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'04 will be different


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Looking back, there have been some folks preaching some pretty wild stuff on here over the last year. Here's some of the myths from '03 that are already being shown to be untrue:

1. No good coach will ever want to come here b/c of Snyder.

This has been a very popular sentiment around here lately. Interesting how the top 2 coaching candidates have already expressed a large interest in coaching the Skins. Both Green and Fassell have already shown respect for Snyder and the Skins organization in the press. You may not be crazy about either of these guys (I'm not), but they are solid coaches and the top guys available, and both are interviewing early with Snyder.

2. Snyder is killing the team and wrecking our cap situation with his fantasy football style of running the team. We need a GM!

Wait a minute, Snyder was highly successful at bringing in talent last year, and now we have a large amount of cap space to work with. What's wrong with this picture? What this team neads is a good coach who can help Cerato and Snyder to choose the right players to bring in, and who can better work with the talent the team already has.

3. It's the talent stupid! We lost with Spurrier because our players suck. This team is full of holes.

Interesting how people from around the league, like Green and Parcells, think the Skins have a talented roster. We have several guys on both sides of the ball who have played at or near a probowl level. Lavar, Champ, Trotter, Smoot, Samuals, Jensen, Thomas, Coles, and the raw talent of Ramsey. All of these guys have shown they can seriously play. Don't let horrible coaching and a weak dline trick you into thinking these guys are a bunch of bums. Our safeties do not suck, another fashionable but incorrect view around here. Upgrade the line and we will have one of the best back seven, and defenses in the league. The Skins are not full of holes like so many here like to say. We need a DT, a DE, a TE, and maybe a RB. We can pick up a DE like Kearse in free agency, draft Harris in the first, draft a RB like Cadillac in the second, and pick up a TE in free agency or maybe in the mid rounds of the draft. Another possible scenario is to pick a RB like Jones or Jackson in the first and go Dline in the second and free agency. Either way, we'll fill our holes, b/c like already mentioned, we have plenty of cap space.

4. Spurrier is not a quitter. He'll get it right, afterall, he's a genius.

We heard a great deal of this towards the end of the season, and then surprise, Spurrier quit. What a wussyass loser. My system won't work in the NFL so ummm.... I quit. What happened to the learning curve? What happened the Genius Spurrier winning everywhere he goes? Spurrier looked like an idiot out there, and might be the biggest joke of a nfl coach ever.

5. The Skins are screwed. We are now the Bungles and are going to suck forever.

I look at some of the guys on this team, like Smoot, Ramsey, Coles, and Lavar, and I know that we are going to be good soon. A good coaching staff will turn this thing around quick. This team has had bad luck with coaching for the last several years, but I believe that is about to change. Snyder now sees how critical selecting a coach is, and he won't make the same mistake again. The next coach will give this team instant credibilty which will get guys believing again. Marty was a caveman and Spurrier an ignoramus and the players knew it. Snyder saw it too and won't make the same mistake again. That's why if Ray comes back, it will be as DC. So take the bags off your heads guys. Spurrier is gone, and a legit coach is coming. It's going to be different this time around.:cheers:

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Sorry to do this, but ... it wasn't all on Spurrier. It just wasn't. The man had his clear failings, yes, but the Redskin power structure at the top does NOT get a free pass on this.

I would hope that we could finally begin to move beyond that, and realize that the perception of Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, by most neutral observers, is that they are a large part of the problem, rather than the solution.

They have simply not built a working environment and structure whereby a coach can succeed, and give no apparent indication that they think they need to do anything different this time around. That we still apparently need to convince the staunchest supporters of the present front office structure that there have in fact been problems -- problems that, if they were to happen in another city, those same people would most likely have a field day excoriating the people involved -- is to me sometimes hard to believe.

I have been as optimistic as most anyone around here for a long time, and I challenge anyone to make a case otherwise. I am not a "hater" or a "basher" or any other dismissive term. What I am is a fan who has finally been able to take a large step back and see the forest for the trees. And every day that goes by, and I hear and read one after another NFL insider say essentially the same things I've been saying now for the last couple of months, I get more and more convinced I'm right on this.

And I hate that. Because by all appearances, this organization is now firmly in the hands of a man who thinks I'm not right, and every day, he seems to get more and more determined to prove that he and his sidekick can in fact be the architects of a championship organization.

Hope they're right, and hope I'm still young enough to be around when they finally do.

