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When that happens, it means either I'm dead wrong or I didn't explain my point very well or both. Since I don't think I'm dead wrong here, let me try to clarify my point, add a few thoughts that have come to me during the course of the debate and explain why leaving Brunell in is the proper thing to do here. If it turns out that I'm just dead wrong, so be it.
Most of what I have read has gone along these lines—Brunell isn't going to get it done, he hasn't been getting it done for two plus years, so why not go with Jason Campbell, let him take his lumps this year, and then have Campbell ready for a Super Bowl run in 2007.
So, basically what is being said is that two games into the season the Redskins should throw in the towel. Sorry, but I just don't think that is the right thing to do either logically or morally.
Huge amounts of time and money have been invested in this
team. There are 90,000 people who are paying thousands of dollars for season
tickets. In talking about putting
Now, if the decision to put
This is not to say that it's never OK to make decisions that you know in advance will result in losing more games. I'm certainly not in favor of cutting Brunell an unlimited amount of slack. I just don't believe that now is the time to make that call. Here how I would like to see this unfold.
--Get Portis back into the swing of things. This is presuming, of course, that the shoulder is OK or at least at the point where he can play in whatever amount of pain it's in. Get him the ball and get the defenses respecting the run. The ineffectiveness of the offense is clearly related to Portis' absence. There are other factors, no doubt, but it has a lot to do with it.
--Get the players
into game shape. Joe Gibbs admitted yesterday that he didn't handle the
preseason portion of this season very well. These guys seem to be gassed by the
third quarter, something that can be at least partially attributed to the light
work load that had in training camp. Poor tackling (look at
--Work out the kinks in the offense. This is another aspect of preseason planning that just didn't work out. The vanilla schemes used in preseason games are creating a rocky road now that the bullets are firing for real. It's clear that Gibbs underestimated what it would take for the players to soak in the infamous 700-page playbook. The preseason games looked like drills and scrimmages and now the start of the regular season is looking like the first two games of the preseason should look like. As one message board poster said, we're now in that all-important third preseason game; it should start to come together. It needs to.
Let's say the Redskins give this
four weeks to get straightened out. If they're 3-3 or better and seem to be
headed in the right direction, we're fine. But if they're 2-4 and still
struggling offensively, I'd say it's time to make a change. Bench Brunell, put
If nothing else, patience is needed if for no other reason
than to protect Jason Campbell. Putting him in as the starter with all of the
problems that the offense is having would be borderline irresponsible. Sure,
Big Ben took the Steelers all the way to the AFC title game his rookie year and
all the way to the top his second year, but he was stepping in to a solid,
stable situation in regards to the Steelers' offense. That would not be the
case right now with
Get Portis into the flow of things, get the kinks worked out
of the offense, and see what happens. If it works out, the Redskins are on
their way. If it doesn't, I don't think that
Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when the moved to Washington for the 1937 season through 2001. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com