SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Rebuilding The Deadskins
The team has a new head coach, Jim Schwartz, a new quarterback, Matthew Stafford, and even a new, meaner-looking Lion logo on their helmets. This year’s Lions were not 0 for their last 19; they were an improving team with and 0-2 start. Until they played host to Washington last Sunday, and all bets were off.
The Lions jumped out to a 13-0 start, led the entire game, and pulled off their first victory of the season, beating the Skins 19-14 at Ford Field in Detroit. After retreating to the locker room for a “this is just the beginning” speech from Schwartz, many of the players returned to the field to shake hand and celebrate with the fans, who were enjoying a moment they hadn’t experienced since December of 2007.
The Redskins, on the other hand, seemed stunned. Or at the very least, confused. After that stinker of a win a week ago against the Rams, the fans in this town are certainly stunned and confused, among other emotional reactions not fit for print.
As for head coach Jim Zorn and quarterback Jason Campbell, their jobs are safe for the moment, but it’s largely because this team’s impatient owner hasn’t yet found his new flavor-of-the-month replacement parts yet.
But you can rest assured, he’s looking.
As expected, irate fans of the Burgundy and Gold want someone fired yesterday. Zorn, general manager Vinny Cerrato and defensive coordinator Greg Blache are all on the hot seat.
They want Campbell shipped out of town and Albert Haynesworth to take a pay cut. They want receivers Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas and Fred Thomas to look like they know how to catch a pass.
Most of all, they want owner Daniel Snyder to stop acting like this team is one or two high-priced free-agents away from being Super Bowl contenders, and realize that it’s time to rebuild the foundation of this organization.
It’s sexy to slap a one-hundred million dollar coat of paint on your franchise. Shoring up the offensive and defensive lines and building through the draft, not so much.
But for all those who want changes and want them now, let’s not forget the turmoil that ensued when Snyder fired former head coach Norv Turner with three games left during the 2000 season.
If Zorn goes, who takes his place? Not to mention the fact that Zorn wears three hats – head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Any one of those gigs is tough enough, but Zorn had no experience as either a head coach or offensive coordinator before Snyder hired him as the top man. Is Snyder going to hire three new coaches?
And what of Blatche’s porous defense? Surely some of the blame lies with him as well.
If there is any hope of salvaging this season, the Redskins have to find the end zone. Campbell has to be allowed to throw downfield. Zorn needs to improve his play calling. The defense has to stop somebody.
And Haynesworth needs to get in better shape.
Rick Pitino, who was head coach of the Boston Celtics during their lean years, uttered the now famous line “Larry Bird ain’t walking though that door.” Well, Skins fans, Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan ain’t walking through that door if Snyder gives Zorn the boot.
Not now. But next season, who knows.
Snyder may finally blow this thing up and start over.
But if he does, he’d better start by putting a few vegetables on his plate instead of staring at the dessert cart.