Quick Links

Savior Fatigue

Savior Fatigue

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

I would like to apologize for the low quality my Redskins Blog Ver. 01.22.06. The piece was rambling and incoherent and it never quite made it to any point that it may have been laboring towards. That is generally what happens when I have no passion for what I’m writing about. And I find it very difficult to get worked up one way or the other over the installation of Al Saunders as el jefe of the Redskins offense.

On the positive side, it’s Joe Gibbs’ idea. Since his return two years ago, there have been two kinds of moves made by Gibbs. There were those that everyone hailed and agreed with at the time that turned out well, like drafting Sean Taylor and Carlos Rogers,. And there were those that many greeted with incredulity at the time they were made that turned out just fine, like trading Coles for Moss and giving Brunell another shot.

And Al Saunders is certainly a quality hire. His resume is impeccable. Like Gibbs, he has a reputation for sleeping at the office during the week According to Peter King of SI.com, his attention to detail is such that he won’t call the same play more than once in any four-game stretch.

By the way, King likes this move and that is one of the things that makes me ambivalent about it. I mean, all of those years of bashing everything that the Redskins did and now, all of a sudden, he’s singing Hail right along with the rest of Redskins Nation.

I suspect I know why. In a column in the Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock was among the few in KC who didn’t bemoan the departure of Saunders:
Breaking news: Al Saunders did not invent the game of football.

This news, I’m sure, will shock many of my media brethren here in Kansas City, particularly those who earn a living hosting radio shows.

Saunders, however, did perfect the art of making insecure media members feel like they’re the next Howard Cosell. Saunders scored more points with members of the media than the Chiefs did on the football field during Saunders’ tenure as offensive coordinator.

Saunders returned every phone call, made love to every microphone put in his face.Whitlock tries to make a case that Saunders is just a glad-handing empty headset, a notion that is not supported by the facts. And there’s nothing wrong with trying hard to build good relations with the media. If that is indeed the case with Saunders, a few in the Redskins organization could learn from him. But back to King, you have to think that one of the main reasons that he’s happy about Saunders’ new job is that he’ll finally have someone at Redskins Park who will return his phone calls. Gibbs doesn’t play that game, not with King, not with anybody. King just can’t wait to write something like, “I was talking to Al Saunders on my home phone, but I had to cut him short when my cell rang and it was Mike Holmgren.”

That’s just a sidebar, of course. I really don’t care what King or Whitlock think about all of this. My lack of enthusiasm is tied into a syndrome I’ll call Savior Fatigue.

Ever since the Redskins’ fortunes went south in 1993, we have seen a constant stream of players and coaches who were supposed to be The One, the man who was supposed to be the final piece of the puzzle. We were supposed just pop Dana Stubblefield into the defensive line or have Ray Rhodes don the headset as defensive coordinator and double-digit wins and playoff runs would follow. You can even go back to Heath Shuler and Michael Westbrook or back just a few seasons to Marvin Lewis to find the causes of Savior Fatigue. I don’t think I have to go into any more agonizing detail for those reading this to know what I’m talking about.

Certainly, going back to my first point, there is a qualitative difference here in that this move was made by Gibbs, The One if there ever was one. But while he’s had the Midas touch this time around, he did trade up to draft Desmond Howard and insist that Bobby Beathard trade away a first for Gerald Riggs. Everyone goofs every once in a while.

Besides that, the Savior Fatigue syndrome is just too deep seeded for me to jump in and join in the group high fives that are currently being exchanged among the Burgundy and Gold clad faithful. Saunders may be the one who came here from Missouri, but he’s going to have to show me before I get all giddy over his presence at Redskins Park.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book chronicles every game the Redskins played from 1937 through 2001. It is available at www.RedskinsGames.com

Quick Links

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it