The Washington Football Team’s 2020 campaign feels eerily similar to their 2001 season.
Tell me if this rings a bell. Your favorite team struggles through the season and eventually fires its head coach to bring in a renowned veteran coach to solve the problem. Let’s take it one step further, not only does the team bring in a new coach, but it then gives that coach full control over player moves.
Sound familiar? If you’re a fan of the Washington Football Team, it should sound like déjà vu. The scenario has been replayed over and over Daniel Snyder’s failed tenure. There was Marty Schottenheimer. Nine years later, it was Mike Shanahan. Seven years after that, we have Ron Rivera. All fine coaches, but somehow the end result works out all the same. Limited success and back to the drawing board for Dan.
Looking at the season thus far, it has an eerily similar vibe to the 2001 team led by Marty Schottenheimer. Let’s get the irony out of the way first. During the 2000 season, Norv Turner was in his seventh year as coach of the team and was fired with three games left in the season, despite having a winning record. Fast forward 20 years, and Norv’s son, Scott Turner, is the offensive coordinator for that very same franchise.
The similarities don’t stop there. During the 2000 season, Jeff George, who had signed with the team as a backup to Brad Johnson, initially got playing time when Johnson was injured, before eventually starting games later in the season. He ended the season with a 1-4 record and went into the 2001 season as the presumed starter, since Johnson left in free agency.
In 2019, Dwayne Haskins initially got a chance on the field once Case Keenum was benched in Week 4, and then again when Keenum was knocked out with a concussion in Week 8. Haskins would take over as starter for the remainder of the season, before sitting out Week 17 with an injury. He finished the season with a 2-5 record and also went into the following season as the presumed starter.
The crazy part is the similarity in George’s and Haskins’ stats. Both of them completed under 60 percent of their passes, had almost an equal TD-to-INT ratio, and had a passer rating under 80.
Despite both being the presumed starter going into the following season, neither new incoming coach, Schottenheimer nor Rivera, seemed to have much faith in either quarterback.