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I don't mean to say that Snyder doesn't have his share of the blame. Loosing both starting tackles was a huge blunder. We all knew that when it was going down. Where our opinions differ is that I don't see how the working environments that Snyder had created from '01 to '03 were so bad.

After Snyder's huge flail in 2000 he listened to his critics by hiring a reputable coach and giving him control of the team. Then caveman Marty beats the hell out of the guys in camp to the point where he's lost the team by preseason. A few terrible personel moves later and it was clear to Snyder and the rest of the world that we weren't going far with Marty calling all the shots. He's not exactly tearing it up 2 years later in San Diego either.

Next, Snyder goes and gets the offensive genius and supposedly best college coach to bring excitement to DC football. We were all pumped about the Skins future. Snyder made every effort to get SOS the players he saided he needed. Where's the bad environment? Was it when Snyder agreed w/ Vinny and the rest of the NFL that Wuerfull sucked, and Steve would not be able to resist his freakish love for Wuerful and plunk him in there first chance he gets? Other than the Wuerful thing Snyder had been totally supportive of SOS right up to the end.

I'm not saying that Snyder hasn't made mistakes, but a good coach can win with him, these players and some key additions. I just hope he does better this time at picking a coach.

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The Redskins in 2002 gave Spurrier a defense he could have won with, however his own choices on offensive personnel were for teh most part offensive :laugh:

In 2003, the team had considerably more talent on offense and special teams but less on defense due to the degradation of the defensive front.

Should that have resulted in a collapse to 5-11 and losing 10 of 12 games?

I don't see particularly strong defenses in Seattle or Green Bay either but they are in the playoffs.

I think Cerrato for all his failings was on the mark in looking to take defensive players at the top of the draft order this past offseason, however, Spurrier even with our investment in Coles and a returning Gardner decided the team had to have Taylor Jacobs.

That one was on Spurrier. Spurrier never thought about anything other than his narrow field of vision, the play of the qbs and wrs.

Oh, he wanted the other units on the team set and functioning but he wanted other people to do the heavy lifting while he stayed aloof from the process.

Heck he couldn't even learn the players names on his own defense, guys that were with him for 2 seasons :laugh:

One can blame Cerrato and Snyder rightly for releasing Wilkinson before they had a solution in hand at DT.

That cost the team.

However, again, I see teams without dominant pass rushers and without stellar rush defenses that are in the postseason.

Where does Seattle rank vs. the run? How about Kansas City? How about Green Bay?

These are good teams but ones with some holes as well.

But good coaches were able to get the ships home in the storm.

Spurrier? He couldn't figure out the direction his ship was headed in and spotted landfall about 10 seconds before it hit the rocks :(

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I agree, the buck has to stop with Snyder, because he's the owner, but Spurrier simply didn't do a good job with the talent provided to him. As Lenny the Hut said in his latest blurb, pundits rip the Redskins for this and that, but you rarely hear anyone say they don't have the talent.

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This is a very sound post.


Instead of listening to usually unnamed NFL Insiders who have something to say, how about measuring our actual front office performance on the merits of the guys we got and get instead? If I were to listen to what other people say about the front office, I'd be horrified. If I then sit back and look at the actual work they did, and the clear direction and plan they demonstrated was continuing last year, I feel much more comfortable. I wonder what the usually unnamed insiders are talking about exactly.

In two offseasons we've either fixed or at least APPEAR to have fixed huge needs for the future at QB, OL, receiver, safety (at least half way), middle backer and fullback. We still have DL, TE and maybe running back to address, as well as the other half of the safety spot. It's a process my friend. Can't question how well we've done in that process the last couple of years. It's going in the right direction.

If the environment that makes it impossible for a coach to succeed is when the coach asks for speed at running back and receiver, a kicker and offensive line help during the offseason that we go out and get all four things in the offseason, well, then we're doomed. Because if the front office can address almost every direct wish of the head coach like that and it's now a bad thing, then there's no hope for any of us.

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You know what, fellas? I'm so tired of this preposterous argument I'm done making it. After this one last rant, that is. :)

To wit:

I accept that many smart people are either unwilling or unable to look any deeper than the actual names on the roster in assessing the job that the front office has done.

