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A Franchise Just Looking for Answers

What a disaster! Trying to diagnose this team’s problems will be a great one but I will attempt to give it a try. This season for the Washington Redskins has been a complete catastrophe as far as being a solid NFL team goes. For the Redskins, it is a serious drought of effort and will to try and succeed, and honestly, the dry spell has been around since the beginning of the season. At first, I thought that it was just the execution of the Head Coach and his play calling which would be the main cause of the increasing amount of the plague floating around the play of the Redskins.

With these assumptions, it wouldn’t be exactly wrong, but not right either. The reason I make the claims that I do is that the problem has spread well beyond the coaching staff of the Redskins. Quite honestly, the problem has spread throughout the entire franchise. The team is currently 1-7 going on into week 9 of the season and things have never looked so awful. This description is generous, to say the least from last season as the number one team in their division to being now last in the division. The feeling for fans that admire the Redskins organization is a heartbreaking one with the team being at the bottom of the league. It almost makes it unbearable to watch the absence of effort when they are on the field. It’s disgusting.

As an avid fan and observer of the Redskins, I’m forced to ask the questions on a lot of fans’ minds. Let’s start with personnel moves.

1. With a 0-5 start to the season, the owner decided to finally make the decision to fire Jay Gruden, which seemed like a decision that should have happened a long time ago. The idea for a new head coach had been floating around and talked about for a while.

2. Even last season as the slope from last year’s drought after being at the top of the NFC East didn’t yet alarm the front office that changes needed to be made. I mean honestly, somebody should’ve taken note of what direction this ball club was going in after Gruden decided to fire D. J. Swearinger of his duty at free safety or only voicing his opinion about the coaching staff. We’ll deal with that in more detail a bit later.

3. One would be why is it that we are still, now into week 9 of the season letting our pro bowl Tackle Trent Williams still on his holdout after the awful play of the offensive line?! The effortlessness and lack of intensity that was referenced since last season is showing itself in a way that you would have to be blind to miss. From the amount of time that the quarterback gets in the pocket to the passes that are being delivered it is just appalling to look at. Running backs have to almost fool the entire defense to gain a first down. The organization is so in a mist after they declared Williams with a minor injury and placing him on injured reserve. After further investigation, it was later found that Williams had been diagnosed with cancer. Braindead decisions like these are probably why nobody wants to do business with the Redskins.

4. I am curious as to why the Redskins decided to take probably the best all-around quarterback in the draft, Dywane Haskins then decide not to utilize him until their back is against the wall in week 4 against the Giants and put him in for the first time a quarter of a way into the game unprepared?! Aspects such as this should never occur with any ball club, but then again there are many questions.

5. Making sure just to touch on all angles of this frustrating franchise, the defensive display has been piss poor. Josh Norman needs to be released immediately. If only the GM was as hasty to make decisions in regard to the tolerance of critique as referring to the tolerance of play then they might be able to change their losing ways. I have watched  Norman, pro bowl cornerback, franchise player currently receiving $75 million for a 5-year contract gets outran and give up a touchdown every… single… game. At first, I thought maybe it was the defensive coordinator placing him in these positions to not have a high probability to make a play.

Once you work your way past the personnel issues you have to tackle a whole set of questions about preparedness.

With the play that the franchise has been producing on national television, who is to say that the remarks that Swearinger made weren’t indeed true. After kicking off the season 0-5 it does not sound like too much film or preparation was put in before the games. While on the subject of getting ready and making arrangements.

When Swearinger decided to speak to the media after the game against the Titans in 2018 and share that at the time he felt like he watched more film than the coaches probably did. Shortly after these remarks, it was announced that Swearinger had been released and with this gesture; I suppose Gruden was trying to make an example out of the situation. Yet the thin skin of the head coach could not accept the backlash of a passionate and very talented player and decided to let him go. The gripe with Gruden became apparent to me even then as he decided to get rid of his defensive captain who was the heart and soul on that side of the ball all because he made some comments about the insufficient efforts, he felt on the part of the coaching staff.

It would be a sure thing to say that the level of play the team has been playing at, has the loyalty and patience of all Washington fans running thin. Reiterating the importance of preparation in the incident with the quarterback, there is the word floating around that Haskins isn’t putting the time he needs to get the playbook properly understood to perform the plays on the field. When AP was announced to talking to Haskins about studying the plays the skeptical suspicions of being ready just continue to rise.

The now 1-7 Washington Redskins being led by interim head coach Bill Callahan have hit rock bottom as the season is halfway through and currently tied for the last place in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. To sum it up in a few words, it is a franchise just looking for answers.


John Starcks

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