Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lions End Streak

...against the Redskins, of course.

It befuddles me how anyone who follows the Redskins closely can look to blame anyone other than Dan Snyder. Yeah, Jim Zorn doesn't look like a great coach. But until Danny Boy lets go of his unbelievable arrogance and hires a competent general manager who will make independent decisions rather than cater to his whims, there's no coach on Earth who can make this team work.

By all accounts, Danny Boy loves the Redskins. Has since childhood. Willing to spend very large amounts of money "to win." Obsessed and impatient with winning. But there's one thing he loves even greater than the Redskins and their success: himself. Despite it being blatantly obvious that Danny Boy does not have any real understanding of football, he insists on playing GM with help of crony yes-man Vinny Cerrato. And because he lacks the knowledge to evaluate mid-level football talent, he over and over and over again goes for flashy, headline grabbing players, trading away mid-round draft picks that are imperative to building a winner and wasting huge money each year in dead cap that keeps them from establishing depth. Thus the Redskins usually have a handful of high quality players (mostly on the downside of their careers) and then an ocean of subpar talent and a complete lack of depth. It's no recipe for winning, and it has failed repeatedly. Meanwhile, since he can't blame himself (the unmistakable culprit for the Redskins' struggles), he has to repeatedly scapegoat his coaches, switching around the coaching staff basically every year. That in turn leads to no stability, no consistency, and even if the Redskins had above average talent they couldn't win under such a broken system.

The solution is beyond obvious. Snyder needs to stop meddling with the FOOTBALL operations of his football team, and needs to hire the best personnel man he can get to choose a staff and players. Snyder's money can be very useful in helping the franchise, but he needs someone competent in the role he now occupies. Of course, Snyder will never do this. He'd rather lose and play GM than win and let someone else be a real GM. So he'll fire Zorn, make another flashy coaching hire, and the cycle will begin yet again.


Anonymous Phil DiLiegro said...

Agree completely. The role of owners in the success or failure of their franchise is often overlooked. See Al Davis.
And the idea of blaming Jim Zorn for coaching a team with 6-8 win talent to a 1-2 record is absurd. Won-loss record is of course a terrible proxy for evaluating any player or coach because football is a game played by 53 players, dozens of coaches and assistants and a whole front office. And as every piece of research done on the matter suggests, Zorn is spot on when it comes to going for fourth down.

8:17 PM  
Blogger AKFooFighter said...

Todd - I honestly was thinking of you yesterday between the absolute shrieks of joy I enjoyed as a lifelong Lions fan. I agree with everything you say about the 'Skins.

Let's go Caps and Red Wings.

Take care.

- Your friend, Matt in Anchorage

9:25 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I'm kind of ambivalent on Zorn one way or another, but that fourth down stuff from some columnists really struck me too. Bashing a guy for a smart move because it's not conservative and they lost to me is really bad analysis.

11:42 PM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

The problem with self-absorbed owners who claim to be representing the fan base (i.e. Snyder, George Steinbrenner) is that they can't leave things alone. Steinbrenner turned over the Yankees to his sons, who've largely stayed out of the spotlight aside from Hank's early season outbursts. Peter Angelos in Baltimore is, like Snyder, an owner who doesn't know any better, but uses Steinbrenner as a role model to justify his ego.

Al Davis won't give up the Raiders because, like Vince McMahon, he's stuck in the past and won't embrace the present completely, not acknowledging how much his business (football in this case) has changed. Jerry Jones pulled a Steinbrenner with the new Cowboys Stadium, and after reading how the concessions there are even more expensive than at Yankee Stadium II, you can still lump in Jonesy with the egomaniacs.

Someone had to lose to get the monkey off the Lions' backs. Too bad it was Washington. Snyder should keep his mouth shut and let the team move forward. After all, Steinbrenner finally backed away when the Yankees rebuilt their dynasty 13 years ago.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous The Masterbater said...

Well Todd, we can always go to Route I95 and be a Raven's fan. They are clearly a better organization. It pains me to even say that but it looks better and better as the days go bye.

8:22 AM  

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