Monday, September 28, 2009

Washington Redskins - Where Do We Go From Here?

"Where do we go from here?" That's the question echoing around everything that it the Washington Redskins. Coming off a backbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions, who were 0-19 in the regular season coming into this game... the Redskins need now more than ever to submit to the old saying, "we need to find an identity."

Players are going to tell fans as players always tell fans, "we are out here competing, you all are just fans" and that's true... to an extent. Players know the x's and o's better than any fan... but fans know the struggle, the year in and year out, the unability to purchase expensive tickets so you have to watch from TV, the dependency on a team. The players know the fans are just as, if not more, important than they are. But does Dan Snyder know that?

I won't be one of these people saying we're fielding a bunch of talented guys who are overrated. Not a soul on this team is overrated by any means. The Redskins have plugged more guys at more positions than anyone else, and they've all done reasonably well.

This is a group of guys who don't function as a team, and it's not going to help if Snyder starts terminating contracts and executing trades. Besides, we all know what happens when a former Redskins finds a bond with another team. Stephen Davis made it to the Super Bowl. Antonio Pierce WON a Super Bowl. This is a group of guys who can win more than one Super Bowl, but they need to figure out who is who on this team. There's no room for anyone to be selfish, and that's what I want to address.

Now I, along with probably 100% of Washington Redskins fans, love Clinton Portis. He's a hard, physical runner who changed his game from the shifty, juking game that found him success at The U and in Denver. He's probably the best blocker in the entire league, and he's a damn good receiving back. But Clinton is selfish, and everyone knows that. He wants the ball, as all guys do... and while he's not as bad as Terrell Owens, it's apparent enough in him calling 4th down plays last season to give HIM the draw play. Portis has put his body on the line for this team, but it feels as though he's gotten content, he's happy where he's at, and he's not succeeding for us. I've seen some pretty good blocking, especially in yesterday's game against the Lions, where Portis tripped up, failed to come up on the other side of the line.

I know it's never easy to punch it in at the goalline, even Jerome Bettis has been stifled on goal, but Portis' effort looked like it was non-existant. Portis is a guy who runs people over and keeps his legs moving. Instead he went low trying to slide it in, and let his legs submit. I'd love to keep Clinton, but perhaps Washington NEEDS a new back, or a true 1-2 punch. Betts has all but remembered how to play football, he's been extremely disappointing, and Portis needs a guy who can spell him, and keep him fresh. This team wants to pass, and they've done decent at it, and it feels like Portis is unhappy not being given the chance to go for 2,000 yards.

This team appears to be dead-set on close games. All this tells me is that there isn't the heart of a warrior. Campbell doesn't trust the young guys yet, as he's really only going to Sellers, Moss, and Cooley in the endzone. It's time to show these young tall guys you wanted that you trust 'em. Screw a play-call from Zorn, you did better on your own, Jason! But Jason's been on fire, and I think he's the furthest from the problem... he's our savior. He deserves a new contract to be the franchise quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Eli did far worse until the playoff stretch leading to the SuperBowl, and now he's the richest QB in the league.

An O-Line. Heyer & Rinehart looked good together on the right. Samuels and Dockery looked good on the left. Rabach is small and handles his business. But this line is split into three parts on the field, and nobody sacrifices to block two guys on a blitz. Just like the offense is divided into 4 parts. A separated line, a quarterback, the running backs, the receivers. They need to be an offense... not tectonic plates.

The defensive line is under a lot of scrutiny, but with Orakpo and Haynesworth added, it'll take time, not be immediate. Redskins fans want immediate results more than Snyder does, and because of that, Snyder will get rid of someone too early. A coaching staff and offensive scheme takes years to learn and master. It's why the Giants, Colts, Patriots, Steelers, etc. all succeed. They take the good WITH the bad, and show patience. Zorn is still a new coach, and the team is still trying to learn his gameplan.

The linebackers are good. We might have the best three linebackers in a group.

The secondary... Hall hasn't done bad. Rogers hasn't done bad. But these guys are trying to be playmakers, and not play the way they found success. PRESS COVERAGE! Carlos is one of the best press-corners in the league, and it'll do him more good than bad in this contract year. Hall is a better press corner than he thinks, and until we get that pressure that comes with trust and time, he needs to play that way. Safeties have done well, in my honest opinion.

But the defense, too, is divided. There's no group-feel to the defense.

Then one of the things I have a major problem with, is the 5 man rush to block field goals... if someone runs a fake, they deserve it. But let's try to block the hell out of 'em!

And let's be Redskins! Warriors! People who fight with pride, for their tribe! People who put the tribe before themselves. Until we learn what it means to be Redskins, we won't be Redskins, and we'll continue to remain in this funk.

And if it means uniting to overthrow the chief (Dan Snyder), then let's do it. Because as a life-long Redskin... I'm sickened by the way we're acting!

Hail to the Redskins! Let's hail teamwork...