I accept that said smart people do not pause to consider the false premises under which the admittedly flawed head coach was hired and find them galling. I accept that they have apparently wiped from their hard drives the FACT that when said flawed head coach was hired, it was with the understanding that he would get a personnel professional he was comfortable with as part of the package, and that instead, two weeks later, that particular rug was pulled from under him and, instead, he got Cousin Vinny.

I accept that they don't buy even one iota the premise that by injecting themselves into the football decision mix so prominently, the front office that was thrust upon the admittedly flawed head coach undercut the man's authority multiple times and in multiple ways, exaggerating and exacerbating his failing needlessly and, to some unknowable extent, fatally.

I accept the fact that they do not consider it in any way a failing of the front office to have set this utterly raw, green college coach loose in the NFL without the personnel man or mentor he openly campaigned for and clearly needed, and rather let him to into his second year (they get partial "credit" for M. Lewis, but not w/o considering to what extent he was Spurrier's choice, and to what extent having him around for one year as an unofficial co-head coach also served to undercut Spurrier's authority) with the most preposterously inadequate assistant coaching staff in the league.

I accept that they put the failings of this professional football team squarely on the shoulders of the past two failed head coaches, and absolve ownership and "front office" utterly and unreservedly of having contributed in any way to said failures.

I accept that they firmly believe that the perception around the league that Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato are in over their heads, and as much part of the problem here as they are hope for a solution, is misguided, and can be disproven simply by looking at the free agent additions of 2002 and saying, see here, they added a bunch of bodies at 'need' positions and be done with it, utterly disregarding whether those were the "right" bodies, and utterly discounting the other key areas that they neglected and/or comically bungled (which are all memorialized in GREAT, EXHAUSTIVE detail in the outside media, the local media, and on these very pages, if one were only to look beyond the trees).

I accept all these things because, frankly, I am tired of arguing them, and because they are disturbing and draining to argue.

And so I therefore resign my position as Wary Viewer Of The Forest, and yield the floor to the Celebrants of the Trees.

Long live Daniel "Oak" Snyder and Vinny "Redwood" Cerrato.


My God.

I need a vacation. :)

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To be honest, I try to avoid lots of in fighting in public with my fellow leaders, well, unless you think someone other than Gretzky is the greatest hockey player ever at least. But you and I are going to start talking off line. :)

I will just say this. The resounding theme in your post is that which is not only typical but REQUIRED from people who don't like how things are working here. A complete acceptance of anything negative whatsoever about the front office. You point out the "deception" under which Spurrier was hired which seems based upon no actual evidence other than a small mention in one post mortem article about a "promise" made to him to get him a guy he knew. The team says that didn't happen. And, if it did happen contractually, there'd be hell to pay, so we know it didn't happen contractually.

But, in order to make negative all you can, it MUST be accepted as edified exactitude. No effort at hiding the complete acceptance of any rumor that paints in a negative light Cerrato, because, ABC. Anybody but Cerrato. Doesn't matter how true or false.

You don't go so far as to make negative the positives as some do. You do, however, accept the negative and point to some higher guidance from others when it should be your own eyes that bear witness to what we've seen here. Spurrier's offense was given the speed at running back he request, the speed at receiver he requested and offensive line help, plus a reliable kicker. And it got worse. We shouldn't have to wonder who failed.

We should just know it. All on our own. I accept that you don't.

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I think maybe we'd better go off line, my brother, because neither of us have any idea what you just said. :)

As to the "false premise" thing about the GM question when SS was hired ... on Tuesday, when I get back to my work PC, I'll post the collection of about 20 threads I compiled there from the 2002 Archives, complete with links and discussions and all manner of other fun stuff, that paint a very clear picture of what the lay of the land was on the day Spurrier was hired, and what it turned out to be just a few weeks later.

Hard evidence and all that. I know you like that stuff.

Meanwhile ... the band plays on. :)

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I agree with a lot of what's said but name calling over the way Spurrier left implies you know everything or enough that went on between Spurrier and the front office.

Has anyone here ever quit a job before or been fired by an unfair boss? I have. My state Dept of Labor said I could have sued my employer but I wanted out and chose not to. Sometimes you just don't have a good fit, as I think was the case here between Spurrier and Snyder/Cerrato. Belicheck didn't have a good fit with the Browns. Reeves didn't have a good fit with the Giants. Seifert didn't have a good fit with the Panthers. Parcells produced but didn't like his situation with the Patriots. It happens.

