Washington Redskins Fans...Relax!
So...pretty rough season so far, huh? Man, I can't remember a time in my entire life I've enjoyed watching my favorite team play less.
Quite frankly, the fact that the Redskins have a bye this week allows me a small respite from that dejected/bewildered feeling I've gotten the first three hours after each game this year.
However, despite the fact that our team is epically dysfunctional this season and we seem to have dug ourselves a sizable hole, I think it's time that we all took a deep breath and just relaxed.
To start with, Jim Zorn is in over his head as a head coach. He will be fired at the end of the season. Let's move on.
Aside from that, and in Zorn's defense, I'm not sure how many coaches would be able to win with our current offensive line.
The fact that our lack of depth on the O-line was talked about fairly often during this preseason allows me to conclude that Vinny Cerrato was at least somewhat aware of some potential problems.
Now that those problems have occurred, we're in bad shape and quite frankly there's no quick and easy solution.
With all this knowledge, we still need to relax. Think about it this way. When everyone here watches Titanic , nobody is surprised when the ship sinks. You knew this going into the movie.
The same attitude should be taken towards the rest of this season.
First of all, since the playoffs have essentially waved bye-bye to us; technically the "best" thing for us to do is to lose the rest of our games to receive higher draft picks.
Of course, I would never advocate "tanking," because that destroys an organization's confidence and overall talent, but it should be kept in mind as we continue to lose games. Sort of like a consolation prize.
More importantly, we have some definite positives that we can focus on.
First of all, the play of our defense has been fantastic. Being forced to play after so many three-and-outs, and given such tough field position time after time, it really is quite amazing how well they've played.
Rookies Brian Orakpo and Jeremy Jarmon have both flashed incredible talent and the ability to get to the quarterback consistently.
The addition of Albert Haynesworth has absolutely helped our defense. I can't believe that some people don't see this. Andre Carter is having a monster year so far and it is in large part due to Haynesworth's presence (see Kyle Vanden Bosch's stats).
I'm not going to beat this into the ground, but Haynesworth is playing well and our defense is better with him. Oh, and he's not making $100M for sure.
In the NFL, with a salary payout determined by so many accelerators and roster bonus', the only number to really pay attention to when a player is signed is the "Guaranteed Money" amount.
Haynesworth is guaranteed $41M. Has he earned it? Not yet. Are we better with him? Definitely.
Even the offense has had a few glimmers of hope recently. Seeing Devin Thomas score last week brought me great happiness and watching Fred Davis finally play like the athletic playmaker he was at USC was very pleasing.
The performances of those two, along with some of the plays Malcolm Kelly has made, shows that our bevy of 2008 second round picks may be starting to catch up to the speed of the NFL.
As stated, with our current offensive line situation and all the unrest from the owner's box to the sideline, our team is going to lose...often. I think 4-12 is pretty realistic right about now.
But we need to approach this, not with the outrage of a fading contender, but with the patience and wisdom of a wounded warrior.
I'm not saying we should accept losing and not hold people accountable for the mistakes that have been made. Rather, I'm saying that instead of continuing to treat each loss like the spark that needs to ignite change, we have to relax.
In our current position there's virtually nothing that even can change until about February.
We won't fire Zorn until after the season, we can't really prepare for the draft without knowing both who all is declaring and what spot we'll have, and free agency is but a dot in the distance.
To quote the great Norman Dale from the movie Hoosiers , "This is your team."
We need to understand that as much as losing hurts and as awful as our offense performs on Sundays, this is our team. This is the 2009 Washington Redskins.
We need to start supporting that team more and understand that this team is just a vessel between current woes and future successes. Complaining and crying only make us look weak and fickle.
We have more class as a fanbase than to complain endlessly when our team has one horrific season.
Part of the reason the Redskins' mediocrity has been so widely publicized this season is because the unrest has spread to the players and the fans. Nobody cares about a losing team that sticks together and continues to fight. That's boring.
Despite their woes this season, you have read less negative stories about the Rams this year than stories involving Chiefs running back Larry Johnson and his gay slur towards his head coach this week. Admit it.
Steve Spagnuolo is a tough, smart head coach and while the Rams are floundering, they are doing it the right way.
We need to adopt this style. Clearly the Redskins players wanted Zorn to retain his job for the rest of the year. And he will. That was a good move by management.
Now we just need to enter each game with the optimism that we can beat our opponent, but the wisdom that in years such as this, wins will be scarce.
We all know the ship is going down. In fact, the lower compartments have already started to flood.
Let's just relax...and not act so surprised.
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