You aren’t likely to ever read this, but on the off chance that you do, please understand that as a diehard Washington Redskins fan, I am perfectly willing to let bygones be bygones at any point, if you can show me that you have learned from the error of your ways. That being said, I will begin…
What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t possibly be as stupid as you look on that sideline right now. I’m sure you can’t be that football dumb with who your father is, the amount of time you have spent around the game, and what seems like at least an above average intellect. Do you watch the games that you call? Are you happy with what you see?
Do you follow statistics and trends? Are you aware that your team has not lost a single game this season in which they have won the time of possession battle? I know it isn’t much of a sample group at 3 games, but they are the only 3 games that the Redskins have won. In every game that the opposition has held the ball longer than Washington, the Redskins have lost. Sure it’s a small sample group of 6 games, but again, they are the exact 6 games that the Redskins have lost.
I don’t want to come off condescending, so I won’t ask if you know how to win a time of possession battle, I know that you know the answer is to: run the damn ball. I know that a less astute football observer might buy the, ‘short passes are the same as runs’ argument, but I know that an NFL offensive co-ordinator knows better. So do I for that matter. There are many different dynamics when comparing short passes to running the ball, not the least of which is that your offensive line is usually going forwards when you run the ball, and backwards when you’re passing the ball. You remember the offensive line right? They’re the guys that are pretty beat up right now, and could use your help.
If you or I went and asked all 5 of those OL guys if they preferred going forwards and smashing guys in the mouth, or tip-toeing backwards and trying to keep up with some freaks of nature, we both know what the answer would unanimously be. Don’t we??? Would any of the guys in the trenches prefer to dance? Or are they happier in a fight? I can’t speak for the 1500-plus pounds of caged fury up there, but I’m pretty sure to a man, they’d love it if you’d take heed of the advice that I am trying to impart on you. Run the damn ball.
You can’t win the time of possession battle with 10-15 runs per game. You know this. You aren’t tying to win the time of possession battle; it isn’t integral to your ideal offense. Problem is, despite the small sample groups mentioned earlier – the theory is 100% accurate in predicting the outcome in those 9 games; three wins when we have it for more than 30 minutes, 6 losses when we don’t. No matter the size of the sample group Kyle, those numbers should be hard to look past. I promise you your opposition doesn’t. So to reiterate for re-inforcement: Run the damn ball, and take time off of the clock.
I’ve got another lesson that I’d like to share with you as well; you don’t crap on a guy when he breaks a franchise record. I don’t think you meant to, but you did.
Roy Helu may not have set a rushing record in his first start as a Redskin, but he did break the receptions record. I get that you prefer to have your running back break the rushing record, but didn’t he do about as much as he could with the pass-bonered offense that his offensive co-ordinator gave him to work with? I think you actually realize all of that because you DID actually play Roy more than Ryan last Sunday, but you didn’t give him the start did you? I think that in any walk of life, no matter how competent an employee might be, they all benefit from a pat on the back and a vote of confidence. You took that away from a rookie, when you announced Torain as the starter for the Dolphins game. That may not have ‘hurt’ Roy, but it didn’t give him the benefit or the push, that a nice vote of confidence would have given him, did it? Always bring what got you to the dance. When your rookie running back is asked to start his first NFL game, responds with a record-setting performance, buy him a nice steak dinner, or a nice piece of fish, break bread with the man, and tell him what a spectacular job he did. Then order him a beer, order yourself a beer, and raise a glass to ‘cheers’ to his SECOND CONSECUTIVE START. Failing to do so might not result in absolute failure necessarily, but you aren’t really nurturing important relationships when you don’t acknowledge the fine work that people around you are doing. Just a suggestion.
I know that Tim Hightower went down and our run game has suffered ever since, but that’s just a fortunate coincidence isn’t it? Hightower was a bit hot and cold, and Ryan Torain has shown you THIS season that he can be every bit the featured back that Hightower can be. But heyyyyy, the injury also coincided with replacing your buddy Rex Grossman at quarterback with John Beck, didn’t it? You know John Beck – the guy that you don’t seem to want to give the time of day to on the sidelines. The guy that from the moment he was installed as the Redskins starting quarterback, you went about the petty and disgraceful ‘honor’ of setting up to lose. You certainly didn’t do him any favors in any of the games that you called for him. You certainly didn’t call any quicker developing plays for him when he got sacked 10 times. You certainly didn’t let him just hand the ball off and try to get yardage from proven NFL entities. Most would say that you completely hung him out to dry. Did you prove your juvenile point? Did your boy Rex take YOU out for a nice steak dinner – break bread with you – order you a beer, and tell you what a fine job you were doing sabotaging Beck so that he could get back in there?
It was nice to see you engaging your quarterback on the sidelines again though, at least Rex gives you that important facet of your role back.
Unfortunately, Rex rewarded you with a pretty lousy performance. He keeps throwing the ball to the wrong team. I know that might seem just like a punt, but it’s not quite the same because that thing called momentum generally tends to swing in favor of the guys who get the interception, not the ones who give it. Plus, that Sav Rocca can kick it really, really far man! Way further than Rex can throw it. Have you seen that Aussie guy kick? He’s awesome. He’s the guy that comes out every time you’ve done a crappy job. So you probably don’t like him any more than you like John Beck; nevermind, stupid kicker. Who likes kickers anyway?
There’s this really old German guy, he’s probably dead now, but his name is Friedrich Nietzsche. Ever heard of him? He’s one of those philosopher types, and sometimes those guys can say some pretty thought-provoking things. He said lots of them, but one of my favorites, and one that you could do with reflecting long and hard on for the good of this beautiful Washington Redskins organization, is this:
“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.”
I know you’re not going anywhere because your dad’s got some pull, but at least think about it and get back to me, will ya?
Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet.
Note: After reading Dawn Holton’s great piece today about Kyle at Riggo’s Rag, I was inspired to write something myself.
More By Mark Solway
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Tags: Kyle Shanahan