These are interesting days for the Redskins family. Unfortunately, they are not unfamiliar days as the Redskins enter another postseason in search of an identity. They are again heading into an off-season following a losing campaign. It was a season that saw the Redskins post only five victories under second year coach Steve Spurrier. This season of futility also marked the fourth straight season of non-playoff football in our nation's capital.
Last year, we headed into the off-season with questions about the level of talent on the roster. Those questions were answered with the free agent acquisitions like Laverneous Coles, Dave Fiore, Randy Thomas and Chad Morton. Now, we head into the off-season with the biggest question of all; who will be charged with leading this team into the 2004 season? The names that have bandied about are a hodge-podge of NFL talent and leadership. Each of the candidates have upsides as well as noticeable flaws that have ultimately left them looking for work in the NFL.
No matter who the Redskins front office decides to bring in as the next coach, they will be manning the sidelines for one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. What the coach will get is a sizable set of shoes to fill (Gibbs) as well as a glut of disappointing football (see last four seasons). They will also get a roster that is pretty well stocked with talent. Talent that seems to be lacking the discipline that is required for teams to take that step to the next level. The new coach will also be joining a franchise that is still searching for an identity as well as stability under their much embroiled and controversial owner, Daniel Snyder. But most of all, what the new coach will get when they can the reigns of this team are fans that have been deprived of the domination that was once known as Redskins Football.
Redskin fans are a fickle bunch but that could be expected considering where this franchise once stood and where it is now. What was once considered to be one of the premier coaching positions in the NFL has become lackluster. The fans are hungry for success. After the last helping of Redskins football offered up by the Spurrier regime, the morale of the fans is at a disheartening level. But alas, the sunshine has poked through the cloudy skies that have hung over the Redskins Nation, as Spurrier has left town for the warm weather and golf courses. This has opened the door for the return of the traditional, smash mouth style of football that was once played by the Burgundy and Gold.
It has come time for the Redskins to step back up to the table with the rest of the NFL heavyweights and bring in a coach that will pull this team together. Already the Redskins are in a division that has head coaches Bill Parcells (Dallas), Andy Reid (Philadelphia) that add instant credibility to their teams. Now that it appears the New York Giants will be hiring disciplinarian, Tom Coughlin, the Redskins will need to net themselves a sizable fish if they want to try and keep up with the Joneses (namely Jerry).
I said it before that these are interesting times to be a member of the Redskins family as the winds of change continue swirling around Redskin Park as they have for several years. The once impervious Redskins franchise is not strong enough to survive in its current state. This off-season is critical for this franchise to start and rebuild the legacy that was set forth by those who will forever be what Redskins Football is all about.
Be sure to check next week for a view from the Cheap Seats...
This article was released on 2004-01-06.
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