View Full Version : The last 20 years.......

70 chip
21.11.2011, 02:19 PM
For those of you who were DC fans back in 1991 when we won our last World Championship (and to those brave souls who have chosen to support the Skins since), I was thinking just how many times I and other Skins fans I know have tried to put a positive spin on things pre or post season with regards to new or returning players, coaching staff, draft picks and free agent signings.

Quite frankly, I am getting to the end of my tether with doing it and also hearing it from elsewhere.

It's fine to praise where praise is due, particularly on defense with Orapko, Kerrigan, the unsung hero London Fletcher and others. But there are so many things wrong with this team we wont be going to the playoffs next year either, and to be frank who knows when it will next be. I have heard people say how great Shanahan is for the Redskins, and while you have to respect his achievements as a coach you do realise his two year record is going to be worse than Steve Spurrier's, don't you ?. By some margin in fact. And Spurrier did not have a superior talent pool by any means. Jim Zorn is going to have had more wins in his two years in charge (12) than Shanahan.

The biggest problem with the coaching staff is not Mike Shanahan, it's his son. As much as we miss Captain Chaos this year (and we do miss him) at least Kyle Shanahan has had to stop running all these ultra conservative 22 personnel sets (2 TEs, 2RBs) that he loves running. Yes there have been injuries, but Fred Davis in 2011 has a higher catch & yardage per game totals than Cooley did in 2010, Hightower was pedestrian at best before he was hurt (and way below Torains 2010 performance and numbers). Moss is a big knock granted. Hankerson was anonymous before his breakout game that saw him then move to IR. Of course losing these players has hurt us, no question, but it is the quality of the backup play and how the team copes that counts. We have done a really poor job there.

Yes, the team inherited from Zorn was a pretty poor team. But in terms of Offensive Yards & Defensive Yards conceeded, we have actually got worse under Shanahan.

Do I want Shanahan fired if we finish 3-13, 4-12, 5-11 or whatever. No I don't, because I think we are in such a mess that bringing in a new coach won't return much of a difference in terms of reward. I would like to see Kyle Shanahan fired, but would be amazed if that happens. I really hope Mike Shanahan & Bruce Allen can get this thing turned around, draft a decent quarterback with our first pick or trade a few places (and it will only be a few places ) to get what they consider to be the best option for the team is which may not be Luck, and are pro-active in the free agent market with regards to quality offensive linemen. It wont happen overnight, and possibly Shanahan wont get much longer from Snyder anyway.

You may disagree with me, that is your right, and yes there are a few things to be positive about, but this is massively outweighed by the negative aspects of this team. I take no pleasure in it whatsoever, in fact I hate it.

We used to be great once.

I have probably depressed you enough already, if I haven't, read on..........

Washington Redskins 1992 to 2011 (20 seasons)

Overall record 134 - 179
14 losing seasons
6 winning seasons
2 seasons with 10 or more wins
4 playoff appearances
3 playoff wins

7 seasons with a positive points differential
13 seasons with a negative points differential

8 different HCs (over 9 periods due to 2 Joe Gibbs tenures)
0 coaches with an overall winning record
1 with a .500 record
7 with a losing record

Gibbs 39-41
Petitbon 4-12
Turner 39-53-1
Robiskie 1-2
Schottenheimer 8-8
Spurrier 12-20
Zorn 12-20
Shanahan 9-17

21.11.2011, 07:13 PM
This is a subject I have much to say on and plenty of time for anyone who wants to talk about it rationally. I'll get the ball rolling here, but not say all I can.

Firstly, a short history of nearly everything:

After a strong start to their existence, the Redskins were woeful between 1945 and 1970. Even legendary coach Vince Lombardi couldn't complete a turnaround, dying before he had the chance to restore pride to the franchise. In 1971, George Allen was hired, who found some strong success with his "The Future Is Now" mantra. Towards the end of Allen's tenure, Bobby Beathard was hired. Following two wasted years with Jack Pardee, the Front Office took a shine to Joe Gibbs, who would turn out to be a mastermind and a great leader of men, working with a team assembled by Beathard. Beathard would leave in 1989 to go to the Chargers, being succeeded by Charlie Casserly. Whilst the Redskins won the 1991 superbowl, it marked the end of an era. The old talent was ready to retire and neither Gibbs nor Casserly had succeeded in successfully restocking the roster. Ritchie Pettibon was left to clear up the mess during the 1993 season, in turn paving the way for Norv Turner.

