Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Furburgers: Why Is Gibbs Getting a Free Pass?

There are three things most Redskins fans, a contentious bunch, can agree upon: 1) Vinny Cerrato is a dunce; 2) Dan Snyder is, um, misguided, and 3) Joe Gibbs is God.

Most of the hysteria this week has focused itself on the team-building abilities of the former two (henceforth, "Snyderrato" or "It"), which closely resembles the levee-building abilities of the US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans. Snyderrato's star-centric, veteran-reliant philosophy started on Day One of Its tenure with the signings of washed up Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders et al. Then, It brings God back into the fold in '04 and for a moment we thought things would be different forever and ever again. Didn't we?

We are disappointed today to realize they aren't. All this kvetching about old and fragile players, lack of depth, and inability to build through the draft can be traced back to Joe Gibbs himself. The Redskins team that takes the field on Sundays still has Gibbs' fingerprints all over it, both in terms of the guys wearing the B&G jerseys and the talent that could be but isn't. He enabled Snyderrato's free-spending mentality by himself having a bias towards building a team with veteran players.

Let's look at the objective facts. Gibbs traded away a 2nd rounder (Portis trade), a 3rd rounder (Mark Brunell), a 3rd rounder and a 4th rounder (B. Lloyd) and a 4th rounder (TJ Duckett) and oversaw the big $$ handouts to each of these guys (minus Duckett). If these picks had been used on young O-linemen for Bugel to mold over the past few years, would we be looking down the barrell of a 12-gauge right now? Gregg Williams was largely responsible for miscasting key young defensive players as replaceable ones (Ryan Clark, Antonio Pierce), but these moves were ultimately Gibbs' call too and reflect a persistent mentality that "proven" is worth vastly more than unproven. Seems logical, right?

In theory yes, in reality no, and the proof is in the pudding. Gibbs' molding of the modern Redskins is built on the philosophy that 1) character trumps talent, 2) experience trumps youth, 3) getting "your guy" trumps the cost concerns, and 4) loyalty to veterans trumps the uncertainty of draft picks. As a result the Redskins have a starting lineup filled with great character guys who are old and overpaid, and cheap retreads or late-round hopefuls backing them up.

And the two-headed monster in charge doesn't seem to mind a bit. Snyderrato believed in this veteran-first mindset before, for different reasons perhaps, and now after watching Gibbs do in effect the same, It is empowered to continue down this path. Hard to tell, though, if keeping the old and crippled O-line together is a function of Gibbsian loyalty or a symptom of the general ineptitude perpetuated by Snyderrato's more recent decisions. I have my hunches.

I'm not saying this witch hunt should head down NASCAR-way and we pitchfork us some fresh Gibbs meat. His tenure had its successes: it restored organizational credibility, recharged Redskins pride and we won a playoff game! And he's still better than anything that has ever touched the Eagles organization (kiss the rings).

But let's not lose sight of Gibbs 2.0's ultimate failure: the inability to un-Snyderrato Snyderrato. The NFL is, frankly, a different beast than it was in the days Gibbs baked the victory cakes. Today, we're tasting the bitter result of a Betty Crocker formula mixed with too much sugar and icing and not enough of that moist fluffy dough inside. And the bakers still think they're doing it right.

Marinate on that a little bit this weekend while you're browsing the interwebz. Without further ado, and with no logical Segway necessary, your Friday Furburgers: links from the week, for the weekend.

Redskins Mass Hysteria.
East Coast Bias

Redskins Mass Hysteria: Redskins Alumns edition.
Lovey Land

Peter King thinks the Lions will snap their 19-game losing streak against the 'Skins Sunday. I think Peter King will snap his child's finger off for a snack some day. See what I did there?
FanNation | The Peter King Challenge

The Redskins aren't the only mess under Dan Snyder's charge. Further proof that he's pretty much the exact opposite of Midas.
The Curly R

Translating Jim Zorn's 4th down calls into Geek. Allow me to retranslate: he made the right calls decisions.
Advanced NFL Stats

Moving along now to the Redskins' smarter, cooler, awesomer brother: The Caps. Per Coach Bruce Boudreau, even the youngsters have "championship blood." I got chills...we'll have more on this soon.
Capitals Insider

Scott Burnside provides a pretty smart season preview, minus the "a Cup visit isn't yet in the cards" business.

Caps minor league enforcer Brandon Sugden squares off with former Cap and reigning NHL heavyweight Donald Brashear twice in preseason action Thursday. Rangers 3, Caps 2.
Japers' Rink

Lil' guy (5' 9", 160 lbs) and uber-skilled prospect, C Matthieu Perrault, is proving he belongs...if not now then very soon. And he's pretty psyched about it, duh.
On Frozen Blog

Wizards using stats now.
Bullets Forever

Nats lose 100 for second straight year. I did not see this coming.
SB Nation

Ridiculous '80s dating video montage, featuring Vinny Cerrato ("I operate a damsel in distress hotline") around the 2:05 mark.
Daily Motion

1 comment:

  1. If Joe Gibbs is God and Matt Wieters is Jesus, what does that make ZAUN?


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