The first thing astute readers should note is that King's observations are based upon watching the Redskins one time. That's right--he's seen the Skins play just once, last Sunday against the Chicago Bears. I don't doubt Peter "Double Latte" King knows football. But by his own admission he didn't attend their training camp and missed seeing them in September. (Too busy talking with Patriot's coach Belichek and Packers QB Brett Favre, I assume.) Had he actually seen more than NFL Films highlights, he would know that we are two blown pass interference plays from .500. Hardly reason to be a harbinger of doom.
Second, King suggests that Washington needs good draft picks to stay afloat in today's NFL, and he won't get them. Yet he begins the article praising the Skins' first draft choice, Sean Taylor, as a future big star. Um, wasn't Gibbs the coach back in Spring when Taylor was chosen? Further, the #2 ranked Washington defense (who get more praise in the column) is currently buoyed by low draft picks while Arrington, Bowen, and other second/third tier players are out. The message? It ain't what you get so much as what you do with what you've got. Did somebody say "Patriots?" Or "Texans?" And because the Skins haven't drafted well in the past seasons they won't draft well in the future? That's what people used to say about the Bengals. Things change.
Now that I think about it, I probably should've said all that in my letter to his mailbag. Ah well. I did post a link to this blog. Maybe he can sit down with a mocha hazlenut single-pump action splitfire cinnamon beverage and read it for himself. Somebody's gotta protect the Skins' image. Might as well be me.
Here's what I wrote in to the mailbag:
Peter, love your column! I strongly disagree with your assessment of Coach Gibbs. Washington CAN win a Super Bowl with Gibbs; it may not be this season, but success will come because Gibbs knows the strengths of fundamental football: tackling, ball control, few mistakes. It was the hallmark of those Super Bowl teams I've watched since my youth. Granted, there have been some time-clock issues, but even with a subpar quarterback and suspect early running, the Redskins have been in every game this season. Imagine when things begin to gel as the season progresses!
Today's NFL players, with their high-priced, short-term value, will never alter what makes good football. Gibbs may stay with Brunell longer than he should, but with this solid defense and (finally) a strong running game, we can win (et tu, Ravens?). You noted that the Skins have been within 7 of every loss; even at 2-4, we're a much better squad than under Spurrier. The future is definitely brighter than you imply!
As an aside, check out my thoughts on weekly Redskins action at my blog: http://RedskinsReview.blogspot.com. Thanks!