangible benefits. But for now, it's like sitting in abandoned house where you just hung an air freshener saying: "Hmm. Sure does feel brighter in here already, doesn't it?"

The problem, which I have discussed before, is that elite coaches with resumes, rings, and 10,000 square foot mansions in both Denver and Cabo, never want to endure talent acquisition phases in a franchise's life.

They are painful, awkward, psychically unrewarding. That, and of no certainty to succeed.

Yet they are necessary for true success.

Sure. Fake success, momentary success, get-my-cash-and-be-gone success can be had at the retail level in the NFL.

In other words, money and free agents CAN buy you all the wildcard berths you can eat.

Sunday's game was unremarkable for the Redskins in the larger story arc of this franchise. They were a small underdog at home, to a bad/mediocre team. They played about as hard as they could, with the players who were available to them. The coaches employed a mostly mistake free strategic execution of the game.

But alas, the inevitable 5 plays that decide close NFL games, broke 4-1 against them, and they lost.

I don't really have much more to say about the game.

It's not that Shanahan isn't the right man for this job. He's probably just not the right man, right NOW, for this job.

What we need, is essentially a "disposable" NFL coach to take the lumps, and the fall, for when we decide to shed salaries and start 4 or 5 rookies. We took a half step in that direction two years ago, but Vinny was the idiot picking players, and Zorn proved to be a bit TOO disposable.

Find me the next Thomas Dimitroff or Scott Pioli, and let them find our sideline stooge.

Does anybody have Scott Linehan's number, and would be amenable to another tour of duty in this role?

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