The Redskins will be better next year, and here’s why (Part 1)

Mike Shanahan, Head Coach of the Redskins (via Redskins.com)

Next next time the Washington Redskins take the field, hopefully next year, they will be better.  I am sure of it.

Watching yesterday’s game was an indication of a purge being done by this coaching staff.  It is sort of like when you have the stomach flu.  It hurts and can be painful, but the main point is to “flush” everything out.  So in order for us to be able to look forward in how this team will get better, we need to see how we got here.

Jim Zorn wasn’t the mistake, his philosophy was

It wasn’t wrong to give Jim Zorn a shot a being coach.  It was, however, wrong for him to assume that he could take Gibbs’s team and implement half his ideas along with what was going on.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  He stated at his introductory press conference that he was not inheriting a team in rebuild mode, rather it was a playoff ready one.  For eight games, the team looked to be that way going 6-2 behind the rushing attack of Clinton Portis.  The rushing attack was Gibbs’s running behind an offensive line now designed to run the west coast offense.  Portis broke down, and so did the offense.  They only won two more games after that.

In 2009, instead of looking to rebuild, they chose to work on what went right in 2008.  That of course did not pan out and this team went 4-12.  Zorn was fired and that was the end of that experiment.

Fans were led to believe the 2010 team would be able to compete now

When Mike Shanahan was hired, everyone knew that this would be a rebuilding job.  When he let go of several players from the old regime, we all felt that this was an indication of a rebuild.  Then slowly the Redskins started acquiring older veterans like Larry Johnson, Joey Galloway, and Willie Parker and we now were given the impression that this coaching staff wants to compete and win now.

Memories of a 2008 Atlanta Falcons team or their Miami Dolphins counter parts quickly came to mind.  Both of these teams had dreadful 2007 campaigns, with the Dolphins only managing one win the entire season.  Many hoped that this team would be good enough to reasonably compete for a wildcard spot at least and with a season opening  victory over Dallas, it seemed very possible.

Click back later on Riggo’s Rag for Part 2.

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