Neither Turner nor Casserly (but arguably less so than Turner) were successful in the rebuilding of the team, but were still in place when Dan Snyder purchased the team, at a time when the organisation was in something of a disarray. For that reason, they were both kept on, but Casserly was fired at the end of the 1999 season, with Vinny (spit) Cerrato replacing him. Turner was fired mid-way through 2000 and replaced with Marty Schottenheimer, who in turn fired Cerrato. What Marty achieved that year with a weak roster (the last time it could be said that the Redskins attempted a rebuild) he considers to be one of the best achievements of his coaching career, but due to "musical differences", Dan Snyder fired him (a move I believe he has admitted regretting), introducing hot college coaching prospect Steve Spurrier and reinstating Cerrato.

The mistakes that Snyder and Cerrato made between that point and the firing (resigning - yeah, right!) of both Cerrato and Zorn have lead to the team we see now. Gibbs was not a mistake, but the failure to give him a Bobby Beathard (the man is a genius - his track record was phenomenal) the second time around restricted his success. The hunt for Gibbs' successor became something of a circus and a media joke and that, coupled with the lack of success bringing in free agents led Synder to realise that his strategy hadn't worked and it was time to hand over the reigns. Enter Bruce Allen, son of George, experienced (although not necessarily the most successful) NFL Executive. Given the damage Snyder had caused to relationships between the organisation and players, alumni and fans alike, it was vital he hire somebody to try and repair it. Who better than somebody who grew up with and cared for the Redskins? Whether George was hired and in turn hired Mike Shanhan, or if Snyder went directly to Shanahan, who insisted on a competent GM isn't entirely clear, but it's pretty obvious they had years of wrong decisions to overcome and it wasn't going to happen overnight.

Too long for ya? Then understand this: This is not the worst period in Redskins history. That one came to an end with the best success this team ever had. As for the rot, it started before Joe Gibbs even retired, before Snyder. The first attempt to fix it failed, a second barely got off the ground. This is only the third genuine rebuild attempt in twenty years - GIVE IT TIME!

22.11.2011, 12:42 PM
Generally, I have no major gripes with the way Allen and Shanahan are trying to fix this team. They do have a lot of work to do, though, more than many think. On a roster of 53 men, just 14 (quick count) players from the old regime remain. You can't replace 39 players in two years from the draft, especially when you have limited picks in the first. So you have to rely heavily on free agency. Signing big name, big money free agents hasn't worked too well for this team since modern free agency began and the availability in year 1 was restrictive anyway. If you find 3 or more long-term starters from a draft, you have drafted well. So, obtaining 6 genuine starters (out of 22) would still leave this team very short of players.

The acquisition of free agents and trades have been a mixed bag for this front office. Nobody brought in has performed at an elite level. Some are solid-to-good contributors, some have already failed. That's pretty standard - talent identification is not an easy process. However, the way they have gone about making (mostly) shrewd, low-risk stake trades and acquiring solid contributors over perceived superstars has been a refreshing lift. You need to have 53 men on the roster. For all (or nearly all) 53 players to be either an elite performer, solid starter or solid depth requires a trial and error process. It cannot be done in two seasons. As it stands, I'd say the team has some of the aforementioned pieces, but some of what should be depth guys are starting and some of the guys currently on the roster for depth should emergency guys, practice squadders or not in the NFL. That's the way it is with a rebuild. As new starters materialise through the draft or free agency, the guys who should be depth will lose their starting jobs, but still be able to contirbute. That's how to make a strong team.

