Tandler Takeover: 10 things I'd do if I ran the Redskins
If Tandler took over the Redskins...
The Redskins personnel decisions are in the capable hands of Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden and Bruce Allen does a pretty good job handling the business end of things for owner Daniel Snyder. But reasonable people can disagree and if I ran the football and business operations there are some things I would do differently. Here are 10 changes I'd make if I was in charge of all things regarding the Washington Redskins.
Make acoustic improvements to FedEx Field
It looks like this is turning into a consistently competitive team. It’s too bad that the home-field advantage created by the fans at FedEx Field just dissipates into the atmosphere over the stadium rather than being directed towards the field. I would bring in a team of acoustical engineers to design some sort of overhang that would hold in the sound, like RFK Stadium had. Sure the team is headed to a new building in the future but there are going to be a lot of games played in Landover before that happens.
Trade DeSean Jackson
It’s better to move on from a player a year too soon than a year too late. Jackson is one of the few players who might fetch a pick before the late rounds and moving on from him would save $6.75 million against the cap. They would be missing their burner on the outside but there are worse starting trios out there than Pierre Garçon, Josh Doctson, and Jamison Crowder. Add Jordan Reed into the equation and I think the offense will be able to move the ball just fine without Jackson.
Adopt the new Falcons’ concessions prices
When the Falcons open their new stadium in 2017 the concession prices will be more like what you might find at a AA baseball game than what we’re used to seeing at NFL games. A bottomless soda will cost two bucks and so will a hot dog. A cheeseburger or a 12-oz. Bud will set you back just five dollars. If the Falcons can make it work, so can the Redskins.
Start Arie Kouandjio at left guard
It’s going to happen sooner or later so just make it happen. Move on from Shawn Lauvao and his $5 million cap hit and let Kouandjio bring his nasty attitude to the unit full time. He had a year of practice to learn the NFL game and polish his technique. If he looks at all ready to go get him in there.
Make uniform changes
Personally, I like the burgundy jersey and gold (well, yellow) pants look that the team wore when I first started watching them play. But as a smart businessman I need to listen to my customers and the fans want changes. I don’t think that burgundy on burgundy is a great look but if fans want it, I’m for it. I like white on white better, even though it’s a bit boring. But if fans want it, they’ve got it. The one look I would stay away from is all black that some want. NFL regulations wouldn’t allow the team to change to a matching helmet and that would ruin the look.
Get the Kirk Cousins deal done
Yes, I would play it right up until the last minute of the 4 p.m. on July 15 deadline. But in the end I take the best offer that Mike McCartney has on the table and make it happen. On a cap that is currently $155 million and is likely to grow by some $10 million per year for the rest of the decade overpaying by a couple of million dollars a year isn’t going to kill your cap. Just get it done, commit to Cousins for at least the next three or four years, and get on with the season.
Start Spencer Long at center
Since I’m putting Kouandjio in where Long started last year I’ll move Long to center and make Kory Lichtensteiger my utility interior backup. This would give the Redskins a young offensive line that is completely homegrown.
Accelerate the timetable for a new stadium
It’s kind like of knowing that you have a new, custom car on order but you have to keep on driving the old clunker until the new car is delivered. All of the faults of the old car, the rattle in the engine, the substandard sound system, and the holes worn in the carpet, are magnified. Fans who already hate FedEx Field will hate it even more. I’d figure out a way to cut the timetable for getting it done from 10 years to more like five years. Oh, and get rid of the moat. That will save time and money right there.
Officially retire a few more numbers
There are teams that go too far in honoring players and retire too many jersey numbers. The Bears have 14 retired numbers. Yes they have a glorious, if distant, past but having that many dilutes the honor. The Redskins go too far in the other direction. Their only retired number is Sammy Baugh’s 33. There are numbers they don’t give out but the retired players who wore them are deprived of any sort of honors; it comes down to a decision made by an equipment manager. If I’m in charge, I immediately retire Darrell Green’s 28 and Art Monk’s 81. And every anniversary year that is divisible by 10, add another one.
Get trams to move fans from Metro to the stadium
We can all use a good, healthy walk. But it’s just dumb to have a Metro stop so close to the stadium and have no system to get fans from the stop to the stadium. Get some pickup trucks to tow some trams to run from the Morgan Boulevard station to the stadium. Designate an inbound lane for them early and in hour before and after a game build an alternate route that will keep the trams out of traffic.