I give Spurrier the benefit of the doubt in that the way he left and when he left was the best situation for the Skins. I think a major press conference on the subject would have opened up a whole can of worms. The media do not like Snyder or Spurrier, if you haven't figured that out.

I was disappointed with Spurrier for the following:

1) Not hiring better assistants or pursuing it more.

2) Not being hard on the team during practices etc. (well documented already), especially since he was pretty hard on his players at Florida, no matter how talented.

I was disappointed with the front office for not having a long term plan for free agent acquisitions. Most couldn't see Marvin Lewis here very long and why would you give so much talent to the defense and give your offensive genius $25M? In year 2, Coles was a fantastic acquisition. Thomas was a very good one too. But Dallas got Richie Andersen, a very good receiver/fullback and Terry Glenn, an all-pro type wide receiver when Parcells arrived his first year.

I think drafting Ramsey was a good move, but no one really knows for sure if he is the real deal yet. Dallas drafted a good TE in Witten.

My point is the front office didn't give Spurrier a lot of seasoned proven talent at the skill positions (aside from Coles) with his type of players. Both Andersen and Glenn have played for Parcells. Snyder gave Spurrier a potential good player in Canidate, but he appeared to have problems with the Rams. Rob Johnson is behind Rick Mirer on the depth chart of the Raiders now.

The front office should have provided Spurrier with more proven weapons right away and ignored his ego. Yeh I'm sure he said his Gators would be enough. But it's not like they overpaid for these guys anyhow. Spurrier likes his receivers/QBs more smart than necessarily talented. In retrospect, I don't think Gardner is a smart receiver for his system, which showed the last two years. Even a casual observer of Spurrier's FNG at Florida would realize that he needs a consistent RB to be productive.

I think 2004 will be better. The OL is better and developed some chemistry this year. A competent DC though will be huge if either Green or Fassel is hired. Giant fans certainly didn't love their DC this year. Snyder is learning and obviously has a lot of business smarts. Although wary of the FO's rep, I think Fassel develops and looks for similar players that Spurrier developed here and at Florida (Fassel drafted two of Spurrier's offensive skills players from Florida in Hilliard and Palmer).

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I know full well we made a fairly major move to bring in a general manager not only in action but in title here just as Spurrier was hired. I think that's pretty clear a direction we were trying to accomodate for Spurrier.

And we interviewed Beathard and almost had a deal with him that just didn't work out according to both sides. Here's a quote from Spurrier at that time from the Post:

"We're going to get a general manager in here," Spurrier said. "Hopefully he'll take care of his part. I'll take care of my part and if there's ever a disagreement, Mr. Snyder will make the decision."

A general manager and Spurrier would decide things and Snyder would break ties. That's what the outline was supposed to be. That's what Spurrier understood it to be. We did interview Ruskell and were turned down when we wanted to interview McKay.

The Redskins EVEN OFFERED and tried to hire Ruskell for the personnel position here. But the Bucs declined to allow it. Or did you forget that? The Redskins decided to break the GM position into two. Operations and personnel. Why, I don't think we ever saw. But, operations was the top. Personnel was the second spot. And the Bucs refused to let Ruskell go for the second spot here which was their right.

We did talk to Herock and also Modrak I believe at the time. I think all of us agreed at the time that Cerrato was the least attractive person we could think of in the personnel role though most of us were thrilled with Mendes in the operations role. We only hired Mendes when we couldn't get a deal with Allen after interviewing him.

It seems to me pretty obvious that Spurrier was promised something he got. He was promised a front office structure where he'd have input with the personnel department and Snyder would break ties. Snyder almost had a deal in place just for Beathard that broke off at the last minute and no one reported why. Allen simply refused to leave Oakland at the time. McKay wasn't allowed to interview with us.

Ruskell wasn't qualified for a top spot with us -- as Atlanta also turned him down. So, when all of it came to pass, Snyder said, screw it, and got himself a top management guy in Mendes and then settled on a guy HE knew in Cerrato. Cerrato now has more authority than I would have dreamed I'd like. I like adding the third head back into the equation with Allen or someone of that nature.

The false premise though isn't the obvious part of us looking to bring in a GM type. It's that Spurrier was promised someone specific. We did try to hire his buddy. Spurrier was promised a method of front office operation and he was given that.

It shouldn't matter who gave him Coles and Thomas and Hall and Dockery to improve that offense. It should matter how Spurrier failed to improve with them.

