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Why the Turnaround?


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I agree that the players meeting with Schottenheimer produced a truce with the veterans that allowed the team to move ahead and leave some baggage behind moving out of the preseason.

But what has taken the team the past two weeks to wins has been the fact I think there has been a leadership change on the team.

Training camp started out with Smith, Coleman, Green, Westbrook, Alexander and Jeff George as at least the titular "leaders" on the team, in terms of profile and experience.

If you look at the team now the real leaders on the defense are Kenard Lang, LaVar Arrington and Champ Bailey. Like Arrington Bailey has been playing on an ankle that had him hobbling around practice for 2 weeks but he toughed it out and I think those two guys playing while injured has given the team a big boost.

On offense, Alexander is out. Westbrook has made a couple of plays deep but appears to be the clear #2 option in the passing game. Jeff George is gone.

Who are the leaders on offense? A more focused and emotional Stephen Davis for one. A more confident Tony Banks. He still takes too many timeouts getting the team lined up, but now you believe after the timeout the team is going to get positive yardage instead of a busted play as a result.

On the offensive line, the unit has simply come together at once. Jansen and Samuels, who is also playing on a bad ankle, are finally asserting themselves after a lackluster first month. We are now getting the benefit of veteran experience working in tandem at guard in Szott and Coleman. Coleman might still have a bad knee but even at 75% is a much better player than Matt Campbell. It is no accident that the team's two best rushing days have come in his 2 starts for the club.

As so often happens in the NFL when you shake up a team you don't really know what is going to happen long-term. Some guys step up and produce and some don't. Some are whiners and complainers and others are leaders.

We are getting this thing sorted out now because the visible leaders on this team have emerged much sooner than I would have thought a few weeks ago.

For Marty to succeed here he had to show he was going to let the team play to its strengths. He has done that. Albeit without public comment to that effect.

The second thing he needed was somebody to stand up for his system and show him some respect PUBLICLY.

Bruce Smith and Darrell Green really refused to do that early on.

But LaVar Arrington did just that after Sunday's game saying he liked the coach and hoped he was here for a long time.

That is a much more important endorsement to have than any testimonial Bruce Smith or Darrell Green could give him.

Because Arrington along with some other emerging starters is the future of the team, not merely the past.

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Agreed, players like Davis, Champ, Arrington, Smoot, Jansen, Samuels and even Banks right now need to come together as the younger posse of this team and openly support their coach, his gameplans, methods and each other.

Marty needs to take these wins and use that exact same formula to gameplan for every game until it stops working. Let Arrington loose. Use Lockett and Thompson style trick plays.....the only thing I want to see much more of is blitzing. Once we get Smoot back I will feel more comfortable sending all the LB's at the QB to rough him up.


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Washington Times reports the owners and players are looking at a 3 years extension being agreed upon today with both side giving up some dollars for the cost of additional security being the only sicikng point.


Take a Sip of the Marty KoolAid and believe

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