There are three areas in which the decisions made are open to fair and extensive criticism:

Firstly, the decision to switch to the 3-4, especially given the players in year one. So, that team was ranked bottom statistically in most categories last year, burt is now, just one year and one draft on, performing at a level similar to what we used to see in the 4-3 days (check it out, I think the Greg(g) defenses were always overrated a bit). So, the jury's still out on this ons

Secondly, the choices made at the QB position. The Donovan McNabb experiment failed, but it's general consensus that when you can identify a quarterback who can lead your team, you go out and do what you can to acquire him. Mike came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of McNabb, but the guy has been benched for the third time in as many seasons - the fact that Mike cut his losses and actually got draft picks out of it gets much less press than that criticism. John Beck seems to have been a big mistake and Rex Grossman is better as a backup than a starter (but, he's doing enough to keep the team competitive most of the time). Three (four if you think of Jason Campbell that way) arguably big mistakes, but it's debatable as to whether there was a much better free agent or a better rookie quarterback available to this team. Sure, Andy Dalton is playing well in Cincinatti, but one person does not work as well in all situations and it's only year one of his career - he may never quite pan out. Mike has another chance to rectify this problem and get it right in this draft. He may just find the quarterback he wanted all along. He needs that opportunity to try, though.

Thirdly, the offensive line. There's been change, but little overall difference in the performance. There's a LT who is injury prone and may end up being a better RT. The interior linemen starting this season would all be better options as depth, but have played well some of the time. Jammal Brown, a low-risk trade move, seems to have lost it somewhat. The other guys are either not much cop, or too inexperienced. The injuries to the line and the general ineffectiveness of the run game have resulted in some shuffling, but there isn't a solution yet. I'm sure the problems here are obvious to the coaches. Again, Mike has a chance to try and put this right this offseason by using at least two of his four round 2-4 picks on the line and again looking to free agency. Failure to do this should rightly be met with criticism.

In short: This team was badly damaged and needed a rebuild. You can't replace ~40 players with quality overnight or even in two drafts. Some moves have worked, others haven't and this is almost always the case. It hurts us all what is happening right now, but this is the first genuine rebuild we have seen in years. IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME!

I'll address the Shanahan-Snyder situation next.

70 chip
22.11.2011, 12:57 PM
All of this I am fully aware of as a passionate Redskins fan since wk 1 of 1982, and someone who has been actively involved in football since 1985. That isn't a criticism of what you have posted, you are putting flesh on the bones of the OP for those who perhaps haven't been fans as long or who have forgotten some of this.

While I don't disagree with most of what you have posted Goo, especially it is going to take time as I have already said, I will be amazed if Shanahan gets the necessary time to rebuild what we have now, because it is going to take an age in what is a win now league for a historically not particularly patient owner.

22.11.2011, 01:05 PM
All of this I am fully aware of as a passionate Redskins fan since wk 1 of 1982, and someone who has been actively involved in football since 1985. That isn't a criticism of what you have posted, you are putting flesh on the bones of the OP for those who perhaps haven't been fans as long or who have forgotten some of this.

While I don't disagree with most of what you have posted Goo, especially it is going to take time as I have already said, I will be amazed if Shanahan gets the necessary time to rebuild what we have now, because it is going to take an age in what is a win now league for a historically not particularly patient owner.

Not doubting your knowledge - it's there for anybody else who wants to read it. As I said, I'm going to give my opinions Snyder when I get the chance. It's going to take a long time before I ever trust the guy. But in the meantime, he's an exercise in questioning common belief:

Write a list of all of the head coaches that Dan snyder has fired before they had a reasonable chance to prove themselves.

I think you'll find the list is very short.

70 chip
22.11.2011, 02:07 PM
Not doubting your knowledge - it's there for anybody else who wants to read it. As I said, I'm going to give my opinions Snyder when I get the chance. It's going to take a long time before I ever trust the guy. But in the meantime, he's an exercise in questioning common belief:

Write a list of all of the head coaches that Dan snyder has fired before they had a reasonable chance to prove themselves.

I think you'll find the list is very short.

