A funny thing happens when you start to win, even if you do so ugly. You get noticed by the national media. The fact you got noticed in a positive manner after receiving so much negative press may be overlooked by many of your fans. But, who cares? This week, the Redskins got some serious airplay.
This afternoon, Brian Orakpo was interviewed by Jim Rome. Earlier in the week, Anthony Armstrong was mentioned on the NFL Network as a rookie to watch. LaRon Landry’s name surfaced in a Defensive Player of the Week conversation. And, Brandon Banks was mentioned in an NFL Network discussion about outstanding rookie kick returners. I haven’t heard that much positive chatter about the Redskins in one week since they started out 6 – 2 in Jim Zorn’s first year.
With the exception of Colin Cowherd, whom I simply don’t trust to make a positive statement about the Redskins unless/until they win a conference championship, it’s finally safe for Redskins’ fans to watch and listen to the national media. This isn’t simply due to the team’s on-field performance. After all, it hasn’t been that pretty. It’s also due to the respect Mike Shanahan commands, and the fact Daniel Snyder seems to be listening to real football people.
I believe the Redskins have turned the corner. I believe they’re laying a solid foundation for long-term success, and will continue to do so in next year’s draft. How successful they’ll be this season depends heavily on whether or not the running game gels. It needs to, and Donovan McNabb needs to pick up his game a bit. Washington has some surprisingly good young talent. Not bad for the “oldest team in the league” per ESPN. There are a couple guys on the practice squad who aren’t too shabby in addition to the talented youngsters on the active roster. Cool.
It feels a bit like Christmas when I hear Landry talked about or see Orakpo interviewed. With stores displaying Christmas decorations already, I’ll ask and answer a question. What do you get the Redskins’ fan who has every material thing he or she wants? An appearance in the playoffs, and a sweep of the Cowboys. Go Skins!
Editor’s note: This weekend we’ll publish an exclusive interview with Clarence Vaughn, a Redskins’ Super Bowl winning Safety and an aspiring coach who interned with Washington this summer. Look for the article – Redskins’ fans everywhere should really enjoy it.