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I really like what i see-- an honest critique.


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With the beginnings of free agency, I think us 'Skins fans have a lot to be optimistic about.

In two short years, Gibbs and Co. turned this team around from the Dark Ages of Spurrier to an actual competitor. The key to maintain this momentum will be smart personnel and coaching decisions. So far, I'm liking what im seeing. Here are a few points:

1) Gibbs essentially becoming a player-manager instead of a play caller. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing Gibbs on the sidelines, and I love some of his innovative calls. I honestly think that giving those duties to Saunders is a great move. Saunders' success as an offensive coordinator could make the Redskins as dangerous as any team, given the right personnel moves.

2) The emphasis on coaching and team chemistry instead of big spending. If the CBA crisis taught us anything, its that the Redskins are close knit--- just look at the restructuring. I was really upset about the Redskins around this time last year, when it seemed like every "key" guy was bickering about the management and moving elsewhere (Coles, Pierce, Smoot). I loved all three of those players, and I was really upset to see them go. However, the Redskins are much stronger than I wouldve thought because the have focused on the guys that want to be in Ashburn, not on throwing money around. As sad as I was last offseason (which I regrettfully regarded a disaster until the season started...), I am much more optimistic about the Redskins in the long term now.

3) Player development. Did the Patriots get to where they were based on huge free agency moves? No. The only big pickup theyve had in the last few years of note (that comes to mind, at least) is Corey Dillon. The Redskins are hopefully doing the same thing by developing what they have instead of buying success (which was proven costly to the team in '00). This team's future rides on the shoulders of Jason Campbell, either sooner or later, and based out of what Ive seen from our other recent draft picks (Cooley, Taylor), Im extremely hopeful that Campbell will be regarded as a strong pick in the future.

4) Having Snyder open his wallet, not his mouth. One analyst said accurately that Joe Gibbs, when he was brought in, was the one coach that Snyder couldnt mess with. That is, Gibbs and his staff would take control of the team. Since he's been here, Snyder's been cutting the checks, but you dont see the "Snyder standing behind Deion Sanders at the Press Conference" type stuff anymore, which is great. Players come here knowing they have to answer to Gibbs, which has boosted team chemistry and bond a great deal imo.

The transition to every-year-hopeful to 5-1 in the division has been very quick. For that, I'm extremely grateful, as we Skins fans now have ammo against those annoying "Fly Eagles Fly" jackholes. Heres to continued success.

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