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Savior Fatigue

Savior Fatigue

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net

I would like to apologize for the low quality my Redskins Blog Ver. 01.22.06. The piece was rambling and incoherent and it never quite made it to any point that it may have been laboring towards. That is generally what happens when I have no passion for what I’m writing about. And I find it very difficult to get worked up one way or the other over the installation of Al Saunders as el jefe of the Redskins offense.

On the positive side, it’s Joe Gibbs’ idea. Since his return two years ago, there have been two kinds of moves made by Gibbs. There were those that everyone hailed and agreed with at the time that turned out well, like drafting Sean Taylor and Carlos Rogers,. And there were those that many greeted with incredulity at the time they were made that turned out just fine, like trading Coles for Moss and giving Brunell another shot.

And Al Saunders is certainly a quality hire. His resume is impeccable. Like Gibbs, he has a reputation for sleeping at the office during the week According to Peter King of SI.com, his attention to detail is such that he won’t call the same play more than once in any four-game stretch.

By the way, King likes this move and that is one of the things that makes me ambivalent about it. I mean, all of those years of bashing everything that the Redskins did and now, all of a sudden, he’s singing Hail right along with the rest of Redskins Nation.

I suspect I know why. In a column in the Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock was among the few in KC who didn’t bemoan the departure of Saunders:
Breaking news: Al Saunders did not invent the game of football.

This news, I’m sure, will shock many of my media brethren here in Kansas City, particularly those who earn a living hosting radio shows.

Saunders, however, did perfect the art of making insecure media members feel like they’re the next Howard Cosell. Saunders scored more points with members of the media than the Chiefs did on the football field during Saunders’ tenure as offensive coordinator.

Saunders returned every phone call, made love to every microphone put in his face.Whitlock tries to make a case that Saunders is just a glad-handing empty headset, a notion that is not supported by the facts. And there’s nothing wrong with trying hard to build good relations with the media. If that is indeed the case with Saunders, a few in the Redskins organization could learn from him. But back to King, you have to think that one of the main reasons that he’s happy about Saunders’ new job is that he’ll finally have someone at Redskins Park who will return his phone calls. Gibbs doesn’t play that game, not with King, not with anybody. King just can’t wait to write something like, “I was talking to Al Saunders on my home phone, but I had to cut him short when my cell rang and it was Mike Holmgren.”

That’s just a sidebar, of course. I really don’t care what King or Whitlock think about all of this. My lack of enthusiasm is tied into a syndrome I’ll call Savior Fatigue.

Ever since the Redskins’ fortunes went south in 1993, we have seen a constant stream of players and coaches who were supposed to be The One, the man who was supposed to be the final piece of the puzzle. We were supposed just pop Dana Stubblefield into the defensive line or have Ray Rhodes don the headset as defensive coordinator and double-digit wins and playoff runs would follow. You can even go back to Heath Shuler and Michael Westbrook or back just a few seasons to Marvin Lewis to find the causes of Savior Fatigue. I don’t think I have to go into any more agonizing detail for those reading this to know what I’m talking about.

Certainly, going back to my first point, there is a qualitative difference here in that this move was made by Gibbs, The One if there ever was one. But while he’s had the Midas touch this time around, he did trade up to draft Desmond Howard and insist that Bobby Beathard trade away a first for Gerald Riggs. Everyone goofs every once in a while.

Besides that, the Savior Fatigue syndrome is just too deep seeded for me to jump in and join in the group high fives that are currently being exchanged among the Burgundy and Gold clad faithful. Saunders may be the one who came here from Missouri, but he’s going to have to show me before I get all giddy over his presence at Redskins Park.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book chronicles every game the Redskins played from 1937 through 2001. It is available at www.RedskinsGames.com

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.