Next Season
By: Les Barnhart 
Posted: 2002-11-21
Category: Washington Redskins News
Just wait until next season. How many times have you heard that said in every sport at every level? Even worse, how many times have we as Redskin fans said this? It seems that this has become our mantra over the last 10 seasons. The sad thing is that each season it seems that this ideology gets thrown out earlier and earlier by the fans. Entering this year, I can recall it being dubbed a "transition" season, as the team would need that much time to gel and work themselves into the system. A "transition" season would suggest that nothing would be expected this season and that we could pretty much expect to lose more than we win. Think about this for a minute and you can almost see why this is pretty much true.

Heading into the 2002 campaign it was apparent that both sides of the ball would need some help. Due to the free agent losses and the prospect of having very little cap room, the necessary upgrades to this team would have to be done with smoke and mirrors. Despite that, a new coach on both offense and defense and their unique systems, we were looking at the draft as help for the future and not so much the 2002 season. With that came, just wait until next season....

Well, the defensive unit has gelled and is playing some quality football at this point. The losses that we are taking at this point have little to do with their play and more to do with being saddled with constantly having to play on a short field because the offense is unable to move the ball. Unlike the offense, the defense shouldn't be a point of major concern next season and we may even see them win a game for us this season.

I have a real problem with all the offense's problems being heaped on Coach Spurrier. While the QB play has been very inconsistent this season, it is very tough for them for get comfortable in an offense that requires them to make reads and quick decisions when they are running for their collective lives. Just keep in mind, it is really tough to throw downfield from your back. That seems to be the position that our QB's have spent most of their time. The Redskins need to try and rekindle the spirits of the beloved Hogs and get themselves some offensive linemen that will allow the offense to function. The offensive line has been "by committee" this season and as of late has shown some signs of the cohesiveness that is so important in a dominant offensive line. This new offense of Coach Spurrier's will work, but no offense will work when the QB is getting whacked as soon as he steps away from center or if the RB is getting cranked in the backfield as he is taking the handoff. Of course when the QB does make it to the pocket or the running back does get the ball, it is imperative that the line do something that appears at times like a foreign act.... Its called "sustained blocking". Hell, just standing in the defender's way would be better than some of the "look out" blocks that we have seen this year. Just wait until next season....

In the 2002 draft, we grabbed some quality players, especially Pat Ramsey. Factor in Betts, Cartright, Royal, Russell and Bauman and you can see that the future does look bright. All of these players will be major contributors to this team next season and many years thereafter. Given the direction this season is headed and knowing that we will be gaining some cap room for next season, we should be able to pick up a few more quality offensive weapons for an assault on the league in 2003. When you look at the potential that this team has heading into 2003, hearing 'just wait until next season', sounds better than it ever has.

To you, my fellow fans remember this: the Redskins may lose games, but we can never lose faith. Hail to the Redskins...

See you all next week, right here in the Cheap Seats.

The Wingman
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