The Washington Redskins have a new quarterback. Again.
It’s almost become routine. The passing of the torch.
Some quarterbacks have held onto it longer than others. The John Beck era spanned over a gargantuan four weeks. Patrick Ramsey got four years, and some would say four years too many. Robert Griffin III didn’t get the time he needed. In hindsight, Kirk Cousins may have gotten too much.
For years, it seems, the Washington Redskins have been searching for the right quarterback. At times when they seemed to have the right one, they didn’t. And even when the glory days seemed to be upon the burgundy and gold again, there was still that lingering uncertainty. The teasing guarantee of change. A subtle knowledge that what the team had was not to last forever.
The nature of an era, a sect of time, is that it will inevitably end, and make way for a new era. The borders of these eras are defined by notable events. Time wills it. But when the Washington Redskins decided that keeping Kirk Cousins was an impossibility, they took time into their own hands.
Now, a new era is upon the Washington Redskins. The era of Alex Smith. The quarterback is different, but the process is the same. Change has occurred, and change will be waiting again, to toy with our emotions. What reason is there to think of Alex Smith as anything other than the next era doomed to end in disappointment?
This negativity was palpable just after the trade for Alex Smith. Seething with every word. But as time went on, and the shock of the boundary between eras faded, fans began to look at the Alex Smith trade in a positive light. Others are still skeptical, but Smith has somehow endeared the franchise before playing a game. How?
For starters, Smith’s contract is manageable. He’s a veteran with experience, something dependable that Washington Redskins fans can count on. But that isn’t all. That is a mere characteristic. It does not permeate to the root of the fan base. Those who see experience as a strength are equal in number to those who see it as an indication of future decline.
No, Alex Smith did not win the Washington Redskins over with dollars, or with years. He won them over with words.
Alex Smith wants to be here. He said it himself. While other quarterbacks heard of the previous ill-fated eras overseen by former Washington Redskins quarterbacks, Alex Smith has paid no mind to the tradition of tumult in Washington. He was eager to come to D.C. He relished the opportunity. He tested time.
Things are different with Alex Smith. Something that none of the other quarterbacks brought. Heath Shuler, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins.
There is something different.
With Alex Smith, it doesn’t feel like we’re starting over. Because from day one, he’s acted as if he’s been here all along.
And so a new era will begin later this year. Alex Smith is the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. The torch has been passed on. Only this time, the fire is brighter.