Washington Redskins: Building Without Building Blocks

Marques GaryContributor IDecember 22, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I said at the beginning of this year that I wouldn’t judge the Redskins on wins alone.  I was mostly going to see if I noticed a change for the better in general.  You know, better team organization and more discipline, but mostly better decision making from the front office or powers that be.

Sadly, I see that my beloved team is just as bad this year as they were last year. I say this because the first thing head coach Mike Shanahan did when he was hired was to alienate Jason Campbell and trade two high to mid-round draft picks for Donovan McNabb. Now, I personally think if Andy Reid (who was like a father to McNabb) was willing to trade him WITHIN the division, then that says enough right there. 

At the time I said we should have kept Campbell even if they didn’t want him because of his price tag and the funny free agency situation. Plus, I felt it didn’t matter who we had under center if we didn’t have a center. I thought we might as well keep JC and use our first- and second-round draft picks on the best linemen available. Now, if things didn’t work out you can go out and draft your new QB the next year. Who would care? Everybody knows it would take at least two years of good management and drafting to make the Redskins barely formidable again. 

Unfortunately, we traded JC to Oakland (where he seems to be doing better than McNabb) for next to nothing and then traded a second- and third- or fourth-round pick to the Eagles for McNabb. Now, my problem with Shanahan is he should have really made sure that he wanted McNabb or that McNabb would at least fit his system before the trade. Now, we’re in a worse place than before. We have lost out on two “young” pieces we could have used to rebuild and we’ve disrespected another QB publicly. 

You would think that at least Bruce Allen the GM of the Redskins would be the first to know that the most important group on offense is the O-line. That’s how the Redskins won three Super Bowls in the 80s, by having the most dominant line in the NFL. They plugged three quarterbacks and countless running backs behind that line. The last time we had a decent line Joe Gibbs took us to the playoffs in his second run as head coach. 

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Oakland, on the other hand, had built a decent O-line, but hadn’t had a good QB since Rich Gannon. Now they’ve put JC behind that line and are fighting for the playoffs for the first time in years. I guarantee this—we will not get close to the playoffs again until we build a young O-line through the draft. It’s a shame when Al Davis looks more astute then Shanahan.