kleese

A Confidence I Haven't Had in 25 Years

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I haven't felt this way very often at all since before I could drive a car. For the record, I just turned 40, so this statement dates me back to 1991-1992. 

 

At no point over these past 25 years have I ever wavered on my passion for the Redskins. At no point have not been able to find the joy in following the team. Even through the painful games/seasons, I have always found it worth my time. 

 

But one thing I had more or less forgotten is how different it is to watch the Redskins while simultaneously being hopeful AND confident. Sometimes they haven't really allowed for either. Most of the time, I can conjure the hope. Rarely have I been able to say the same about the confidence. 

 

And that is what changed for me on Monday Night. First of all, I don't come from this at the same angle as many of you do. My stance stayed firm all off-season: This is the best roster from a pure talent standpoint the Redskins have had since 1991. I felt that strongly. I still do. This roster is more or less stacked with quality players. Now, that doesn't always equal big success. Lots of things can deter that-- organizational chaos, coaching, injuries, luck, etc... But speaking strictly on talent I entered the season fairly confident that we had the ability to be a good team. 

 

Week one shook the confidence in that, no doubt. We didn't looked terrible, but we certainly looked shaky. But over these past three weeks, the Redskins have begun to appear as I envisioned them over the summer. 

 

The thing about confidence is that you can't fake it. It is either there or it isn't. You can lie about it of course (to others or yourself) but deep down you know the truth. 

 

Since 1992 (when I still had strong faith that that 9-7 team could get back to the Super Bowl) my moments of true confidence have been fleeting. 

 

Towards the end of 2005 was likely my most confident. During that three game run against the other East teams to end the season, I felt great about the team. Felt we could beat anyone. Had strong confidence we would beat Tampa in the wild card game. I knew Seattle was tough, but I felt we were right there with them. Came up short that day, but going in I felt good-- and sort of subconsciously that made it more enjoyable. 

 

2012 would be the other example. But that happens REALLY late for me. It was until we were up 14-0 on Seattle that I started to get a swagger. Prior to that I felt we were just on a hot streak and I was waiting for it to implode. Of course, it DID implode like three minutes later, but that is neither here nor there. Those were the two teams in 25 years I truly and honestly felt CONFIDENT that the Redskins could go to a Super Bowl. Hopeful a few other teams here and there? Sure, but hope is where it ended. 

 

This team feels so incredibly different to me. I don't think they've arrived yet and we are relying on a lot of youth (especially on D) which could equal a few more bumps in road. But through four games, I LOVE watching this team. First of all, the defense is LAYING PEOPLE OUT. We are absolutely destroying people physically out there. Our interior DL has been stellar -- Allen and Ioannadis are a menace. And we are popping people all over the field on all levels. The scheme also appears to be sound. Chiefs are as frustrating to stop as it gets- I credit them for finding little gaps against us to keep drives alive-- and for sure the injuries hurt us Monday-- I definitely think it contributed to a partial wear down. But we have ballers everywhere. 

 

Offensively, we are still very good. And you can just see greatness there as soon as Pryor and Doc settle in and become a bit more reliable and efficient. But we are close. 

 

During that final drive, I felt supremely confident. We already saw a drive like that once in Los Angeles and I felt it was coming again. The timeout by Jay was a mistake, no doubt. That frustrated me when it happened and it still bugs me. Mistake on his part. But the next play was right there. I don't think it was a choke-- it was a near miss. It is certainly a play you need to make if you want to be a Super Bowl caliber team-- but it's OK to miss that play in week 4 and use it as a tool and motivation to get better. 

 

We had em. We went toe to toe with arguably the best team in the league in their house on Monday Night. And it didn't come off as fluky or lucky. If anything, Lady Luck worked against a bit-- the up for grabs ball on the Chiefs second to last drive, and a few of the more iffy penalties come to mind. 

 

Glass is half empty person might say, "yeah, same old story-- Skins close but no cigar, find a way to lose." But the thing is, this ISN'T the same old story. We HAVEN'T shown up in games of that caliber to that level all that often. For three straight weeks now, we have played VERY VERY well overall. That ISN'T something we've been able to say a whole lot. 

 

You can sense it too. They were mad after the game. I think they felt they should have won because they think they are better than the Chiefs. That may or may not be true, but it's nice that it's debatable at least. 

