The top story on Redskins.com five days before the Super Bowl is “Cheerleaders To Perform In Chinese New Year.”
To quote ESPN: C’mon, man!
So, the Skins went 3-13 this year. So, the second overall pick that finish would have earned them belongs to St. Louis. So, nothing that’s happened since our season ended has indicated a change from the formula for failure that owner Dan Snyder has used since he bought the team.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to be optimistic.
Jay Gruden is our new coach. He had success in Cincinatti working with the fifth quarterback taken in the 2011 draft (Andy Dalton was selected after Cam Newton (1), Jake Locker (8), Blaine Gabbert (10), and Christian Ponder (12) at 35th overall, and before Colin Kaepernick (36)) and that success should translate to the second QB taken in 2012. And while London Fletcher is retiring, we should hopefully be able to bring in some talent through free agency and our remaining draft picks.
But let’s be honest. The first thing that needs to happen after the Super Bowl is for the name to change. Snyder can quote as many studies and surveys as he wants, but the fact is, it’s a slur. If there were a team with a name like the n-words or the k-words, the owner would have changed it years ago. Enough people are offended by it that it needs to be changed. I think what he’s worried about is losing money, but he’d stand to gain approximately one metric crapton of money from new merchandising opportunities (as well as auctioning off old memorabilia, which would all instantly become collectors’ items). Abe Pollin changed the name of the Bullets for significantly less than this—it’s about time Snyder changes it.
And aside from the fact that it’s just the right thing to do, there’s another big reason he should change it: the media coverage it would generate would take the public eye off of RG3 for a while. The man is hurting, and everyone is blaming him for the team’s failure this year. The truth is, if you look at footage of him from 2013 and compare it to 2012, he just doesn’t look like the same player. I think he was pressured to come back from his ACL injury early because the indestructible machine that is Adrian Peterson did it in eight months—and then won the damn MVP. RG3, you’re not AP. Even the superstars sometimes take a long time to recover, like Derrick Rose. And it doesn’t help that all of DC is blaming RG3 for the team’s failures this year, when a lot of it had to do with coaching and other players underperforming.
Here are the facts: 7 of our 13 losses were by margins of one score or less. The blowouts we suffered were at the hands of Green Bay, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Kansas City, and the Giants; all but two of those teams made the playoffs. Alfred Morris had a 1,275-yard rushing season, and in 13 games this year, RG3 surpassed his 15-game passing yard total from last year. And that was on a still-healing ACL.
I think we have a lot to look forward to for 2014, depending on how the draft and free agency go. Obviously we don’t have the schedule yet, but I predict we’ll hit 9-7 and, though we’ll miss the playoffs, we’ll beat Dallas twice. Check back once schedules are released and after the draft for my full standings predictions.