Week 15 of this 2017 NFL season, the Redskins hosted the Arizona Cardinals. Everything we fans have been asking for, we received – too little, too late. The Redskins dominated the Cardinals from the very start, creating havoc early and often in the back field. They created turnovers and were able to get off the field on 3rd down opportunities. This is what we’ve asked from this team all season. The effort and intensity was on full display against the Cardinals. The Redskins seemed to know the plays Arizona tried to run. It was refreshing to see, but still a little too late. What message was Head Coach Jay Gruden able to communicate to the team that was lost most of the season? Redskins Safety DJ Swearinger said last week that there was a lack of seriousness and attention to detail during the week’s practice leading up to the game. If that was the atmosphere, then that would explain some of the poor, lackluster performances displayed this season. Thankfully, this game against the Cardinals was an exception.
Will the Redskins go into next season giving only a half effort? The history of this team has been forgotten and dismissed in this 20-year span. The top brass has to find a way to return this team to its glory days, or at least look competitive in a loss. Too many times the team looked unprepared or disinterested in playing winning football. Have all the whispers, rumors and predicted losses taken the soul away from this team? Many believe Head Coach Jay Gruden is the problem. I beg to differ. I believe that it’s team owner Dan Snyder. So many times the right people have been removed from their positions over disagreement about players, systems or a host of other reasons. This is no way to build a winning team. People who work together don’t always get along or see eye-to-eye. As long as decisions being made are in the best interest of the team, Redskins management needs to find a way to work together. It translates down to the players. If there is confusion and arguing in the front office, what can you expect from the players? If the head isn’t in order, the body will not perform well.
The Redskins found a way to win against the Cardinals and I must admit this has been the hardest winning article I’ve ever written. It’s hard to acknowledge the victory and give kudos while feeling it’s all for nothing. Another season ends in disappointment and misery for the fans, the team and the entire organization. Changes have to be made and that’s all there is to it. Some fans are calling for defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s job while others are calling for Head Coach Jay Gruden’s job. Newsflash people: Until our team owner realizes that continuity is the key, things will not improve under his ownership. Three great proven football minds have been fired from the team, one with the Redskins using his draft order or format in complete fashion as he designed – Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Shanahan and Scot McCloughan. This isn’t a winning formula at any level of sports. A consistent message has to be conveyed to the coaches (head and assistants), players and fan base that the Redskins are doing what is necessary to win. That message has gotten lost over the years and we see the results season after season. Is it too late? No. It’s never too late to start anew. If the Redskins want better results, they need to change their message. Congratulations on the win, now let’s take the necessary steps to win consistently.
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