 

I am a huge Gruden fan. Like all fans, I have some minutia issues with him that bother me, but big picture stuff with him-- I think he's a winner. I think he's changed the culture within the organization-- or at least on the sidelines. He needed more talent and a better scheme on defense in order to take another step. He got it. That's clear as day. 

 

I could still be wrong of course and/or injures could derail things. But it appears as if we've dodged any major issues in that regard despite all the hobbled dudes. And yes, if we go out and lay an egg against the Niners and fall to 2-3, then yeah, we undo a whole bunch, if not all, of the good we've shown thus far. But I don't think that's going to happen. I have confidence this team will be ready to play and ready to respond. Read to take on the rest of the season and make a real run at the division and perhaps beyond. 

 

It's really nice to feel this way. I have zero dread of the remainder of the season. Only excitement.

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I am pessimistally  optimistic.

 

 The devil on my left shoulder tells me ' the Redskins are gonna collapse, its only a matter of time'.

 The angel on my right shoulder is softly whispering to me 'don't listen to that ****ing Debbie-downer'.

 

Consistency is what I want to see. They don't have to play like they did against the Raiders, but just steady, through all qtrs., not a great 1st and a stagnant 3rd.

 

It more or less depends on Gruden. He has to keep them focused; if he can do that, they have a good shot at going places, but he cannot get drawn into the moment, like it seems he does at times, especially within 2 minutes of half and finals of games. If the team is leading, or at least in range to take the lead with a few minutes left, players can get butterflies, especially in big games. And it would not hurt to be on the good side of a blow-out every once in awhile; this is something this team lacks, that killer instinct to demoralize opponents, like we have felt in so many games over the years. There's only been a handful of games in the last 5-6 years that this team has taken another behind the woodshed, and that's not enough to make a mental impression on the players.

 

I will say I like the intensity they've played thus far this year. Preseason surely wasn't giving us much hope at all, and we've been in every game this year. Hanging around in games we probably should be losing is a +, and is a stepping stone to being a solid perennial contender.

 

When we get to that point, i'll be happy, but I've learned the hard way, too many beers and too many tears, to fall for a false flag.  But I think we're on the right path.

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22 minutes ago, kleese said:

I haven't felt this way very often at all since before I could drive a car. For the record, I just turned 40, so this statement dates me back to 1991-1992. 

 

 

And yes, if we go out and lay an egg against the Niners and fall to 2-3, then yeah, we undo a whole bunch, if not all, of the good we've shown thus far.

THIS is the test for me...do they come out flat or with FIRE. I'm 63, seen the Allen Years, all of the Gibbs years and the REAL BAD #$&! that followed. I am having a hard time believing. I LOVE what I am seeing..the fire in the belly...LOVE MANUSKY! I expected more aerial fireworks for sure..Pryer doesn't look polished (yet),Doctson needs to learn to roll and not let the ball get between him and the ground..great effort..hope he takes the next step..Cousins made some great throws...etc.

 

I'm waiting to see the 49'rs game and see how hungry they are...should put up a fifty burger on em.

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I had all the confidence going into MNF that we could win, that is a rarity. Considering it was KC in KC and how KC has been playing. I am proud of the fight the team put up. I really like this teams makeup. I like the swagger on the D, something we as fans have been begging for. 

 

The only skepticism is whether Bruce can carry this torch he took away from Scot. 

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On the same page regarding this roster and Gruden, @kleese, have been all along. It’s been fun watching them build the right way the last few years and it wasn’t hard to see the direction it was going in. 

 

My only concern right now is relegated to the upcoming offseason regarding the FO structure and Kirk’s situation. The way this season is going just highlights why the structural changes that were made along with not signing Kirk frustrated me so much, but I’m not letting those concerns ruin this for now.  

 

This season has been a total joy so far, and I feel really good about it all. Just sitting back and soaking it all in. :) 

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This start reminds me of 2005 when we played Kansas City and Denver back to back, lost both games then went on to beat San Francisco like 56-17 or something like that. It was that stretch in 2005 that let a lot people know that the redskins were a pretty good team.

 

i get that vide from this redskins team.

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I'm always realistic and nonbiased regarding this team. I do not own any B&G colored glasses and I hate koolaid. 

