We’re into the 21st year of the Dan Snyder run as the owner of the Washington Redskins, and on his watch he has done nothing but create an everlasting dark cloud over one of the National Football League’s oldest franchises. Snyder is a lifelong Redskins fan who wanted to use his success in the business world to help this franchise get back to what they were under former head coach Joe Gibbs when they won three Super Bowl Titles during his first run with the team from 1981-1992. But what Snyder has gotten has been far from that.
Since Snyder purchased the Redskins in 1999, Washington has only had five winning seasons, while they’ve gone through seven different head coaches, and 20 different starting quarterbacks in that stretch. And although that the National Football League season is just getting cranked up, Washington’s season is all but over as they’ve lost their first five games of the season which resulted in head coach Jay Gruden getting his walking papers today. But as Snyder and Redskins team president Bruce Allen have attempted to make Gruden the fall guy for this team’s struggles, this franchise’s issues are well above the pay grade of the now former head coach.
Under Snyder, Washington has consistently failed to get the right personnel that’ll mesh into a winning team. Snyder has never been afraid to spend money in free agency as we saw him give former defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth $100 million once upon a time, but he got next to nothing for that investment as the hefty defensive tackle checked out mentally on the franchise as soon as the ink dried on his deal. In 2012, we saw Washington mortgage the future to move up in the draft to take quarterback Robert Griffin III second overall. And as things were beginning to come together for RGIII in his rookie season, a knee injury changed that, while Snyder’s blatant favoritism towards him over his teammates didn’t help to ingratiate the young signal caller in Washington’s locker room.
Since 2002, Washington has used four first-round picks on quarterbacks, and as three have already not worked out for them, they were beaten by a team this past Sunday in the New England Patriots who’ve used the same starting quarterback (Tom Brady) for practically the last two decades.
Washington’s latest first-round selection at quarterback is Dwayne Haskins who was taken 15th overall in this year’s draft, and he is on the fast track to failure if he doesn’t get away from the Redskins as soon as possible.
Haskins has walked into a situation where his now former head coach Gruden didn’t want him, as he was trumped by Snyder into taking the quarterback. And as the Redskins season is unofficially over, the only time that Haskins has seen on the field so far was in mop up duty after he replaced an ineffective Case Keenum during Washington’s 21-point loss to the New York Giants in Week 4. There are some coaches on Washington’s staff who feel that Haskins is far from being ready to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League. But the fan base in Washington wants to see what the future has in store for their beloved franchise at the quarterback position; especially since rookie signal callers such as Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals, and Daniel Jones of the New York Giants have shown promise so far this year.
And aside from Washington’s issues at quarterback, Allen and Snyder failed to either pay or trade a disgruntled offensive tackle in Trent Williams over the summer as this issue has now sprinkled over into the regular season. Williams is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, and he has not budged from his stance of holding out which began during the off-season. There are plenty of teams around the National Football League that would compensate Washington through draft picks for Williams’ services as this is the road that Snyder and Allen should be traveling on as they are clearly not close to contending, and thus need all of the draft capital that they can get their hands on.
And in the case of Allen, Snyder continues to employ him in spite of the fact that he has only given his employer a pair of division titles with no playoff victories on his watch which began in 2010. Under Allen, Washington will now be on their third different head coach as at some point Snyder needs to point his finger in the direction of the man that he has charged with leading his organization.
Former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke passed away shortly before FedEx Field opened in 1997, but he envisioned a stadium that would give his team a dominant home-field advantage reminiscent to what they had at RFK Stadium under Gibbs, but that has not been the case. Washington is viewed as a pushover for their constituents around the NFC East who consistently come to FedEx Field and walk out with victories to the delight of their respective fan bases who make the trek to suburban Washington D.C. And although that this past Sunday’s opponent in the Patriots are not in the NFC East, there were more of their fans in attendance at FedEx Field than the fans supporting Washington.
Washington’s heyday came under Gibbs during his first run with the team from 1981-1992 as during that time the Redskins won their three Super Bowl Titles, and they did it because of the former head coach’s ability to find and cultivate talent, but also his dedication to getting the right culture in the locker room which has fallen on deaf ears under Snyder who has yet to find front office people that develop chemistry for his team.
So now Washington finds themselves in an all too familiar spot as they’ll be looking for another head coach, while they are also left to just play out the string for 2019. But regardless of who will be Washington’s head coach for 2020, we cannot expect anything to change for this franchise as long as Snyder and Allen continue to call the shots as all roads for this franchise lead to section of town called “utter chaos”.