Washington Redskins – Finally Becoming a Team
- Updated: June 28, 2012
For the first time in what seems forever, Washington Redskins fans are beginning to see a group of guys unite as one and build chemistry with each other, such as they did during the 80′s when the team was one Super Bowl short of being a dynasty.
From the front office to the players on the field, the Washington Redskins are beginning to learn what it takes to not only build a team, but also a winner.
Poor scouting and the idea that throwing money at problems has doomed the Redskins for quite some time, but thanks to a change at GM, head coach, and other numerous positions, the Redskins have finally found the road back to success. Growing pains are imminent as we watch a young team grow before our eyes, but a major missing piece has finally come. A quarterback who knows how to be a leader.
It can be argued that the last Redskins quarterback who could lead a team was Brad Johnson, who last played for the Redskins in 2000. Since then the Redskins have gone through 12 starting quarterbacks, all of whom were supposed to carry the leadership role, but didn’t.
Thanks to a major rebuilding process, the team has now been able to bring in players via free agency (without handing out paydays) and the draft that fit the system. Not to mention another early draft pick in result from the rebuild, which ultimately landed the second overall pick in their hands (after a trade with St. Louis). Allowing the team to pick Robert Griffin III whom not only can lead the team, but also has the characteristics of an extremely skilled and possibly elite player.
More importantly, the team, both offensively and defensively have a quarterback they believe will lead them to multiple victories, and possibly the promise land. DeAngelo Hall, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley to name a few, have been very open on how much they believe in the rookie.
Last year the team openly got behind of Rex Grossman, but that wasn’t because they believed they’d be winners or because they wanted him to be their QB. It was because they felt they had a better chance to win a game with him behind center, rather than John Beck.
However, last year is when you started to see the Washington Redskins finally start to transform from those 53 guys on a football team, into the Washington Redskins as a whole. The team got together while the lockout was still in place and worked out a couple of times each week to make sure they would all be on the same page. Much like the team did during the 1981 lockout season.
Though the lockout has been over for quite some time, the Washington Redskins are still in a similar situation as far as working out pertains. Robert Griffin III and most of the Redskins wide receivers are working out together in Waco, Texas, before the team returns for Training Camp in July. Allowing them to get a feel for each other and add the continuity past teams have been missing.
Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Armstrong, Aldrick Robinson, Fred Davis and Brandon Banks are currently joining Griffin in Texas, while others plan to join them later on. I would assume two of those players would be wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Joshua Morgan who are both recovering from injuries sustained last season.
Possibly the biggest plus, maybe even bigger than the Griffin pick, is that the players who are here are committed to the team and the direction they’re headed. Tim Hightower turned down a position with the New England Patriots (who are coming off a trip to the Super Bowl) because he wanted to be here. Pierre Garcon waited for the Redskins to figure out their cap situation instead of signing elsewhere because he wanted to be part of Mike Shanahan’s plan.
Granted some of their decisions may have been because of the possibility of the Redskins selecting Robert Griffin III in the draft — but it shows that they believe the team is finally doing things right. Much like the saying about fans, “win and they will come,” the same applies for good, talented football players.
Face it, nobody wants to be a part of a losing team, and the past couple of seasons have shown that in Washington. In order to land a player we had to shell out a contract they couldn’t refuse — and most of the time they didn’t perform to the level. Donovan McNabb? Albert Haynesworth? Randle El?
Because of this we have no begun to see changes on the field. Even with players who may not be considered the best in the NFL. Jabar Gaffney last season is a prime example of just that. Gaffney’s highest career total in the NFL occurred in 2008 when he caught 65 passes for 875 yards. Compare that to 2011 when he caught the ball just three more times (68), but added 72 additional yards to end with a career high 947 yards (Washington’s best receiver).
While he may not have been one of the NFL’s best, the signs of progress with the Redskins can be made with him. Now just think about what can be done with Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson, a rejuvenated Santana Moss, and the entire Redskins team.
Perhaps what get’s overlooked a lot, is how the Redskins have begun to compete in every single game, minus a rarity. No longer do the Redskins put their heads between their legs when they go down by a touchdown or two, in fact, the Redskins have now begun to stay in most of their games.
Drafting players who have potential to be something in the NFL. Players staying united with each other to do everything in their power to lead the team back to being winners. Playing 110% each game, and a front office signing players to smart contracts that are not only fair to the players, but also cover the team in case plans don’t work out.
That is Redskins Football.