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SmootSmack 01-07-2008 03:38 AM

Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
Four years ago today (January 7th) Joe Gibbs returned to the Washington Redskins. But, in the words of Ronald Reagan, are we better off now than we were four years ago?

This has nothing to do with whether or not you think Gibbs should come back. This is about whether you think right now we are in better position to be consistent winners than we were on January 7, 2004

Where do your beliefs lie?

Vote

Nation of Irish (this guy's everywhere): Worse off. Gibbs hasn't met expectations and he's old

The Tripp Republic: Still the same. We're running in motion but not really getting anywhere

Commonwealth of JoeRedskin: Look at our roster. Of course, we're better off

(I know that for some your answer will be dependant upon whether Gibbs comes back)

NinjaLink 01-07-2008 03:49 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
I am happy with the guys we have right now. We are better off.

Swarley 01-07-2008 03:59 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
I have to say we are most definitely better off.

jamf 01-07-2008 04:17 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
4 years, Two playoff seasons. We only had one playoff year the previous 12 or 13 years.
We are a better team but that still doesn't mean we are a good team.

djnemo65 01-07-2008 04:37 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
I don't know how anyone can say we aren't better off. Look at all the players we had at key positions on the Spurrier team who are out of the league now. Check this out:[url=http://www.jt-sw.com/football/pro/rosters.nsf/Annual/2003-was]2003 Washington Redskins[/url]

This was not a team built for the future, the present, or really anytime. We aren't where I'd like to be now, but we are definitely better off.

GTripp0012 01-07-2008 04:48 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
In 2004, we were an average football team with the potential to be good could we have found some offense. 2004 was the last time we could generate a pass rush with the front four. Griffin was a monster. Springs was a total shutdown corner. We had a great budding middle linebacker, who lacked experience. Marcus Washington was playing great. We had a rookie safety who was going to grow into his talent, and Fred Smoot talking trash all the while. Philip Daniels could rush the passer back then, and Renaldo Wynn was a big run stuffer on the outside. Brandon Noble and Jermaine Haley created a pretty good run stuffing combo, and man, could LaVar bring the pressure on the QB (knees permitting).

That was a GREAT defense.

Every one of those players who are still on the roster as of this day is older and playing like it. Griffin can still play like a beast for the first six weeks of any given season, but he gets banged up and plays average. Phillip Daniels can still play in this league, but is no longer the pass rusher he once was. Marcus Washington is starting to lose some athleticism to age. Fred Smoot is no longer a promising football prospect. Springs is now hovering around average.

We made a huge mistake when we let Pierce walk, but at least for the short term, we finally found a worthy replacement in London Fletcher. The 2nd defensive tackle spot has undergone massive changes, followed then by an influction of youth, but it hasn't really improved. Andre Carter has the pass rushing skills that Daniels lost, but not the complete game Phillip once had. Rocky McIntosh is injured now, looked promising, but he will never replace LaVar. Sean met his tragic end way too soon, but Landry is very much a similar player at a similiar age compared to Taylor in 2004. Overall, this defensive unit is worse than it was in 2004, and father time is the cause.

But the offense is another story. Back in the day of the great Ramsey/Brunell debates, we actually had a running game. Portis was in his 3rd season, and needed just some time to get used to an altered running style to be elite. Portis should have made at least one pro bowl over the last 4 years. Betts was young and unproven. The offensive line was a lot younger than it is now, but not a whole lot different. Samuels, Jansen, and Thomas had a lot less mileage on them, but we were playing with the inexpierenced Dockery, and the terrible Raymer. (The line of course, did improve when Dockery did, and when the gaping hole that was Raymer was replaced). There was one receiving threat to speak of, Coles. Cooley didn't make an impact until mid year.

The receivers are so much better now. Looking back on it, Coles for Moss was a wash, but Cooley has become an elite receiver. Randle El has really become an offensive weapon, and Reche Caldwell would have easily been the number two target back in 2004. This team lacks a competant blocking TE, and constantly looks to the jumbo-sized Lorenzo Alexander...who isn't much of a blocker himself. Dockery became Kendall, but Kendall isn't a whole lot better than Dock was in 2004. Rabach isn't good either, but he's not the gaping hole Raymer was. The big issue here is the running game, where Portis can't seem to hit the holes as well as he could at age 23.

The quarterback situation however is a major plus. Jason Campbell appears to be a great prospect, and Todd Collins played better in 4 games than either Brunell or Ramsey ever did here. Campbell is still improving, and thats the big thing here.

The development of a potentially great passing game offsets much of the defensive decline we have suffered due to age, but the offense hasn't taken the next step due to the inability to develop any sort of power running game, which, honestly is the only type of running game that no team can do without. If you don't have the big play running game, you compensate by throwing. If you don't have the short yardage running game, you have to compensate by throwing, which tends not to be particularly effective.

The core of this roster is stronger than it was in 2004, but many, many critical personnel errors have kept depth from improving. Allowing Pierce to walk, signing Arch and Lloyd, which then in turn kept us from being able to re sign Dockery all killed this team in the long run.

We've spun the wheels and changed a lot, but this team is maybe just a tad better off, and it's all because of what Jason Campbell could potentially be. Because the thread is not asking me to predict what this could become, rather what it is, I have to say no change.

GTripp0012 01-07-2008 04:50 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
Well, I did more like September 2004 than January 2004. Truth is, we are better off than January 2004, and it's because of guys like Cooley, and Washington who came in. Giving up Champ probably evens that out, but didn't we know back in Jan. 04 that Champ wasn't likely to return?

JoeRedskin 01-07-2008 09:00 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
Obviously, IMO, we are better. Anyone remember the misery of Spurrier's last games? The team had given up. We were the team that others teams said "Punch'em in the mouth and they go away." There was no toughness. Coaching was abysmal and talent was wasted. (Remember Jansen's quote about never having a game plan under Spurrier?). On top of that we had been through Norv, Marty and Spurrier in short order. Champ left b/c he WANTED to - He wasn't coming back. He saw and hated, the lack of continuity, the disarray in the FO, and the complete breakdown of communication between the FO and coaches. Throw in Snyder's blatant favoritism towards certain players and you have a morass that, although talented, that wasn't winning and wasn't going to win.

Gibbs changed that culture. For good or ill, there is continuity. Players are a team and, as this season showed, punch us in the gut and we will just play harder. Irishism's aside, this is a tough team. We can argue about whether it is talented enough or whether it is properly maximizes its talent but no one can doubt it's will to play.

Has Gibbs' record been vastly better than his predecessors? Nope. Has he shown consistent progress in terms of team accomplishments? Nope. (2006's 5-11 was a huge step back). Is the team more talented than it was in the post 2003, pre-2004 off season? Maybe, maybe not.

Even with all those no's, and IMHO, this team has something the team didn't have in Jan. 2004. A legitimate hope - Is the FO the morass that was Vinny/Snyder over? No. Does this team enter every game believiing it can/should win? Yes. Do players want to play for this team? Resoundingly yes. Players will come and stay, no longer is it [I]just[/I] b/c Snyder pays the most but because Gibbs is the coach. The team is aquiring (Landry, Golston, Montgomery, Heyer) and retaining (Betts, Cooley) its young talent. I believe this trend will continue.

Are there still problems? Sure - but would you trade them for Atlanta's? Miami's? Baltimore's? San Fran's? Oakland's? These are teams looking into the morass that was the post-2003 Redskins and each has a long way to go.

The Skins have not put it all together yet, but at least they are no longer consistently tearing things apart. Soon enough, my friends, soon enough. Consistent winning is coming and with it, a chance to catch the spark that makes a good team into a championship team.

Feel good, crank the tunes and wait til next year.

We will play hard and we will win.

skinsfan69 01-07-2008 10:30 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
No question we're better off. Gibbs brings respectability that OBC and Norv could not. When the guy walks in the door he commands respect and that's what I like about him most. Guys like Norv Turner and OBC just don't have that. But moving forward we need to get the o-line some depth. Both playoff losses since Gibbs' return were due to not being able to overcome injuries on the O-line. This must be addressed in the off season.

freddyg12 01-07-2008 10:40 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
Without a doubt, we are exponentially better off today. If 2 of 4 seasons in the playoffs isn't enough (we hadn't been that many times since JOe left in 93), then look at the roster we had in 03 as someone just pointed out. Those last games under Spurrier were an embarassment.

Gibbs took over when this team was a total mess. If he walks away today, he will have succeeded in getting this franchise the building blocks it needs for the next few seasons or more. Of course he's made mistakes, on & off field, but the fact remains that no coach since he left in 93 has gotten us to the playoffs twice.

BigSKINBauer 01-07-2008 10:44 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
We are definitely better. We really really sucked back then and had no future. We are coming off a playoff season and i am confident in many of our positions. We have the building blocks for the future and i think that is what gibbs was brought here to do. Bring us back to winning contention. He doesn't exactly have to win a super bowl in this term to be successful.

irish 01-07-2008 10:44 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
I gotta vote with Tripp because this is a vote on the team and not Gibbs (as the heading implies). I think this team is spinning its wheels and doesnt get better and doesnt really get worse. I dont see the Skins being any better next year than this year. It will be an 8-8 or 9-7 team again.

Sure this team has made the playoffs but in reality this team has won nothing since Gibbs returned and I'm sure had we taken a poll 4 years ago today predicting the next 4 years and I predicted 2 playoff appearances but no playoff wins I would have been skewered. Unfortunately that has been what happened. It always looks like this team is getting better but they never really do.

TheMalcolmConnection 01-07-2008 10:45 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
[quote=JoeRedskin;403407]We will play hard and we will win.[/quote]

Would you venture to say "live to win"?

[yt]http://youtube.com/watch?v=_OvpzForHyU[/yt]

MTK 01-07-2008 10:46 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
[quote=irish;403447]I gotta vote with Tripp because this is a vote on the team and not Gibbs (as the heading implies). I think this team is spinning its wheels and doesnt get better and doesnt really get worse. I dont see the Skins being any better next year than this year. It will be an 8-8 or 9-7 team again.

Sure this team has made the playoffs but in reality this team has won nothing since Gibbs returned and I'm sure had we taken a poll 4 years ago today predicting the next 4 years and I predicted [B]2 playoff appearances but no playoff wins[/B] I would have been skewered. Unfortunately that has been what happened. It always looks like this team is getting better but they never really do.[/quote]

except we do have a playoff win

irish 01-07-2008 10:53 AM

Re: Four Years Later: Are We Better Off?
 
[QUOTE=Mattyk72;403451]except we do have a playoff win[/QUOTE]

Yes I forgot about that win. Thanks for catching that. 1 for 3 in the playoffs is not what most on this board would have expected. It Still does not change the fact that this team always seems to look like its getting better but it never does.


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