Much has been made recently of the Redskins' failures, particularly in the front office. While anti-Snyder sentiment has been brewing for the past couple years, it has finally reached its end. Instead of addressing the points that have been rehashed over and over again, I'd like to present my own hypothesis: the 'Dan Snyder Perspective'.
The Danny, in his heart, is a Redskins fan. I truly believe that The Danny has nothing but the best intentions for the franchise. When The Danny slams a 100 million dollar contract for a player, he means well. If there is one thing you cannot fault The Danny for, its his willingness to spend money for the team. The question is why does he continue to spend on big name free-agents that jeopardize the chemistry of the team?
I believe the answer is this: The Danny truly, absolutely, positively believes that the team is just 'One or two great players away from a Championship'. In order to understand why The Danny feels this way, we need to look at his tenure as an owner in two halves, from 1999-2004, and 2005-2009.
The Danny purchased the team in 1999, for 800 million dollars. That was a team in transition, dealing with the death of Jack Kent Cooke and the physical transition from RFK Stadium to what is now FedEx Field. From 1999-2004, the Redskins saw a total of 4 head coaches come and go; Norv Turner, interim coach Terry Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer, and Steve Spurrier. During that time, the Redskins went 10-6, 8-8, 8-8, 7-9, 5-11, 6-10.
After the firing of Spurrier at the conclusion of the 2004 season, the Redskins entered the second half of The Danny's tenure. The hiring of Joe Gibbs was monumental. The fans completely forgot about the previous 4 years, and embraced the future with Gibbs. The 2005 season was the highlight, the first time the Redskins made the post-season since 1999, even winning a game before falling to the Seahawks. Optimism was high, and 2006 was dubbed a 'Championship Year' not just by The Danny, or the fans, but a large portion of the media.
In 2006, the Redskins went 5-11, matching the previous lowest mark for The Danny. In 2007 the Redskins made the post-season, despite Sean Taylor's death. Joe Gibbs retired at the end of the 2007 season, and Jim Zorn headed an 8-8 team in 2008.
So where am I going with this? For a normal Redskins fan, the past 10 years can be seen as a failure with 2 exceptions, the 2005 and 2007 seasons. The team, for the past 10 years, has been average to below-average. The 2005 and 2007 seasons were made up of a team that outplayed their talent, basically playing out of their minds. The 2005 team was 5-6 at one point, and reeled off 5 straight victories to make the playoffs. The 2007 team was again at one point in their season 5-7, before winning 4 straight wins. Neither seasons indicate a great team or a championship team. Great teams don't sag in the middle and barely make the playoffs. They are consistent throughout the season.
So for a fan, 2005 and 2007 were the exception to the norm, two unique seasons out of 5 mediocre ones. For The Danny, however, I believe that he views the 3 bad seasons as 'unique', and the 2005 and 2007 teams as the norm. I believe that he thinks the current roster, which has many of the same players as the 2005 and 2007 seasons, is still a championship caliber team. He thinks that the team is generally healthy, and went through a few bad seasons due to injuries and bad luck.
That is the only way I can explain his actions. Any other owner or GM would see the Redskins as it really is, a team that needs to rebuild. The Redskins has never gone through a true 'rebuilding' moment. The closest was in 2004/2005 when Joe Gibbs was hired. But even then, it was not a rebuilding more than it was a reshuffling; the adding and removing of a few players.
Because The Danny still believes the current team is a player or two away from greatness, he will never completely blow up the team and start over. He will never make drastic changes, and will attempt to keep 'continuity' in the team, i.e. keep Vinny Cerrato as President of Operations.
The reason as to why The Danny thinks this is unknown, although I believe he just has no contact with reality. He doesn't do interviews, he doesn't address the media, and there is no indication he really keeps up with outside views on his team.
Tony Kornheiser said on his radio show that during the Redskins-Chiefs game, the fans began chanting "Sell the team, Dan", and that the people in The Danny's private box were shocked. Tony doesn't elaborate on why everyone was so shocked, but I think it shows something: The Danny and the people he spends his time with have no idea what is going on outside their 'private box'. They are oblivious to how the fans feel, the problems that plague the Redskins, and the general status of the Redskins as viewed by the football community:dysfunctional.
The Danny still thinks the Redskins are a championship caliber team, and will continue to add that special player who will take them over the top. He will not blow the team up from the inside, and give up control of the team. Not while the team is 'championship caliber'. Perhaps in a few years (decades), The Danny will finally admit they are a pretty mediocre team, and give up control. Until then, The Danny will continue adding superstar free agents, giving up draft picks (the future) for veterans (the present), and push the team further and further into the depths of the NFL. This is just my opinion, of course, and I could be totally wrong. Maybe The Danny is a genius, and we just cannot understand what he is doing with our feeble and average minds. Or The Danny is slowly killing the Redskins and the fans because of his own blindness and biased perspective.