Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Welcome, dear friends, to the magical time when Redskins fans slumber peacefully, warmed by vivid visions of post-season play. The sub-par season having begun its fade from memory, we contentedly roll over and smile; our dreams are sprinkled with Super Bowl pixie dust born from the checkbook of Mister Sandman, Daniel Snyder.

Ah, March. The offseason. This is when the Redskins' season truly begins. This is when we make our championship run. Ironically, this is also where our seasons are lost.

For the last couple of years, Washington Redskins fans have knelt at the altar of Free Agent Saviors, each season believing that these acquisitions are the One Thing that this team was missing to take it over the Cowchips, past the Eagles, and into the playoffs. Since 2000, the Redskins have cracked .500 a grand total of once. And that coach, quizzically, was fired. Snyder has consistently bankrolled the highest-salary, least-productive players possible. We're like the Yankees, but, you know, without the wins, prestige and championships.

Lest we make the same mistake this year, let us reflect upon some of the mighty offseason pickups who were supposed to spark the Return To Glory, but essentially got their children Snyder Fund college scholarships. It's painful to recall, like picking a week-old scab, but so very necessary. Grab your Neosporin and remember when D.C. was excited about:

Mark Carrier...Irving Fryar...the Family Schottenheimer...Jeff George...Brad Johnson (okay, he wasn’t that bad)...Ray Rhodes...Bruce Smith...Deion Sanders...Eddie Murray...Shane Matthews...Jeremiah Trotter...Jessie Armstead...Chad Morton...Steve Spurrier...Trung Canidate…Mark Brunell…

Free agency can work wonders, too. One should note that via free agency, the Baltimore Ravens managed to find gems by the names of Tony Siragusa, Rod Woodson, Sam Adams, and some guy named Shannon Sharpe to produce a Super Bowl Champion.

But those positive results are few and far between for this Washington organization. Laveranues Coles had a very good year, catching a career-high 90 passes, assistant coach Gregg Williams crafted a top-ranked defensive scheme that succeeded despite injuries to key players, and though the team finished below 8-8, Joe Gibbs is a dedicated and determined leader for the (near) future.

This team hopefully has learned its lesson, and appears to be showing the kind of calculated restraint that produces a stable franchise. Daniel Snyder isn’t flying veterans across the country and treating them to gourmet crabcakes. Yet. Perhaps now we are seeing the real influence of Coach Gibbs on Daniel Snyder.
This Redskins team already has the makings of a contender, but for some offensive gaps (one of which was shored up with the generous resigning of tackle Chris Samuels). But true to our history, Washington’s name came up when Randy Moss was shopping around; and former Tennessee Titan Samari Rolle is rumored to be a replacement for departing Fred Smoot. Can’t leave well enough alone, can we?

And whaddaya know, Brad Johnson is now available!

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