UK Redskins fans survey.
As I am a British fan of the Redskins, I thought it might be interesting for the stateside fans to get a flavor of how other UK based supporters started following the B&G, and how they view some of the current issues surrounding our team. So I conducted a short survey to give you a taste of the Redskins from a British perspective, although with the events over the last 24 hours or so, one or two of the questions may be a little out of date. But I thought I would share it with you nonetheless.
1. How long have you been supporting the Redskins?
The majority of replies indicated a following from the early 1980s. This is not that surprising as it was our Channel Four that started showing football around that time and the Redskins were showed a lot in the first year, featuring in the first live televised Superbowl, our first Superbowl victory, Superbowl XVII in January 1983. The success of the franchise in that year, and the following decade, cemented the Redskins’ place as one of, if not the most popular NFL team in theUK.
2. What made you choose the Redskins as your team?
The reasons for the choice of the Redskins vary more, with reasons ranging from uniform colors, to watching their first NFL game, to parental “guidance”. Personally, I was fortunate to live in DC for a short time from 1980, and so they were my “home” team and there was no way I was going to support any other team.
3. Who is your favorite Redskin of all time?
Favorite players is heavily influenced by the era in which supporters first became interested in the sport and the team, so most replies named players (and a coach) from the early 1980s, including John Riggins, Joe Theismann, Darrell Green and Dexter Manley. The late, great Sean Taylor also features.
4. How responsible is Dan Snyder for the lack of success over the last 20 years since we last won the Super Bowl?
Criticism of our owner is slightly mixed, ranging from the main reason, due to his personnel appointments and alleged interfering, to giving him the benefit of the doubt due to his ultimately strong desire to win.
It is thought (hoped) that he has learnt some lessons and with a decent structure and knowledgeable football people in place, he is now allowing the experts to do their jobs.
5. What do you think of the direction the Redskins are heading under Shanahan/Allen?
The general consensus with our current coaching and GM set up is that we are on the right track, making good personnel choices, reducing the average age of the squad, and placing greater emphasis on the draft. Our free agent signings have also been less spectacular, generally moving for younger players at or approaching their peak, rather than those on the downward slope, providing us with greater value for money.
There have still been some mistakes however, such as Haynesworth and McNabb, and the fact that a number of recent “cuts” have ended up playing elsewhere at a Pro Bowl level.
6. Give me two main reasons for the Redskins’ struggles this past season?
According to us British fans, the disappointing 2011 season was mainly due to the play from our quarterbacks. Injuries were also a major factor, as well as a lack of offensive playmakers and poor play calling.
Defense got a pass!
7. Give me three priorities (in order) the Redskins need to address in free agency and the draft.
The overwhelming priority was, predictably, QB, with honorable mentions to the offensive line and wide receiver. Again, defense got a pass although a nose tackle and a defensive back would satisfy a few.
8. Who is your #1 free agent target?
With free agency just around the corner and some high profile players franchised by their clubs, the answers to this question are a little out of date, but the general consensus is for a #1 wide receiver such as Dwayne Bowe, Desean Jackson, Marques Colston or Vincent Jackson (I guess that leaves the latter two), or offensive linemen such as Ben Grubbs or Carl Nicks
Matt Flynn did get a mention but I guess that’s not going to happen now!
9. What do you think the Redskins should do in the draft, trade up/stay put/trade down?
The vast majority wanted the Redskins to trade up, most mentioning the need to pick RG3. Back up plans included trading back for Tannehill or Weedon, or taking Blackmon.
10. Who do you think we should pick in the draft?
Again, this was almost unanimous, going for RG3. There will be a lot of happy UK Redskins fans today!
11. What is your prediction for the Redskins in 2012 in terms of end of season record?
With the occasional “depends on the QB” caveat, most responders expect an 8-8 or 9-7 year, with one optimistic fan predicting a 10 win season. I think that will be a fair expectation considering we will have a rookie QB leading us, but with a top ten defense, and a team generally regarded as not being too far off winning again judging by the sweep of the Giants last year, we will be competitive, and with a few key free agent signings, who knows? If the Niners can do it, then why can’t we?
12. How many wins do we need for Shanahan to keep his job beyond 2012?
Most people expect Shanahan to be in charge in 2013 barring a complete melt down this year. Having a rookie QB will give him an extra year to reach the post season and anything from 7-9 wins will certainly see him back on the sideline next year.
But anything short of playoffs in 2013 will probably signal the end of the Shanny years in DC.
Well, that’s the survey of us UK fans. I hope it was interesting; I wonder how different the answers would be from stateside fans.