Sure, it’s only preseason, which is as close to meaningless competition as you’ll find in professional sports, but Washington’s consecutive losses to Baltimore and Green Bay, by a combined 24 points, could still be cause for alarm.
The Redskins looked unprepared in both games, Thom Loverro writes for The Washington Times.
His concern, despite the fraudulence of preseason football, is that the two losses could be an indicator of carryover from the end of last season, when they missed the playoffs by going 1-2 over their final three games, one against a divisional opponent already in the playoffs with nothing to play for.
“I was a pretty big Jay Gruden fan until the end of last year,” Loverro told The Sports Junkies Tuesday morning. “The way they ended last year, with two of the three final games — two of the most important games at home, Carolina and the Giants — it really made me think that this may not be the right guy. This may be Norv Turner.”
That’s no praising comparison, for you youngsters out there. The Redskins went 49-59, and made the playoffs only once (1999), in seven seasons under Turner (1994-2000), who was fired mid-season by new team owner Daniel Snyder after a 7-6 start in 2000.
The Redskins are 21-26 in three seasons under Gruden, whom the organization signed to a two-year contract extension in March. They’ve made the playoffs once, their 2015 division-championship season. Gruden’s now signed through the 2020 season.
“I’m looking at these preseason games as a carryover of what we saw at the end of last year,” Loverro said. “I think the loss to the Giants, given what was at stake for the Redskins, what wasn’t at stake for the Giants, was one of the worst this franchise suffered in decades.
“I mean, it was an embarrassment. And, for whatever reason, they weren’t ready to play that game. Just like they weren’t ready to play the game two weeks earlier on Monday night against Carolina, a losing team that they got pummeled by.”
“Preseason football is maddening,” he qualified. “It’s the most fraudulent sporting event you could possibly have because, you know, you’re being asked to watch football, but it’s not really football. So it’s hard to make judgments.”
“But they do have goals they’re trying to accomplish out there,” he said. “Jay’s not just sending these guys out saying, ‘Just go ahead and do whatever you want.’
“They’re trying to do something when they’re out there, and we’ve had the coach and the quarterback say now for two weeks that they’re not getting those things done.”