Look maybe I came across wrong, I am looking to discuss rather than to argue, honest LOL

If you look at the list of coaches under Snyder

Fired Turner after 2 yrs (right)
Fired Schottenheimer after 1 (insane)
Fired/He resigned Spurrier after 2 (correct)
Gibbs retired after his 2nd tenure
Zone fired after 2 (correct)
Shanahan in 2nd

I'm leaving out Robiskie who was an interim

Gibbs got us to the playoffs in season 2, defensive meltdown in season 3 (5-11) and then back to 9-7 and the playoffs in 2007. Snyder could not have fired Gibbs in yr 3 without there being uproar in DC, and in years 2 & 4 Coach Gibbs had us in the playoffs. He is the only coach who has had longer than 2 seasons under Snyder.

As I said in my post, I don't want Shanahan Snr to go, but if we don't have a serious improvement in record (and I hear what you are saying about the rebuilding process) I will be AMAZED if he makes it into season 4.

22.11.2011, 07:15 PM
I've seen a number of Redskins fans on her disappear over the last couple of years. I appreciate personal circumstances change, but I doubt this is completely unrelated to the Redskins' performance. To be honest, I really only come here to discuss the Skins. For a start, they're the only team I can dedicate any time to. But there's a very vocal minority on here who spout a LOT of crap and I'm frankly tired of it. One reason I have stayed on is because I don't mind keeping you company on here, there seem to be few others willing to do much real discussion on the Skins.

Dan Snyder has a reputation for having limited patience. However, Marty was the only person he fired before he should have. Turner, Spurrier and Zorn all proved themselves incapable at this level (Turner less so than the others, but he's hardly a successful head coach). Turner had well outstayed his welcome, helped in part by the turmoil following JKC's death, the others didn't seem to have a solution for their problems. Of course, Snyder is in a much different position now than he was when he fired Marty (speaking of whom, read this if you haven't: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/marty-schottenheimer-on-cerrato-snyder-and-shanahan/2011/03/24/AB0EmeOB_blog.html). The organisation has become something of a joke, there was an embarrassing circus surrounding the hiring of Gibbs' successor and if anything, the 2009 season was the lowest the organisation has sunk in Dan's tenure.

Dan did the right thing and fired the goon with bug eyes and brought in somebody who cared about the organisation and has by all accounts allowed the running of the team to those who should know what they're doing. It strikes me as laughable that in general, people were more willing to give Michael Vick a chance to redeem himself than Dan Snyder. Yet, really only those who consider Vick's actions despicable seem to be unwilling to let him off.

As I said, I won't trust Snyder for some time yet. We're all afraid that he will lose his patience, but you can't overcome your fears without rationalising them first. There are certainly very valid reasons why Snyder will not "revert to type". I don't need to be told "told you so" if he does, though.

The reality is, even with a decent rookie quarterback next year, the Redskins may still struggle. But if Shanahan's not given a further year to work with his guy, might as well fire him right this minute. One less noticeable thing that has changed since the introduction of Allen and Shanahan is the extent to which information is leaked. Nothing was really a secret when Cerrato was around, but a lot of moves made since have come out of the blue - the talking heads have largely speculated and been way off the mark. The sources that I think are trustworthy these days back up the evidence that Shanahan is going to be given time, that's enough for me to persevere. I want the coaching staff to be left largely intact, for stability.

Ultimately, if all Shanahan achieves is putting this organisation on the right track for somebody else to come along and finish the job properly, then I'm fine with that and he will have done far more than most people will give him credit for. I'm as frustrated and as hurt as you are, really I am. I'm at the end of my tether, too. But I can't turn my back on this team and encourage you to be the same way. If other people want to turn in their fan cards (and I'm not suggesting you do, or that you will), they can go ahead, but when the good times come back, I don't want to see them pretending they never did.

70 chip
22.11.2011, 11:32 PM
I'll never turn my back on them buddy, and to be honest I am normally pretty patient (we have to be don't we) - bit of a crisis of faith but I am sure it will pass.

I agree Cerrato was one of the worst things to happen to us in the last few years, and Bruce Allen is a huge upgrade. I just hope we get things moving in the right direction in the offseason and early next season record wise as I don't want MS fired and us being back to stage one again. That said I remain totally unsold on KS.