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Art, you’ve somehow again managed to set this thing up like we’re at polar opposites here. I think you know that we’re not. Setting aside the GM question for a moment, therefore, and the support structure for the most recent head coach, and who has ultimately been the key architect of the roster we have today, and who bears the lion’s share of the “blame” for why it has all failed to produce a winner, allow me to step back a few more steps:

I think I’ve been more than clear that my position is not that Snyder/Cerrato have been utter and abject failures, or that Marty and Spurrier were without blame ... but rather, that based on the totality of the circumstances over the last couple of years, I’ve come to believe that the front office as presently constituted has contributed measurably to the organizational struggles. That it hasn’t been all one or the other. And that because I believe that, I worry that simply hiring another coach, while it might help in the short term, will not solve the underlying problems. I fear we’re building on quicksand.

You, on the other hand, have staked out a position that the team’s failures can be laid purely at the feet of failed coaching. There seems to be no wiggle room in that assessment. I don’t know that I’ve seen you agree with even one criticism of Snyder or Cerrato since they stole off in the night with Coles, Thomas, Morton and Hall.

Knowing and respecting your smarts, my brother, I am left wondering whether or not you really and truly believe in that notion, or, conversely, whether you’ve taken an extreme position and decided to defend it as much for ****s and grins as because you really believe it.

I love a good debate as much as the next guy ... but I’m not as tireless as you. I lack your gift of seeing the world in black and white. I am cursed (as I believe you once put it) with the ability to see gray. So when I find myself debating a guy who I know is more than aware he’s doing it, has still attached himself irrevocably to an Absolute – especially when it’s a guy I know loves debate for debate’s sake, and has the both the time and inclination to continue ad infinitum – I find that I lose the better part of my zest for the discussion.

Now, don’t tell anyone this, but ... truth is that on a couple of levels, I love that you continue to so zealously carry the banner for these guys. You’re effing great at it, and I sometimes draw comfort from that when I’m feeling particularly frustrated about all this. Plus, I love it when you kick some trolls arse who makes the mistake of wandering through your field of vision spouting extremist drivel from the other side. :)

But, end of the day, my brother, I’m not convinced that, despite your tireless eloquence to the contrary, you do not see anything amiss or lacking or flawed in the structure of the leadership atop this organization; or how their machinations have contributed to leaving it as moribund as it has become; or that you do not share some degree of concern over the future of the franchise under their hand.

Thus ... I've come to believe I’m involved in more of a well-lit pissing contest than a debate at this point.

And I’ve written my name in the snow enough for one day. :)

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Originally posted by JerseyGator

I agree with a lot of what's said but name calling over the way Spurrier left implies you know everything or enough that went on between Spurrier and the front office.

OK, so maybe wussyass loser was a little harsh.:laugh: My point is, and this is the thing that pissed me off about SOS, that Spurrier was more concerned about his system than just winning games. He owed it to the team and to the fans to try the best he could to win games, but instead he continued to try to shove his fun n gun square peg through the nfl's round hole. We could have won some of those close games this year if Steve hadn't been so stubborn about pitchin it around. Then, when Steve realized that his system would not work in the nfl, he quit. He didn't try to win at all costs. He didn't modify his system or learn from his mistakes, he just bailed. If that's not a loser, than what is?

The front office should have provided Spurrier with more proven weapons right away and ignored his ego. Yeh I'm sure he said his Gators would be enough. But it's not like they overpaid for these guys anyhow. Spurrier likes his receivers/QBs more smart than necessarily talented. In retrospect, I don't think Gardner is a smart receiver for his system, which showed the last two years. Even a casual observer of Spurrier's FNG at Florida would realize that he needs a consistent RB to be productive..

Um...maybe I'm wrong here, but haven't all of you Spurrier fans been saying all along that Snyder should not have undermined Spurrier by cutting Wuerfull? So now it's Snyder should have ignored SOS's ego and gotten more proven weapons right away. Am I missing something here or is that just a little contradictory? And as far as the consistent RB thing goes, well we had one of those, but Spurrier didn't use him. He "didn't fit the system". If Davis thought he was going to be part of the offense, and that the team had a good chance of winning, he would have restructured and still be in DC.

Again, I'm not saying Snyder and Ceratto haven't made their share of mistakes, because obviously they have. I'm saying that a good coach can and will win in DC with Snyder and with our players. If Lewis had gotten the job instead of Spurrier 2 years ago, we'd be in the playoffs now. Of course, none of you Gator homers would be here either.


