As a staff member at theHogs.net that goes by the name JansenFan, I think it’s pretty apparent that I am a big fan of the big guys up front. It is my core belief that games are won and lost in the trenches, and my team used to believe that, too.
When I think back on my youth as a Washington Redskins fan, I always think first of the Hogs. Joe Gibbs swore by this mantra. He won three Super Bowls by dominating the line of scrimmage, quarterback or running back be damned. John Riggins? Great running back, for sure. His stiff arm of McNeal and trundle down the sideline for the clincher will always be his, but the execution of 70-chip in Super Bowl XVII took all 11 guys.
In Super Bowl XXII, Timmy Smith set a Super Bowl rushing record. Was it because he was such a dominant running back that no Bronco could stop him? No. He had a good game, but the level of success he achieved fell squarely on the shoulders of the Hogs.
Then, in one of the most dominant seasons of any offensive line ever, the Hogs gave up 9 sacks all season long, allowing Mark Rypien, the posse and an excellent committee of running backs to lead our Washington Redskins to their third Super Bowl victory.
Now, here we are in 2009. The offensive line has become an afterthought. Its the position that seems to be the last priority on a team that used to identify itself by its ability to tell the defense where the ball was going and still execute the play. Its the position the Redskins seem content to plug anyone into, so long as it doesn’t interfere with drafting and signing skill players.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a General Manager, nor a scout. What I do know, however, is that there are very few teams in this league that could be consistently successful with the level of line play the Redskins have had in recent years. The Redskins have aging starters, little in the way of experienced depth and no reason for fans to believe that this will change any time soon.
This is a team with a lot of deficiencies, but the game is won and lost in the trenches, and I sincerely hope that this owner and front office start thinking about ways to address this, before they draft another young quarterback and ruin them in the way they have ruined players like Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell.