At this point in the NFL season clowning on the Redskins comes pretty easy.
The team is 3-12 and has the third worst point differential in football. Outside of the emergence of rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, there really isn’t a slam dunk good story.
Last week, ESPN analyst Todd McShay made some of the harshest comments yet about the Redskins, calling the head coaching position the worst in football.
Well, coming after three straight hard-fought losses, Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan did not want to hear it.
"I don't respect that statement. This is a prestigious franchise and it deserves the very best," Callahan said Monday on the Redskins Talk podcast.
Callahan's response came after a direct question about McShay's assertion that the Redskins job was the worst in the NFL. For Callahan, the comments missed the mark.
"That strikes me hard," Callahan said. "There are only 32 head jobs in the NFL. Yeah, we've fallen on some hard times, but who wouldn't want to take on a challenging situation and turn it around? There's a lot of reward in that. Our players play hard. Week in and week out, you see the great effort, great intensity, and focus. Who wouldn't want to be the head coach of an NFL franchise?"
It's easy to point to the Redskins 3-7 record under Callahan and dismiss his comments, but the team has shown significant grit and resolve in the last month.
Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins has shown significant growth during Callahan's tenure, and the team has shown tremendous resiliency.
Still, the record is the record. There are no moral victories in the NFL.
Perhaps in a sign of fresh air in Ashburn, Callahan understands that.
"You either win or you don’t and I get that, I understand that. I’ve been in this business for a long time, so I understand dynamics that are out there every Sunday. You’re competing, you’re competing when it’s a brutal business. I always say it’s a great game, but it’s a brutal business."
Washington has young talent and could have significant cap space in 2020. The front office structure will be an issue unless real changes are made. That's obvious.
But for Callahan, a lifelong coach given just his second chance running an NFL team, the Redskins job is worth fighting for.
"Champions sustain and they get through those moments and they break through and they find themselves. That’s where I see this team is going, where it’s headed and where it needs to get better at and it’s close, but close is not good enough in the National Football League."
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