Saturday, August 6, 2011

We Don't Need No Steenken Quarterback

The Redskins continue to bemuse their fans while amusing league followers with their antics. I was one of many who thought they might be overturning their leaf when Daniel Snyder dumped Vinny Cerrato and turned to Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan to save the franchise.

While I suppose there might actually be a method to their madness, from 30,000 feet it really just looks like madness.

I have to confess, a few years ago I was convinced that quarterbacking in the NFL was overrated. Well, maybe it is, but I was still way off base. We were fresh off Super Bowl wins from the Ravens with Trent Dilfer and the Buccaneers with Brad Johnson and I became convinced that throwing high draft pick after high draft pick at the quarterback lottery was no good path to success when reasonable game manager types were all over the place and that a Super Bowl team could be constructed with great players at other positions.

I still remained convinced of this to a degree, but really only the degree that some teams are terrible at drafting and developing quarterbacks. There are Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks on the open market every year or two; Drew Brees and Kurt Warner are recent examples. Mike Vick may be the latest one. I think teams can do well by signing or trading for quarterbacks such as with Vick, the Texans did with Schaub a few years ago and possible Arizona with Kolb.

But this isn't so much about that.

The point is, I was wrong. You do need great quarterbacking to hope to contend for a Super Bowl. About 90% of all Super Bowl winning teams were quarterbacked either by a Pro Bowler or a future Hall of Famer. The exceptions had names like Joe Theismann and Jim Plunkett, no slouches either. And one team had a dude named Trent Dilfer.

So the Redskins. I have no idea what they are trying to put together there. I really don't think Allen or Shanahan know what they are trying to put together. I agreed with their addition of McNabb and I remain a closet fan of Donovan's, but for whatever reason it didn't work. But instead of trying to build on it, they seem hell-bent on scrapping the whole thing. A few months ago I thought it was kind of a joke that they intended to go into the season with Rex Grossman and John Beck. I was sure that they would pick up a solid veteran or at least draft someone to develop.

Nope and nope.

I don't discount the possibility that Beck and Grossman will be much better than they've been in the past. Funny things happen to quarterbacks who hang around the league long enough, they tend to improve. Heck, it even happened with Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Even so, there is really no chance that either of these guys are going to lead the Redskins to the promised land, particularly since this team has no version of Ray Lewis or Derrick Brooks.

Furthermore, the exact problems that doomed McNabb from the beginning haven't been addressed. They have no playmakers on offense. Their offensive line appears to be even more of disaster than last year's. They devoted the draft and free agency to shoring up the defense which is understandable to a degree, but even if they succeed in that they are facing going into the third year of their rebuild with no real progress on offense.

It is hard to imagine that this Redskin team is improving. At best, they seem to be treading water as a 6-10 team while swapping out players and systems. Snyder has a lot of ego invested in Allen and Shanahan and will probably give them a bit of rope, but it is easy to predict that Snyder will start to get twitchy with another losing year.


  1. I note that Beck "tweaked his groin" today.

    TMI,IMO but maybe it will help him play better.

  2. Thinking back to the Beck draft class of QBs, both Andy Reid and another organization publicly said they thought they got '1 of the 2 best QBs' with people assuming the other would be JMR or Quinn.

    What if Reid thought it was Beck? Would that change your mind at all? [He was certainly right about Kolb over the other two!]



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