The Redskins don't just need to perform like some of their previous editions, but look like them.
There’s a lot of stuff in the Washington Redskins’ recent history that should be left in recent history, never to be explored or attempted again.
Signing defensive players who practice and play like they put in their two weeks notice 13 days ago to $100 million contracts, for example, is a tactic not worth trying again. Running trick plays on special teams that involve two-man offensive lines and a punter being asked to make a throw that Brett Favre would think twice about is another thing that belongs in the past and not the future.
But there’s one feature of the franchise that needs to be revived, and as soon as possible. And with apologies to those who are fond of the Sherman Lewis era, it’s not giving play-calling duties to BINGO caller.
Don’t you remember the glory days when the Burgundy and Gold would sprint onto the gridiron in, well, not burgundy and gold, but instead the matching jerseys and pants? Sure, glory days may be a bit of an exaggeration — two playoff appearances and one postseason win during that period when the ‘Skins rocked white-on-white is what Bill Belichick calls an appetizer — but some bonafide special moments came in the uni’s.
Sean Taylor’s blocked field goal return against the Cowboys is one such memory that involved the straightforward choice of clothing. So is Santana Moss’ three touchdown performance, including the overtime game-winner, at home versus the Jaguars. Chris Cooley donned the outfit often. Clinton Portis did as well. Anyone else getting a hankering to bolt for YouTube and watch some highlights of those scrappy editions of the Redskins?
Sporting the white-on-white every week isn’t going to happen, and it shouldn’t. But using the combination as an alternate for special primetime matchups (imagine watching Jordan Reed take on a Cowboys linebacker in the uniform — my younger self is ready to go do Oklahoma drills just thinking about that), or replacing the tiresome white top and gold bottoms with it is a path worth traveling.
Forget throwbacks and erase the idea of Color Rush jerseys. In fact, for a few Sundays in 2016, drop most of the color from the on-field ensemble altogether. The rest of the country may not understand this proposal and some may find it small or meaningless, but a packed house at FedEx Field sure would respond to it.
Many times, looking backward only slows progress. But in this case, borrowing from the past would be a major step forward.
Follow Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.
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