Saturday, February 23, 2008

Life after Gibbs

The answers are in. Joe Gibbs left no lasting legacy from his second tour of duty with the Washington Redskins.

It took a nanosecond to see that owner Daniel Snyder intended big changes for the team, especially on offense. It took a mere month for Snyder to decapitate Gibbs coaching staff.

In Jim Zorn, Snyder found the perfect compliment to Snyder's micro-management style. Zorn is a hero in Seattle, much as Sonny Jurgensen is seen as a demi-god around Washington. He's been on the Seahawks coaching staff for seven years. Yet when the Seahawks looked for their next coach, it wasn't Zorn, but Jim Mora, Jr. When Mora looked for his designated offensive coordinator, that wasn't Zorn, either. How is it that Seattle's hero isn't good enough for the Seahawks, but is perfect for the Redskins? This is a formula for success?

Snyder was entirely appropriate to consider all his options for a head coach change. But, Gibbs' team might have won 10 or 12 games this season with Gregg Williams and Al Saunders in place. For Snyder to go in another direction, there should be some indication of greater success in 2009 and beyond. I'm assuming 2008 to be a transition year with anyone other than Williams as head coach.

There's no such indication with Zorn. I'm not saying he will fail anymore than I'm guaranteeing his success. You can't tell. There's no history, no track record, to latch on to. He is the high risk choice without indication of commensurate returns. Even if it works out, such choices are not wise business decisions.

I've resigned myself to a fourth place finish in the division and mid-to-bottom-half of the conference for 2008.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Joe Goes

I live in mortal fear of what Daniel Snyder will do now that Joe Gibbs has decided to hang it up.

Snyder has a penchant for picking coaches and players by name recognition. It's almost always the wrong move when Snyder does this without adult supervision.

So, who do the smart guys on ESPN and NFLN say Mr. Snyder will call next? Bill Cower and Jason Garrett [Ohmygawdno, not another genius Cowboy offensive coordinator].

The meek, mild-mannered guy who occupies this space has the Gibbs resignation story up on Hog Heaven. Also check out my favorite Redskins bloggers who are certain to put up most excellent pieces today. Look here, here and here.

I thought maybe, possibly coach Joe would give up coaching duties to work the front office. It seemed the easiest, best transition strategy to me. That scenario offered the least disruption, especially important to Jason Campbell's development. He needs another year with Al Saunders.

If Snyder does what Snyder always does, he will rush to buy a high profile big name coach. Wrong first move. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Snyder's next move should be to find an excellent general manager to be his partner in running the team. Then, pick a coach. A coaching career does not prepare one to be a general manager.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Joe Gibbs legacy postponed

You know that series about Joe Gibbs legacy I was going to write? Well, it's postponed. Joe Gibbs done gone and upset my timetable by leading the Redskins to the playoffs.

That confounds both my schedule and my thesis. It's gone from something like "Joe Gibbs has only won one playoff game in four years," to "Joe Gibbs makes the playoffs in two of the last three seasons."

I can't write a legacy piece because Joe Gibbs is still creating it.

And that roster depth! Where once it was lost, now it's found; was blind, but now you can clearly see it.

The playoff run is achievement is because of players who've been here less than two seasons: Montgomery and Golston; "Scarface," Chris Wilson. Running back depth -- not just Ladell, but Rock Cartwright; and we haven't even used Marcus Mason yet.

Reed Doughty and above all, that Todd Collins guy.

Glad I didn't write about Gibbs legacy four weeks ago. I would have looked foolish now. I would have deleted it and pretended it never existed..

Happy New Year and Hail To The Redskins!