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Redskins have to EARN the respect from the media


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A different look at Chris Mortensen's article....

Yes...it seems that teams other than the Redskins get the benefit of the doubt when evaluating draft picks and offseason moves. But no one seems to take into account the most recent history of those franchises.

Chris indicates he likes the moves of the Broncos....Ravens....and Rams. The reality is, there is an opinion that these teams have been doing well for awhile. The Broncos have won two recent superbowls in a row, The Rams overwhelmed everyone with a new style of offense the last few years, and the Ravens simply stifled any attempt for a team to either run the ball on them or pass. It's recent history.

Yet.. look at the Redskins. Seven Years of underachieving by Norv Turner. Teams that lacked dicipline.. motivation... and heart. Giving games away in the fourth quarter, missing field goals (or even unable to get a snap down correctly), having the ball run down there throats week after agonizing week. Oh..and add the off field stuff, including one team member giving another an old fashioned A** Whupping. These "events" are still in the back of the media's minds.

Then...the whole Team purchase ordeal, the Jack Kent Cooke sad story. The brash new owner, the purchase of high priced free agents in an attempt to "out talent" the competition, the training camp "pay per view".

All these things add up, so there isn't any wonder that the media doesn't show us the respect we all covet. Quite frankly, we haven't EARNED it.

Now...add a new (and highly respected) coach, a disciplined team motivated to succeed, and the realization that our draft picks and free agents have actually helped us, well....the media will have no other choice but to respect us.

A year from now, when we've won the east and our rookies have performed to, or above expectations, and...the free agents have solidified "weak spots" within our units, just what will the media be able to say then? Dumb luck? The planets were aligned? The entire NFC underperformed? No...they'll say that our organization, from the owner to the trainer, facilitated their jobs and allowed us to reach our goals. Should the Redskins be true contenders for several years, and you'll see the media change it's tune.

One last thing, I've often thought that the fact that the Redskins are from Washington, the nations capital and melting pot for what is evil and wrong about politics, also has some effect on how the Redskins are perceived. That "notion" didn't begin to fade away until Joe Gibbs came in and began to build a franchise built on smart....overachieving....blue collar players. Still...way in the back of your mind, what's the first thing that you think about when you think Washington DC.

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first of all, the Rams had perhaps the worst defense of any playoff team last year. Aside from their easy early schedule that got them to 6-0, this team was average the rest of the year.

The architect of the Rams' success, Vermeil is gone as is his defensive coordinator, John Bunting, who despite the criticism, must have done something right for the same players to be ranked #1 in 1999 that ranked #26 in 2000.

So, THIS Rams team with THIS coaching staff has proven nothing to me or to the NFL other than that they were a WILDCARD team last year.

And that does NOT address my major point that rookies need to prove their worth on the field regardless of which team they are joining.

Remember Desmond Howard going to the Super Bowl Champion Skins in 1992?

I have no problem with the offseason of the Ravens because they brought in PROVEN NFL performers in Grbac and Searcy that are known quantities. So any projection of their ability to help their team is based on REALITY NOT FANTASY.

The Broncos are a different case. They may be successful guaranteeing all that money to mostly older vets, some of whom have been malcontents elsewhere.

But to have the press rip you for picking up Jeff George as a backup when he just went to the Pro Bowl in 1999 is ridiculous when a year later NO ONE is sounding the alarm bell when you put substance abuser Leon Lett next to Chester "I hate all coaches and hard work" McGlockton and expect to have a dominating defense.

Seems to me a responsible NFL writer or editorialist would bring up the chemistry and fit issues regardless of coaching. Tom Landry had a 0-11-1 year and another at 3-13. Joe Gibbs had a 7-9 season. Walsh had 2-14 and 6-10 and later 2-7 in the strike season of 1982.

So, don't tell me that Shanahan isn't capable of captaining a ship that is an underachiever or fails to live up to its own expectations.

Having John Elway and a Terrell Davis in his prime healthy sure helps out with the X's and O's. smile.gif

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I for one don't give a rats behind what Chris Mortinson, Len Pasquereli, TJ Simers, Rudey Martzke or Norman Chad think of the Redskins. It doesn't amount to anything more than a couple of writers trying to sell magazines and newspapers.

I've always been of the belief that if you coach a team to run a popularity poll with writers then you're in the wrong business. Win games. Make the playoffs. Go deep in the playoffs. Win championships. By that point everyone is on the bandwagon.

Look at the Ravens last year. They couldn't score a touchdown for 5 straight games and every writer in the country said the Ravens stink. Who's laughing now?


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Bulldog, I am glad you have taken to fighting against the woeful outlook the media has for us, but not for others. However, CSkin has a great point here. We haven't earned squat. Sure, the Rams have only shown they are a wild card team under this coaching staff, but, they are two years removed from the Super Bowl, and they were a wild card team. The media is pleased to see they've attempted to correct their problems and have noted it as such.

The Redskins were in a similar situation a year ago. Coming off a wild card year (I know we won the division, but we were in the wild card round of the playoffs) with Norv as the coach, the team addressed some needs and made a splash in free agency, and the media was generally very kind to Washington, in terms of outlook. Vegas had us as a favorite to win it all and the Redskins were generally considered a team in the elite group. Members of the media also questioned the chemistry of the group, but, at the end, they all almost fully agreed the Redskins were the team to beat, if not in football, then in our division.

We failed to meet those expectations and we've had turnover. We are not presently a wild card team that has retooled for another run at something. We aren't presently a team that has enjoyed a number of successful years with a proven, Super Bowl coach. We aren't the defending Super Bowl champion. The questions on these teams have generally been recently answered. In Washington, we answered the questions on the negative side last year and now we have to build back to the elite level.

