Bill Parcells famously said that you are what your record says you are, and no truer words have ever been spoken. But in Washington, one of the things that makes local sports so agonizingly painful to root for is that talent doesn’t always meet coaching, which usually doesn’t meet fan expectations.
And in the end, you have a hodgepodge of hurt feelings and loss column notches.
But you have to wonder, given the mental fortitude that the Redskins have shown in the face of epic failure, the emergence of young talent once cast to the nether-regions of Kwame Brown’s Shire of Bustdom, are the Redskins actually better than their record would indicate?
No one could say that they are getting the brakes beat off of them. And yeah, their offense was as bad through the first half of this season as it was good through the first half of the 2008 campaign. But they are now putting up points, and while the defense hasn’t necessarily closed the book on opponents great and mediocre, they haven’t been an unbearable team to watch.
A Graham Gano signing three weeks ago might have had people talking about Jim Zorn earning one more year in Washington, because they would’ve beaten the Cowboys, Saints and Raiders for three wins out of their last four contests.
Brian Orakpo is a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. Fred Davis and Devin Thomas have emerged as weapons, and Quinton Ganther may be the heir apparent to Ladell Betts when Clinton Portis is cut this offseason. There are signs of the Redskins’ youth adjusting to professional preparation, and preparing for solid careers.
Against all logic and numbers, they may not be as bad as they look.