Yesterday, the Redskins had a major blow in the offensive line when the team announced that starting right guard Randy Thomas will out for the season with a torn triceps injury. This news isn't surprising considering that Thomas had a history season ending injuries during the last two seasons. He sat out most of the 2007 season because of a left triceps injury and had neck and knee problems last year.
Now, the Redskins have 2008 draft pick Chad Rinehart to replace Thomas. Rinehart has never started an NFL game, but he will start this Sunday at Detroit. All off season, I have been saying that the offensive line needs to be address because it is aging and injuries are gonna happen at key positions. Yet, the Redskins did not draft a single offensive linemen this year.
Add to the pathetic play callings schemes by Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell inability to score points in the red zone, and the 2009 season looks disastrous already. While some of blame is on Zorn, the ownership is to blame also for their mediocre off season acquisitions, and failing to address the O-Line. Jason Reid from Redskins Insider has a good piece on the Redskins woes this season.
"Is it Zorn's fault the people in charge of player personnel have not appropriately addressed an offensive line clearly in need of help? I don't think it can be overstated what a bad job management has done constructing and replenishing the offensive line.
Anyone who reads the Insider, or the print edition of our sports section, knows we've written a lot about the Redskins' draft philosophy. Jason La Canfora and I combined on a long story in the previous offseason in which we compared the Redskins' approach to that of others teams.
Under owner Daniel Snyder, our reporting showed the Redskins have not built their line through the drafts as others have. Is the Redskins' approach successful? Well, judge for yourselves: They've failed to qualify for the playoffs in seven of Snyder's 10 seasons as owner.
As I wrote in another recent post, the Redskins haven't been a consistent offensive force since the days of Joe Gibbs 1.0. Former play-caller Al Saunders directed a big-time offense while with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he came to Washington and couldn't get it done. Regardless what you think of Saunders, that's just a fact.
I'm not saying Zorn does not deserve some of the blame for the Redskins' current problems on offense. I disagree with his reasoning for attempting that end-around option pass on the second play of the season in the opener against the New York Giants and the halfback-option pass against the St. Louis Rams.
But is it Zorn's fault that wide receiver Devin Thomas and fullback Mike Sellers couldn't come up with catches in the end zone early against the Rams? Is it his fault he's working with a roster that doesn't have nearly the amount of talent as some of the people in the big offices at Redskins Park seem to believe? I mean, really, what's the expectation level around here with the way they've constructed the team?
Gibbs won three Super Bowls in his first stint with Washington. The best he could do under Snyder was a 10-victory season and one playoff win in 2005. Gibbs also went 9-7 in 2007 and qualified for the playoffs, but the Redskins were 6-10 under him in 2004 and 5-11 in 2006.
From what people around here often tell me, there never has been a better coach in any sport than Gibbs, and the Redskins weren't that good despite all his football knowledge and Snyder's money. Washington hasn't won as many as 11 games since it went 14-2 and won the Super Bowl under Gibbs after the 1991 season.
Reid is right on about this franchise, and even when Joe Gibbs was here, the team squeak into the playoffs twice in his four season. Since 1993, the Redskins have only two 10 win seasons in the past 16 years. Their last 11 + win season was in 1991.
So if Mr. Snyder want a sample on good teams, take a drive up north on I-95 and visit the Baltimore Ravens. Every season, they re-build their offensive line, and solidifying their position for years to come. They have also drafted possible future hall of fame players like Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. They have Ozzie Newsome making all the personnel decisions, and owner Steve Biscioitti just writing the checks and more importantly, he is backing off unlike Snyder.
When an organization has foundation for success, the team will usually have great results on the field. When the organization is extremely inept, so is the team. Synder is very inept his team performance on the field reflects it.