Bickel’s Blog: How To Fix The Redskins

Some things never change.  Death, taxes and the Skins are out of it by week 10.  Hall of Fame coaches, college hot shots, trendy assistants, and Super Bowl winners all end up with the same result – Mediocrity.  Something has to give here.  As much as I dislike Mike Shanahan, we can’t just fire every guy we bring in either.  Somebody has to have a
plan around here.  In spite of all the doom and gloom, there are glimmers of hope.  Let me tell you how to fix this team.  We might be closer than you think.

First, we have to accept that beaver boy has to be here for at least one more year. In a perfect world he’ll be here for a lot longer than that.  This team is desperate for some stability.  Even if this team does the somewhat unthinkable and loses their last seven to finish 3-13.  Dan Snyder has to suck it up and bring the guy back.  The Redskins can’t afford to blow up another blueprint and start over.  They have to hold steady.  That starts at the top with orange face.  There’s no question he can coach.  Can he develop a team? I’m not so sure. Regardless, he stays.

Next, Liar Liar Pants on Fire has to go on record and just announce that the quarterback charade is over.  But he has to mean it.  There is no “week to week” evaluation any more.  Both guys stink.  Pick one and go with it.  I don’t care if it’s John Beck or Rex Grossman.  If beady eyes thinks it Sexy Rexy, then so be it.  Make a decision once and for all and stop wavering and throwing off the rest of the team.

Go ahead and start Roy Helu at running back, and let’s find out over the next seven games if he can be a guy that can carry the load.  It’s pretty obvious Shanny doesn’t love Ryan Torain.  Tim Hightower has never been able to be “the guy” in his career and probably won’t start here.  If Helu can’t do it then we need to draft somebody that can.

Everybody is auditioning for spots next year.  Nobody is as vulnerable as the interior of the offensive line.  Make a determination who’s going to be here next year.  Do Will Montgomery, Maurice Hurt, Eric Cook or Chris Chester deserve to be?  After you figure it out, make drafting offensive lineman a priority. That doesn’t mean picking guys up in the 7th round either.  Use some early picks to bolster that line for years to come.

Once the season is over, we have a few more moves to make before the draft.  First let’s hire another personnel guy to ensure that we don’t ever go into another season with a Beck or Grossman situation at quarterback.  It probably wasn’t a bright idea to have seven receivers and no backup guard either.

Mike Shanahan is a control freak and isn’t going to want to see this happen.  But he’s not going to quit over it.  There’s too much money on the table.  A guy like Charley Casserly can be brought in as a vice president and just kind of be there to insure no crazy, “I’m going to turn this journeyman into a star” scenarios play out.  Somebody needs
to be brought in to keep Shanny honest.  Casserly has ties to the organization, is local, and would be a perfect fit.

In that same vein, the Redskins need to hire another set of eyes for the offense too.   There needs to be a check and balance system in place for the father and son duo.  In any other situation the offensive coordinator would be replaced or at least have some of his duties stripped.  That’s not going to happen with Kyle Shanahan.  So bring in an offensive consultant.  Somebody that can oversee the play calling and game planning to guarantee the team is given “its best chance to win” as leather face likes to say.

The next few parts are obvious.  Last season the Redskins focused on the defense in the draft.  Ryan Kerrigan is a future pro bowler.  Jarvis Jenkins was even outshining him in camp before he got hurt.  Free agent acquisitions like Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield have fit in nicely.

Now it’s time to focus on the offense.  This means starting at the top and drafting a quarterback.  Don’t get too cute.  Don’t try and find some diamond in the rough.  Select the best damn quarterback available and make it work.  Work with his strengths and weaknesses, and give this kid the best chance to be successful.  I don’t care if it’s Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin, Landry Jones or whoever.  Select the best available quarterback in the first round.  Don’t trade up and waste future picks.  Don’t try and get fancy and trade down.  Take the best one there and go with it.  Oh and don’t whiff.  It’s your last crack at the position in DC.

After that we need to start filling in those gaps in the offensive line.  If you can find a starting corner in the 2nd round I wouldn’t hate you for it.  But for the most part focus on the offense and select the best lineman, running back and WR’s that are available.  Hopefully you can hit on 3 or more and be set for years to come.

You need to target one or two positions in free agency.  This is a great year for wide receivers.  Guys like Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Marquis Colston and DeSean Jackson should be available.  Go out and do what Dan Snyder does best.  Go get one.  Bring in a premier number one guy.  Your rookie quarterback will thank you later.

If you can find a free agent corner to compete with Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall, that would be ideal.  If not grin and bear it for one more year.  Make a decision on Laron Landry too.  He’s been quiet this year.  Is it because he’s hurt?  Can he get healthy once and for all?  Consult your doctors and decide.  It might be time to cut bait and move
on.  That’s ok.  You aren’t going to be able to fill every spot in one off season.

In a lot of ways this has been a wasted year- but not completely. Even with all the quarterback drama and injuries the defense has improved quite nicely. If you follow the steps I’ve outlined with the offense and add a few more sets of eyes to the equation this team might once and for all be headed in the right direction.  Now go do it.

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  • Siggy

    Good stuff Bickel. And you’re right on many fronts. This is a rebuild. And Skins fans should be WILLING to grin and bare it. It worked for the Caps, yes? We’re really in year one, because last year was a waste with picking up McNabb. The Skins focused on the D in last year’s draft; and it worked! The D is getting better. And with Jenkins back next year, I think we’ll be in good shape. This year, the draft should be about the offense. QB first, Barkley please! Then O Line, O Line, secondary. Helu and Torrain can be a holdover. The WR can be had in free agency. But if we don’t protect a young QB, his confidence will be shot. How many games before fans/media start talking about the new QB being a bust, really? It’s a rough town man. And one reason you guys despise Shanny is becaus he give’s you NOTHING. You knew this from the media guys in Denver. But it’s never enough to just say, “Oh, it’s just Shanny being Shanny.” You have hours to fill; so I get it to a certain extent. But the guy purposefully speaks in generalities — “We put the players in there that are going to help us win.” How many times have we been fed that. But the best sound bite of the year was when he slipped up and revealed that he told Kyle that it was going to take rebuilding the entire team. This after denying we were rebuilding over and over again. That’s what it is man. And that’s what is SHOULD BE. But they won’t admit it because “rebuild” doesn’t sell tickets or attact free agents to your team. So Shanny won’t say it. I’m on board with rebuild. We needed D more than O last year and that’s what we did. It’s O before D this year and that’s what they’ll do. I just hope they hit on some of these picks!

  • Steve Wilson

    One of the better articles I have read in a long time and right on the money.

  • David

    Good article. While I agree with most of it, I couldn’t disagree more with the idea of bringing in a “VP” or “consultant.” Did you forget the Sherm Lewis disaster already? Bringing in outside eyes, even for checks and blanaces sake, is basically admitting you don’t know what your doing and would make Shanny and Allen look stupid. And I don’t necessarily agree that another OC would have been fired by now. They know they are in a rebuild and the offense is clearly in evaluation mode. And big Shanny has major input in the offense so it’s not like Kyle is going rogue and calling the offense in complete contrast to what Mike wants. We just need to focus on the O this offseason like you said and stay patient

  • beigebandit

    Completely agree!…but,give Kyle a chance. Let’s see what he can do with a solid QB and WR combo ( a la Houston). Can’t make chicken salad out of chicken ___ !In addition, I would love to see Charley come back!

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