The League

David Aldridge
Sports Reporter

David Aldridge

A nationally recognized sports journalist.

Snyder Has Failed

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Dec. 14, 2008 will go down as the day the Redskins hit rock bottom.

Oh, sure, there was that 73-0 business with the Bears in 1940, and the 1960-61 un-dynamic duo (combined record: 2-21-3), or the night Gus Frerotte gave himself a concussion, or the day Darrell Green seemed to be playing by himself against the Vikings, or the "Happy Birthday, Joe" season opener in Dallas in '85, or the day Theismann had to punt against the Bears and whiffed. All fine candidates.

But has this team ever come up smaller, in a game that meant their season, against such a horrid opponent, as it did yesterday?

The inability to score, the lack of a pass rush, the feeling that this is, once again, a team content to be mediocre, all stems from the decisions made at the top. Because Snyder's unwillingness to bring in a true general manager and step aside is at the heart of everything that's rotten.

There's no secret about why the elite teams are always elite. They build terrific offensive and defensive lines, they get a quarterback who doesn't make mistakes, they can run the ball and they have a half-dozen or so playmakers throughout the roster. You know, like the 80's Redskins under Bobby Beathard. Yeah, he had Plan B and the USFL at his disposal, and he didn't have a cap. But what he did have was a knack for finding football players.

Take 1981. Mark May (first round), Russ Grimm (third), Dexter Manley (fifth). A very good draft. Now, throw in Charlie Brown (eighth round), Darryl Grant (ninth) and Clint Didier (12th), and Joe Jacoby (undrafted free agent). A great draft, a draft you can live a decade off of, which is precisely what the Redskins did.

Beathard was far from perfect; there are a lot of Bob Slaters and Carl Powells and Tory Nixons on his first-day board. But this isn't about being perfect; it's about being consistent, and the Redskins under Snyder have lurched from year-to-year with no carryover, no sense that Snyder's willingness to spend is leading to anything special.

Have you noticed that teams with a reputation of being cheap with players, like the Steelers, always seem to be contenders? Could it be that there's something to the whole notion of players being motivated to prove themselves, instead of getting seven-figure signing bonuses up front? Pittsburgh loses players because it won't pay; the Redskins sign players who never live up to the price it took to get them.

I think Dan Snyder wants to win, desperately. He either still doesn't know how or isn't willing to get out of the way to do it. Either is inexcusable after owning the team for more than a decade.

By David Aldridge  |  December 15, 2008; 10:18 AM ET  | Category:  Fans , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This view held by Mr. Aldridge is no longer news. It has been this way since Snyder took over the Redskins. I have now given up on this team. I will watch the beginning of each game but quit watching when it becomes clear they have no chance and it happens sooner and sooner each game. If it is a winner you seek, watch the Caps. They are now regarded around the league as one of the elite teams and exciting to watch. They have done almost all of it through the draft. There were a couple of free agent signings but they are role players not superstars. They also have depth in Hershey which is why they remained in 1st place despite the multiple starters being out.
The Redskins, on the other hand is one of the jokes around the NFL.

Posted by: chopin224 | December 15, 2008 5:04 PM

Absolutely spot on (as the British say)..Bobby Beathard (or a younger sharper version, if any) in a permanent GM slot would do this franchise a world of good..But Cerrato must go..

Posted by: frak | December 15, 2008 5:09 PM

David Aldridge is right but as fans this only brings more misery. Danny boy isn't going to sell the team because the team continues to make money, which is Danny's ultimate goal. I think Danny boy cares more about making money off the team than actually winning. Cerrato is a joke and the team is a national joke. How sad that such a storied franchise has been reduced to the likes of the Lions and the Bengals..

Posted by: skinfannomore | December 15, 2008 7:53 PM

Reading Cerratos interview posted in this paper today, it makes it abundantly clear that the man has NOT A CLUE. Dan, I have been a 'Skins fan longer than you. Quit making us suffer. Either sell the team or fire Vinnie NOW!

Get involved in "league issues" & hire a REAL GM that can get Jim Zorn the PLAYERS he needs to turn this thing around. Vinnie will NOT get the job done & it is sickening to see your continued loyalty given to such a loser.

Tell you what Dan, talk to some of the other owners & GM's in the league. Get their opinions of Vinnie. I garauntee you that 100% of them will tell you that the man is not even 4th Assisitant GM material.

Come on Dan. Wake up! You REALLY want to win? You really want to bring back those glory years? GET RID OF VINNIE & HORE A REAL GENERAL MANAGER!!!

'nuff said.

Posted by: james51 | December 23, 2008 12:31 AM

Cerrato must have some serious dirt on Snyder in order to keep him on staff. The man clearly doesn't know jack about players or what to look for in signing them. His best so far has been C Horton, and that has fizzled some since early in the season.

Posted by: tommuss10 | December 28, 2008 8:43 AM

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