I have no issues with the media looking at us in a different light as it looks at other teams. Seattle is a question mark to me, because they've not enjoyed much success, but, they are getting pumped a bit more than is merited. Still, I'd rather have folks look at us as a weak team and work our way back to respect under Marty than have a lot of kind words. This team needs to get away from the Norv era where the media was almost always kind to Washington and consistently felt the Redskins were competitive.

The team needs to have people questioning it. It needs something to prove and not have everything handed to it. And it has that now with a coach likely to milk that feeling well. If things go as we here expect, by the offseason after this year, we'll be that team again with a rising label and acceptance for question marks on the roster. We haven't earned that acceptance yet. Other teams have done so more recently than we have.


Doom is in the box.

[edited.gif by Art on July 03, 2001.]

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I agree with you Bulldog, but if we're talking about perception as opposed to reality than that's a different story.

It's much easier for a writer to talk positively about a team, the Rams..Broncos...Ravens, if the team has experienced success than it is to talk positively about a team that most recent history is dismal. Let's face it, how many writers out there are writing positively about the Bengals...Browns....Cardinals.

Until the Redskins change their history, meaning they become a legitimate playoff team and capable of playing to a consistent high level, most writers are going to find the negative in everything they do.

I happened to think the George signing was a good move in 2000, because we were signing a Pro Bowler as a back-up in case Johnson went down. But... the media, accessing their database as to our most recent history of failure, concentrated on the detrimental effects of adding a "malcontent" to a one year wonder. Remember, we scraped into the playoffs that year on a recovered fumble (caused by Barber) in the San Francisco game. The media wasn't about to start giving us our due for making the playoffs one year out of eight (I'm including Pettibone year) and running rough shot over the equally "one year wonder" Detroit Lions.

Ultimately, I don't believe it's appropriate for writers to evaluate anything until the season starts. Every year we see a new Cinderella team become the media darlings. Atlanta in 98, St. Louis in 99, Ravens in 2000. They were perennial losers until "their" year. Should the Redskins start fast, and subsequently be fortunate to go deep into the playoffs, I think you'll see the media begin to show us a bit more respect. Conversely, should we stumble out of the gates and miss the playoffs, well.....more fuel for the media "bonfire".

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I agree that it's nice to have a chip on our shoulder and i like the underdog role. But when i see us ranked in the bottom 1/3 in the league or sometimes the bottom 1/4, it irks me. It seems like anti-Redskin sentiment or anti-Snyder BS. It's as if the Skins were just an average team who lost a bunch of players and then went out and had a below average offseason.

I am convinced that this is a championship caliber team THIS SEASON and I am not surprised that Marty feels the same.


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I agree that the NFC East was a weak division in 1999 and the Redskins won in spite of the #30 defense. But the team won the division by 2 games over a Dallas team that got obliterated in the wildcard round.

So, we did not scrape into the playoffs. Scraping in is going 8-8 or 9-7 and getting in on a tiebreaker as far as I am concerned.

But, as to Art's overall point. I agree it is better to have the stuff out there as motivation for the players and the organization.

I was speaking merely as a 30 year fan who has seen teams like the Rams try and turn over 9 of 11 starters on one side of the ball. And it rarely succeeds in the short term.

You usually need 2 years to get the unit to gel properly with everyone on the same page with the coaches and to replace those that do not fit into the new system.

It is inconceivable to me that the Rams will be in the Super Bowl in 2001. There will have to be significant injuries on other teams and a Giant-like ride for the Rams in terms of injuries and career years to put them back that high among the teams.

With little depth behind Warner or Faulk, in fact NO depth, I could easily see this team finish below its 10-6 mark of a year ago if it hits a patch of adversity.

New Orleans and SF both matchup well with the Rams, for different reasons. But the games are very close, with the Saints winning twice last year.

Those that think the Rams have a cakewalk to the division and to the best record in the NFC I believe are mistaken.

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Oh....one last thing regarding the Rams. It's also quite easy to root for a team, and write glowingly about them, when they're starting quaterback was stocking shelves in a grocery store a year earlier. Talk about movie scripts!

And...must we forget the teary eyed Vermiel, every writer's "root for guy", exclaiming when Trent Green went down that the Rams weren't going to quit....and were going to be a fine football team.

Sound Bites and footage for all the world to hear.

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I think Cskin has said what we all know and have been saying in our own way. However, speaking for myself, my discussions of the Mortenson and other recent articles on the team exposes what to me is the media's superficial coverage of teams - not just our team, but all teams.

We recently discussed (I think it was) Peter King's CNNSI ranking of teams based upon offseason FA and draft acquisitions. I pointed out that the Redskins had acquired at least as much talent at key positions as Philly and Cleveland, who were ranked #4 and #5. Neither of those two teams has any better of a recent on-field history than the Redskins, and Cleveland's is certainly worse. However, they made the list and the Redskins didn't.

I view the regulars of this board as having better-than-average football knowledge. We all love the team, but there appears to me to be very little blind homerism here. For example, I don't see anyone saying the team will win the Super Bowl or even get there this year. I see, however, a consensus that the team will have a winning record and should make the playoffs this year, and even has a shot at winning the division. This seems realistic to me.

But I frankly don't see that reflected by these national NFL media pundits. The reason is simple- the Redskins FA acquisitions, unlike last year's splashy, headline-crossed acquisitions, have been subtle and wise- role players instead of "stars". That's how you build a winner. But the media's in love of stars, and so that's what they equate with winning. It doesn't mean that I have to agree with them. In fact, I don't and I've told you that by saying that I'm more excited about our chances this year than I was last year.

Bottom line: have we earned respect yet- of course not. The season hasn't even begun. Will we? I say, "yes."


"Loosen up, Sandy baby. You're just too damn tight!" - John Riggins to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

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