Randolph Charlotin. 1st October, 2009 - 8:20 pm
Losing to a team that lost its previous 19 games makes the Redskins problems seem as big as the nation?s issues.
The panic attack system for the Washington Redskins is up from gold to burgundy now that the team is off to a 1-2 start. A team that fell just short of the playoffs last year, they?ve struggled putting points on the board (13.3 pts/gm, 28th overall) and have a defense that can?t stop the run (127.7 yds/gm 22nd overall) despite signing the premiere free agent, who happens to be one of the games best defensive linemen, this year.
It was embarrassing enough they beat the lowly St. Louis Rams by the redskin of their teeth. Now the players feel H1N1 sick after losing to Detroit, the Lions? first win since 2007. Dressing like a ?Hog can?t hide the embarrassment.
Owner Daniel Snyder?s approval rating might be at the nadir right now. His repeated attempts to build the team into a consistent winner resemble Charlie Brown?s repeated attempts to kick the football held by Lucy.
This is Snyder?s 10th year as owner of the Redskins and he has just three playoff appearances and two playoff wins to show for it. As successful as he?s been as a businessman, Snyder has shown little to no sense running the franchise.
Snyder was star struck with his selection of head coaches but showed them little patience. He fired Marty Schottenheimer after one season, even though Washington recovered from an 0-5 start to finish 8-8.
Awed by the aerial wizardry of the University of Florida, Snyder hired Steve Spurrier to run the team. That was a complete disaster, as the Old Ball Coach was in over his head at the pro level. After two years, Spurrier was thankfully gone (one of Snyder?s few good decisions).
After the Spurrier debacle, Snyder coerced Joe Gibbs out of retirement in hopes of restoring the glory years. It was working, as Gibbs led the Redskins to two playoff appearances and a Wild Card win. But the murder of safety Sean Taylor put life in a new perspective for Gibbs. Joe stepped down to spend for time with his family and grandchildren.
In need of a coach, Snyder called every high profile coach that was unemployed: Bill Cowher, Jim Mora, Jim Fassel. During the courting process, Washington hired Jim Zorn to be the offensive coordinator. This move likely turned off some candidates as head coaches prefer to hand pick their own coaching staff instead of working with whom the organization forces upon them.
Unable to land a veteran coach, Zorn was promoted to head coach. It would take a lot of effort to screw up a coaching search worse than Snyder and the Redskins did.
As poorly as Snyder handled his head coach search, you?d think Snyder was advised by Bernie Madoff when it came to free agency. With an impatient approach, Snyder and the Redskins repeatedly bought high (LBs Jesse Armstead and Jeremiah Trotter, DTs Cornelius Griffin, Dana Stubblefield, and Dan Wilkinson, WR Antwaan Randle El) and didn?t get fair production for the price paid.
We thought Snyder got wise when he purchased just one free agent in 2008, but he was right back at it in ?09, increasing his defense budget astronomically by signing DT Albert Haynesworth and CB DeAngelo Hall. Recession? What recession?
Early returns don?t look favorable as the Redskins are 22nd against the run with Haynesworth. Even worse, Albert was injured against Detroit and he missed practice Wednesday. Head coach Jim Zorn is optimistic Haynesworth will play, and it won?t take a government option to get Haynesworth the health care he needs to get back on the field.
The season is far from over, but they will need a Marty Ball-like bounce back to turn the season around. QB Jason Campbell has to lead the Redskins into the endzone. And a defense that was fourth overall last year needs to play up to its ability.
The players know the solution to their problems comes only from the locker room. There?s no bailout for this slump.
Read more by Randolph Charlotin at his New England Patriots blog at . He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.