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You've probably not seen me overly critical of Snyder and Cerrato since they rode off into the offseason sunset having produced a tremendous one. You see, that's their job. They're SUPPOSED to get players. We're supposed to be happy with the players we got. They did. We were. Of course, I have had critical statements over this time.

Once August rolls around, it's then coaching. You don't apply new judgements in December when the front office has little or no input into things. More, you SAW the distinct change in this team occur after the opening four games really. One rotation of coaching tape through, the league had us figured out.

They demolished us through preparation, especially against our defense. We never could adjust. Injuries mounted to some degree, but, in the end, it was failed coaching that causes you to lose as many close games as we did. Poor game management. Poor decisions. A lack of inspiration to allow the right play call at the right time.

In the end though, our pleasure or displeasure with the front office ENDS the first day of training camp and it begins again the first day of free agency. What the front office does from March through August is what they are judged by. What the coaching staff does after that is what THEY are judged by.

It's not an issue of black and white. If you're happy with the front office moves in July and you see the direction and you appreciate the quality and you are completely in agreement that what we've done is good, then you're done.

You don't get to revise your opinion later, especially when the inability to effectively coach these guys is so clear.

Had we conducted a poll at the start of camp, 95 percent of us would have admitted to being THRILLED with the players we got, the direction we seemed to be taking and we'd have been UNIFORMLY certain we had gotten better one year over the next.

That is the very definition of front office success. Pretending now that they are in some way responsible for the fact that everyone knew what plays we were calling or that the front office should somehow have triggered Spurrier to put in A-gap blitz adjustments, or WHATEVER, falls well below reason and just seems like ignorance to me.

I've said time and again both recently and during the time moves were made that some were good. Some were bad. Some I didn't like. Some I did. That's the application that's relevant here. I thought not giving Spurrier Wuerffel was dumb. I said so at the time. You must have missed it. I said at the time picking Jacobs was very smart. So, yeah, I'm not going to change my view because he was injured some. He was a good pick. He didn't suddenly GET bad because we wish Cerrato to fail sometimes.

The ability to recognize how wrong I was about Cerrato not being capable of doing a good job in a chief role is certainly at issue. I was, at one point, uncomfortable with that hire. I'm no longer uncomfortable.

I recognize how good a job he did. I can't bash him for doing it so well. I can't bash him because some guys don't want to realize it takes more than a year to correct the changes brought on by repeated coaching changes.

More, as we've discussed before, I can't envision anyone else who's better suited for this job. The owner trusts him. Believes in him. Understands how he grades players and why. This is a GOOD THING. It was from March to August when we were doing it. It is now. This is the one area of this team that IS functioning well. It is functioning professionally. It is planning. Talking. Debating. Identifying. Whatever.

It's the single area of this team we shouldn't want to change right now. Because it's the ONLY one you can point to and say it's producing good results and seems to have a direction we almost all agreed looked pretty damn good a few months ago.

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I don't think the Skins should have cut Wuerrfel, but to me he is only a decent #3 QB. He would have been more helpful to the team by giving imput to Ramsey and a #2 like Hasselbeck. If nothing else, DW is very tough.

I didn't really see much of the FNG with Hasslebeck and even Ramsey at times during year two. I bet Spurrier regrets letting Davis go. I saw him one year make the FNG smashmouth when he had Fred Taylor and a very frustrating QB situation. His first year at UF, his primary receiver was a mediocre TE who knew how to get open. He changed his system then because they had a lot of talent returning on D.

In short, I think this team was built more for success with Lewis as HC in year 1 than Spurrier. Spurrier, like Gibbs, has offense as his first love if you will. If Snyder wanted exciting football with Spurrier, why get Trotter and Armstead? I think Snyder wanted winning football moreso than exciting and thought Spurrier could create a winner like Billick did with the Ravens, who had a good RB and good D - not much else.

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Art, I don't buy the premise that we only get to judge things before they've happened, or even as they're happening. Where the heck does THAT come from? I think it borders on preposterous arrogance (present company excepted :) ) to suggest that it matters one whit whether WE are happy or unhappy with moves the team makes as they're making them. First, we're not qualified to know if a guy "fits" into what the team needs and wants from him, and even if we did, we can't view his acquistion in the context of whatever other moves the team has made or intends to make.