 

I had one thought after the end of the game on Monday night: Get ready. We are coming  

 

I can't wait to see how we come out against SF. That will tell me what I need to know about how fired up and ready this team is to be great and have a big season. If they are going to take the next step, it starts against a bad team like SF. I don't need the Oakland game again, but we shouldn't struggle and the game shouldn't be in doubt. 

 

 

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All I will say at this point, crow will taste good.  As one of the gloom and doomers; I will admit the last 3 weeks have surprised me.  We are better than I thought but I'm not ready to see we have moved from the 7-9 win mediocre level yet.

 

We'll just have to see how the season plays out.  Given how the Giants and Cowboys are this year; we have the opportunity to seize that. If we go through season only to finish with 8 or 9 wins; then all we can say is Jay has taken us to one level.  We will need to jump to that next level, 10 or more wins and a regular playoff contender.  To early to say if 2017, goes that way.  Definitely, some good early signs but as we have seen in the past; things can go bad down  the stretch.

 

I need more evidence to see if things are really different. So, I'm in a wait and see mode; with a helping a crow at my table. Hope to eat more crow as the season progresses.

 

Also, tempered by the fact; we still don't have that long term QB under contract.  Will Kirk finally erase all doubt this year?  Even if he does, will this team even resign him?  That's a 2018 problem but it's an undercurrent for this season.

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I feel the same way I felt early in 2005. I remember that year we started 3-0, then lost two really tough close games in Denver and in KC. I knew after those losses we were a good team, even though we slumped to 5-6 before finishing winning 5 in a row. I think that was the best all around Redskin team in the Snyder era and this team could be better.

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1 hour ago, skins island connection said:

I am pessimistally  optimistic.

 

 The devil on my left shoulder tells me ' the Redskins are gonna collapse, its only a matter of time'.

 The angel on my right shoulder is softly whispering to me 'don't listen to that ****ing Debbie-downer'.

 

Consistency is what I want to see. They don't have to play like they did against the Raiders, but just steady, through all qtrs., not a great 1st and a stagnant 3rd.

 

It more or less depends on Gruden. He has to keep them focused; if he can do that, they have a good shot at going places, but he cannot get drawn into the moment, like it seems he does at times, especially within 2 minutes of half and finals of games. If the team is leading, or at least in range to take the lead with a few minutes left, players can get butterflies, especially in big games. And it would not hurt to be on the good side of a blow-out every once in awhile; this is something this team lacks, that killer instinct to demoralize opponents, like we have felt in so many games over the years. There's only been a handful of games in the last 5-6 years that this team has taken another behind the woodshed, and that's not enough to make a mental impression on the players.

 

I will say I like the intensity they've played thus far this year. Preseason surely wasn't giving us much hope at all, and we've been in every game this year. Hanging around in games we probably should be losing is a +, and is a stepping stone to being a solid perennial contender.

 

When we get to that point, i'll be happy, but I've learned the hard way, too many beers and too many tears, to fall for a false flag.  But I think we're on the right path.

 

1. I think they've been very consistent the last 12 quarters. To me, "consistency" doesn't equal dominance or even winning all the time. But for three games in a row we just played really well, top to bottom, start to finish. Of course you will have mistakes or a bad series here and there; in general, we've been consistent since Philly. It's why I'm so up on them right now-- they've put it together three weeks in a row. 

 

2. I would say the Oakland game was essentially a blowout. The two fumbles kept it a tad closer than you would have liked, but at no point in that game did Oakland threaten or stir things up. NFL is hard to achieve true "blowouts." 

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1 hour ago, skins island connection said:

 

It more or less depends on Gruden. He has to keep them focused; if he can do that, they have a good shot at going places, but he cannot get drawn into the moment, like it seems he does at times, especially within 2 minutes of half and finals of games. 

This is the only part I disagree with. I don't think it's on the coach to get a group of professionals focused. I think he can help. I also think leaders on the team can help. But if you can't be focused on 16 games a year, you have no business in the league IMO. I don't need anyone to get me focused at work. My desire for personal growth and the success of my company motivates me every day. Same in my lacrosse games. We don't even have a coach once you leave college but the guys I play with are ready to go in every game we play, especially tournaments. We don't even play for anything beyond pride and bragging rights. It's Grudens job to draw up a game plan and ensure they know what to do. It's every players job to be focused and execute. 