One thing that never fails to amaze me is the slowness of this sub forum. Is there really so few of us nowadays ?

23.11.2011, 12:32 PM
Between the Eagles game and the Dolphins game, it looked like the Redskins weren't going to win another game all season. But many of the people who jumped to that conclusion seem to ignore that through weeks 1-4, the Redskins looked like they could pick up multiple victories this year.

Divisional game or not, the Cowboys game showed the same kind of offensive performance we saw in weeks 1 through 4 and that's in spite of the injuries. The Redskins are not going to just throw in the towel and mail it in the rest of the season. We still have no idea how the remaining 6 games will pan out.

Just remember this: This Sunday at Seattle is the first game of the rest of the season.

23.11.2011, 02:04 PM
It seemed very ho-hum and possibly a failure at the time, but the Gibbs Restoration Era got to the playoffs 2 out of 4 years. Paltry stuff until you compare it with the rest of seasons.

I thought 6-10 last was OK, considering, but I really did expect improvement this year.

Shanny has to be given a third season I think, but without a genuine QB I don't see things getting too much brighter.

70 chip
23.11.2011, 03:17 PM
PMA for Sunday !!! LOL

26.11.2011, 04:25 PM
Snyder for me has been a big problem Snyder's biggest mistake for me was sacking Marty. We were heading in the right direction but he wanted Spurrier and the rest was history.

Set us back at least 2 years.

Bruce ma Goose
02.12.2011, 07:23 PM
I wouldn't be too downhearted if I was a Skins fan. The last two weeks have given you a glimmer of hope and you are at least playing hard. But most importantly, I think the NFC East is on the cusp of becoming a pretty weak Division, so any half decent team should have a chance in the coming years.

Garret is unconvincing as Dallas Coach and despite their talent I can't see them becoming world beaters under him. The Eagles could implode at any moment and the Giants, even if they don't have injuries next season, have serious O-Line and running back issues that aren't going to be fixed overnight.

So chin up, and leave the lamenting to true sufferers like the Browns, Bucs and Bills who are at a similar level to the Skins but look likely to be stuck in very competitive divisions for years to come with little hope of the playoffs.

31.12.2011, 11:25 AM
I'm prepared to be patient. This team was a mess. We have something like 12 players left from when Zorn was coach, the cap was a mess and we have had two off-seasons of flux which have meant it's been harder to rebuild on a team that needed ripping apart and starting over.

Shanahan tried to mask the issues by getting McNabb believing he could be a difference maker and keep the team competitive whilst the rest of the team was rebuilt then as McNabb faded his own chosen QB would step into the gate. McNabb failed and that was a mistake but I don't think anyone expected him to fade so quickly and frankly, McNabb's work habits and resistance to coaching led to his own demise IMO.

However, after two years, despite not great results on the field, the roster has been revamped (it still needs work), we are younger, we have drafted well the past two years (especially this year, we may look on the 2011 draft as a golden one in time) and we are in fantastic cap shape (we stand at $83.5m going into 2012 with a probable cap of $120m, we can also carry over roughly $10m of cap room going spare from this season).

Another good draft, a couple of good free agent signings, sensible re-signings of our own free agents and we are looking really good to compete in the next two years (I don't expect play-offs next year). However, the decision Shanahan and Co have to get right in the next year is QB. As I suggested in another thread I'd take a three pronged approach of bringing back Rex, signing Matt Flynn and drafting a QB in rounds 1 or 2. He gets the QB position fixed and this rebuild will work and look complete but most of all what's important for me is we are building for the long term, not the short term. As much as I love Joe Gibbs he went for the short term fixes and he got moderate success, we paid the price after he left as this team was left in Vinny's hands and he build his "play-off" roster.

This rebuild does require patient, but I think the general direction is sound and will work. I want the ultimate result to be a team that competes every year, drafts well every year and has limited roster turnover season to season. I don't want to get to the pay-offs for one or two years, go one and out and then spend 4 years rebuilding after that.