During the offseason, of course I was thrilled when we raided the Jets and stole off with good players. And of course I was excited when they went and got Upshaw and Noble and gave the appearance of taking the DL seriously, finally.

But then we "lost" Big Daddy and Gardener ... and Upshaw and Fiore proved unfit to play ... and the Wuerffel and Watson things happened ... and the Bruce Smith embarrassment began happening ... and the actual season rolled around.

And I watched with my own two eyes as the flawed head coach with the flawed support staff and the flawed player roster and the flawed locker room struggled to get out of their own way. YES, coaching played a large part. Never said it didn't. But so did the fact that we saw AFTER THE FACT that the DL plan was seriously flawed (we're not really going to argue that losing Noble made the difference, did we?), and that the backup QB situation was bungled in terms of on the field play, and mentoring help for the young QB, and once again in that nebulous area of undercutting the authority of the head coach.

And yet, none of this (or any of the other things we've been batting around now for a couple weeks) strikes you as of even the slightest concern, or worthy of mention when judging the job the front office has done. To you, the fact that the moves we made during the offseason felt pretty good to us out here in web world at the time, means that they did their job breathlessly well (sorry, I'm not letting go of that quite yet ;) ) and we don't get to take those moves into considration when looking at the results. Since we fans and many of those same "insiders" you dismiss at all other times approved of most of those moves in the context of July, that means that we don't now get to step back and see if we were right?

Brother, just I don't subscribe to that line of thinking.

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I cant comprehend how we can debate whether or not Snyder and the front office is a major reason why the Redskins have faultered these last few seasons. Clearly there been sufficient evidence that the FO is hugely responsible for the skins' turmoil.

First and foremost Dan Snyder has created a poor working enviornment for coaches, players, and staff alike. Snyder bought the team and fired just about everybody affiliated with the Redskins. The head landscaper of the last 25 years even quit due to Snyder! Next Snyder and Vinny Ceratto destroyed the salary cap by signing Mark Carrier, Peon Deion, Bruce Smith, and Jeff George. Around the league people criticized Snyder for over paying aging vets. Carrier played inconsistently and missed games due to league suspensions. We ALL know what happened to Sanders. George backstabbed Brad Johnson and created animosity in the locker room. He was then cut and never contributed. Bruce Smith's big contract wasnt warranted by his play. He had ONE solid season and was more of a distraction then a contributer. It was Marty Schott NOT Snyder or Cerrato who bailed us out of cap trouble. He signed solid blue-collar workers and helped rebuild the roster. Then he was fired....

Secondly, Snyder has undermined his coaches from day one. He has constantly leaked rumors to the media to make himself look better (feud between spurrier and edwards, etc). By cutting coaches legs from under them it builds dis-trust throughout the orginization. He also created an atmosphere we're over-paid babies can whine to the owner (Bruce and even Darrell Green when Marty was coaching). This is outrageous! No player should be able to undermine his coach by going to the owner! Snyder as not only allowed this but advocated this.

Lastly, Dan Snyder has made poor personnel descions. Against the will of Spurrier, Snyder cut Danny Weurffel and Kenny Watson. Against the will of Marty Shottenheimer he allowed Brad Johnson to leave via-free agency. In closing, the front office has been a major problem with the team. They are not the only problem but a big one none the less. My suggestion is for Snyder to hire a GM fire the brown-noser Cerrato and support his god damn coach!

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OM...stick to your guns brotha.........I'm with ya (which may not nbe a good thing!)......I have come to the same conclusion you have - and it can be reached while accepting most of what the loyalists argue.

Snyder has done some good. but the state of the franchise itself has declined - it has not improved. no one could possibly argue otherwise especially with the one criterion that matters: winning. but more directly, I think OM is pointing to the lack of any real coherency to what the Danny has brought us. the irrefutable fact is that his ownership, thus far, has been distinguished for its turmoil and upheaval. that has been the lone constant. we all hope things turn around, but for the present and last 5 years, there has been un unequivocal descent in the soul of the team itself. What does it mean to be a Redskin under DannSnyder? What is this franchise now all about? What does he stand for?

While many are rightly weary of the bashing, so others are tired of the "desires to win" rationalization for failure.

What have OUR Redskins become under this man? The very fact that we argue so vociferously about him should be a grand indication of what direction the Skins (and ourselves) have moved in.

Om is quite right in my humble opinion. He is pointing to a higher sense of stewardship and purpose.

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