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We played the chiefs a couple of years ago, and they werent as good.

 

We were down 35-0 by like the end of the first quarter.

 

I am so happy with where this team seems to be right now, despite seemingly a lot going against us in that game, we should be 3-1 against a tough schedule to start the season.

Edited by Peregrine

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I’m just going to drop this here because I think Jay said it best: 

 

Quote

On what he can say to give Redskins fans confidence:

“Well, you know what? I am a very positive guy and it’s a lot easier to be positive when I’m around these guys every day and I see how hard they work and how talented they are. This is the most talented roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s the hardest working roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s a great group of guys. They’re connected. Great camaraderie. I just think they are playing their hearts out and you saw it last night. They just battled to the bitter end and continue to handle adversity. I think this team has a chance to win every game they play. They’re fun to watch. They’re fun to coach. They’re great people and I think the fans should rally behind them because they are going to give everything they have.”

 

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I've felt hope before, something always seems to extinguish it.  Kleese is right this time it feels different.  I didn't see it at training camp, I think the after the loss to the Eagles and I didn't see a bunch of excuses coming out, from various players, is what gave me hope.  Every other year after a loss like the Eagles you would hear in the press some players saying we are much better than that, we have talent etc.  This year I didn't hear excuses at all.  In fact after the KC game several reporters stated that the team was totally mad about the loss.  That is what is giving me hope. 

 

During the KC game we were losing players defensive left and right, the backups came in and actually played fairly well.  Perhaps not as well as the starters since the  defense faltered a bit but the offense picked it up, that is what good teams do.  WINNING teams.  I'm really looking forward to watching this team the rest of the year, and not having to cringe, and sit on my hands so I don't throw something at the TV. (again)

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6 hours ago, LaxBuddy21 said:

This is the only part I disagree with. I don't think it's on the coach to get a group of professionals focused. I think he can help. I also think leaders on the team can help. But if you can't be focused on 16 games a year, you have no business in the league IMO. I don't need anyone to get me focused at work. My desire for personal growth and the success of my company motivates me every day. Same in my lacrosse games. We don't even have a coach once you leave college but the guys I play with are ready to go in every game we play, especially tournaments. We don't even play for anything beyond pride and bragging rights. It's Grudens job to draw up a game plan and ensure they know what to do. It's every players job to be focused and execute. 

 Yes, a coach has to put together a gameplan for the players, and you are right, a player should be focused without help from a coach.

but, when a team goes down 14-0 or 21-0 early in a game, a player can easily lose his desire to play his best.

We've all seen entire teams look as if they gave up.

 

This is where, and when, a coach needs to step in, talk to players, and get them back on track mentally. Gibbs was a genius at this. Gruden is no Gibbs, but he can be personable with players, and its also up to team leaders to do the same. Players can be spoiled millionaire brats at times; not many of them, but the high profile media friendly camera hog players, mainly WRs, tend to fall into this category. Their egos can be easily bruised, and they're human; I get why they could feel like not giving 100% on every single play when they're down numerous TDs.

 

There are actual sports psychologists out there. Its a real job. They deal with players and entire teams. We've all seen or heard about former players or other famous people coming in and giving a 'talk' to teams; this is a mental injection of confidence for them, for the most part.

The more that the players see Gruden involving himself emotionally into the team, and not the actual moments in games, that's when players see Gruden as someone who really cares about the team and the players, and they begin to invest themselves mentally into the coach. Yea, I know that may sound strange, but when a team comes together and is on the same page as their coach, its easier to see where the coach, and the player, is coming from, and they solidify and believe in the coach and each other, and that's when a team becomes dangerous, on fire, unstoppable.

 

 

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I was hesitant to click on this thread title-- thought a pop-up window of the Cialis homepage might show up. :ols:

 

Anyway, I'm glad I did because it's a good place to the celebrate the SOUL of this team.  We got a heathy dosage on this squad.

 

I'll be honest... I hated last year's team more than any of the 3 and 4 win teams in the past because I felt like we were so devoid of 'character' as a unit.  I can definitely say this with total confidence:  No FA has had a bigger impact across the league on ANY roster than DJ Swearinger.  His energy gets the entire team juiced.  (You gotta think his Greenwood, SC boy J.Norman encouraged him to become the vocal leader of that secondary shortly after he got signed.)

