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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

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The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

The Final Countdown: Eli Manning goes deep for the Redskins 7th worst play of the year

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 7 worst play of 2016

Giants at Redskins, Week 17

4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10

Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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!

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!