 

Time will tell- but so far it looks like we got a savage packs of wolves on our hands that are only at about 65% of where they will be by the end of the season.

 

 

 

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I have confidence that at worst, we're going to be competitive week in and week out, and at our best, we should be playing January.  That's good enough for me right now.  Given that our WR play has been overall abysmal and we're still 2-2 through a very tough schedule, I can only think there is nowhere to go but up from here particularly with the offense.

 

Perhaps it's just woe is me type stuff, but one thing I did feel in the KC game was "go figure, we finally field a competitive squad and put it to someone on prime time and guys start dropping like flies".  Just felt unlucky to see so many of our guys hit the turf, particularly Trent early in the game coming on the heels of the news about Nsheke, him being replaced with Fleming that got whooped on 3rd down, then Josh going down and not coming back, followed by what felt like damn near everyone else.  Of course Trent is a bad SOB and trotted his ass right back out there and hopefully Josh will heal sooner than later.  Both are critical to any level of success we are going to have moving forward.

Edited by BatteredFanSyndrome

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I've been saying that the last 3 games have been some of the most consistent football we've seen from this franchise in a while.  I told one of our other fans down here in Charlotte that if we continue to play the way we have the last 3 weeks, this team can win some games.  I don't know how many, but with the way we are playing, we give ourselves a chance to win every game and that's all you can ask for.

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If we can avoid using key players to injuries for an extended period of time it should bode well for us.

 

My biggest concern outside of that is the development of our receiving corp. That could be a big issue. That's why I wanted to keep Garcon. I honestly believe we would be 3-1 at a minimum with him.

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Agreed. The team has been a joy to watch this season. They are not a finished product, yet with this start, I feel like we can hang with any team in any venue. 

 

Despite our errors, were still in the game against the Eagles, the Rams light up every team not named the Redskins, we broke the Raiders, and gave the Chiefs all they could handle. While the offense is coming around, the defense is taking on the attitude of Maunusky/Tomsula/Swearinger/Brown and ballin out!

 

Things are looking up!

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Having just turned 41 I am in similar shoes to the OP.  The 2nd half of the Gibbs 1 era is still vivid in my mind which has made the last 20+ years very difficult to handle as a Skins fan.  I am also optimistic about this team on a compete level, but I feel its still at least 1 year away from being a legit contender to make a deep playoff run.  The depth on this years team is clear, but its young.  Especially on defense.  Thats why I look at this year as a building year more than a straight compete year.  

 

So long as the current youth on this team develops, pending FA's (primarily Cousins) are evaluated and resigned as needed and more quality depth is added via the draft and free agency this coming off season then the future looks bright for us long suffering Skins fans.  

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I'm impressed with the team, for sure.  I too felt this was the most talented, from top to bottom, prior to the season starting.  

 

Really loving the turn around in some of our key, weak areas from last year. 

 

We have a competent DC.  

Our secondary is communicating well. 

The defensive line is playing quite well.

The spine of our defense looks radically different.  

Our tackling has (largely) improved dramatically.  

 Our defensive coordinators are teaching well - I was shocked to hear some of the safeties talking about actually learning the position this year.  

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This season has been and will be an absolute blast (just as long as we don't do the injury-every-play dance again). 

 

-Offense was great last year and although we've taken a slight step back, we're still top 10.

-Defense is the real deal. I feel like they could be top 5, but I'll conservatively say top 10. 

 

Point is that when you're top 10 in both offense and defense, you're a playoff team. It's such a different feeling having a defense that you can trust. Last year I had to walk away on 3rd downs (especially on 3rd & longs), but now I can watch them, all riled up, like a normal person.

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I'm about to hit the big 5-0.  I had a lot of confidence in our 1999 team.  Of course, Norv found a way to blow a 35-14 4th quarter lead against Dallas.  Still, we had an exciting offense that year and came a botched field goal attempt (Norv!) away from going to the NFC Championship.  Of course, in 2000 Snyder haaaaad to meddle.  Overall, I agree on the cautious optimism we now have.  Our Gibbs teams had to rely too much on the run game and D.  Not that our passing game is great, or even very good yet, but Cousins > Campbell, and our receivers over 2005 receivers everyday.  HTTR

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