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Zorn on the 4th of July 12-22-2009 10:31 AM

No Leadership
 
I've brought up this issue in a few different threads, but I think it deserves it's own.

[B]Please dispute me: there is no effective player leadership on this team.[/B]

We can keep 10 guys and cut 10 guys all day long. We can get an all-new offensive line. We can cut LaRon Landry and parade him through the streets. However, if we keep believing that the missing key to the Redskins' success is an issue that can be addressed with increased athletic skill, we're doomed to fail until we change our thinking.

We need clear player leadership in every aspect of the game. We need ONE starter on the field at all times who will rally the other ten guys and get them to perform when they're winded, or if they are eliminated from the playoffs, or if they are down by three scores going into the half. We need that player to inform a poorly-performing player of their mistakes and motivate them to improve, before the coaches do.

This player . . . let's give him some sort of title that will designate his increased level of responsibility . . . how about we call him a "Captain?" This Captain can't just show up on game day. He's got to be present in every meeting, every video session, every workout, and every practice.

[B]There is good news:[/B] look at who our Captains are this year. Every single one of them deserved to be voted into the position by his teammates. I have no problems with who our Captains are. I do have a problem with what our Captains do (or don't do).

When have we seen Jason Campbell address another player's mistake immediately after it happens? Does London Fletcher do the same? Is it surprising that the O-line is playing so poorly with it's Captain, Chris Samuels, out and flirting with retirement?

There are a lot of athletically-talented people on this team, including the oft-maligned LaRon Landry. The list of people we MUST cut is zero. The list of positions that must show improvement is very long. When you approach the problem from that angle, it changes how you solve it.

We don't need an all-new team. We need a few guys who make the other ten players on the field better. The good news is we already have people on the roster that are [I]capable[/I] of doing that. Now they just have to do it.

NOTE: None of this should be construed to justify us not taking the NFL Draft/off-season acquisitions seriously. We do have needs to take care of and the means to do it. However, we will keep losing until a leader emerges for the offense, defense, and special teams.

Mattyk 12-22-2009 10:40 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
I think the leadership thing is overblown. Leadership isn't the reason why we're 4-10.

Let's start with lack of talent and mediocre coaching.

SmootSmack 12-22-2009 10:40 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
I've read this a couple of times. And honestly, I'm really not following

BigHairedAristocrat 12-22-2009 10:41 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
In 50 words or less, please explain what we're supposed to do in this thread.

Mattyk 12-22-2009 10:52 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
[quote=BigHairedAristocrat;644517]In 50 words or less, please explain what we're supposed to do in this thread.[/quote]

I guess he thinks our lack of leadership is our primary problem.

freddyg12 12-22-2009 10:54 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
I see what you're getting at. I thought early in the year the team really looked dispirited, and that often happens to teams that lack leadership, either from the coaching staff or on field.

Fletcher & Campbell are not vocal leaders & maybe just aren't natural in the role. I think the guy that's been missed the most is Jansen. Even as his game declined, he seemed to be a big part of the team's identity & took it upon himself to bridge the gap between coaching staff & players.

That said, I don't necessarily think you have to have on field generals if the team is behind the coaching staff. Last night's mess I think is directly a result of the players knowing that the guys telling them what to do are lame ducks. They may have been fooled into thinking that maybe Zorn could keep his job, but now they aren't.

SolidSnake84 12-22-2009 10:56 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
Jeff George said it the best, but leadership really is over-rated.

Leadership, or lack thereof, didnt get us where we are today.

Mediocre talent, and over-paid declining veterans, along with poor coaching did.

having a field general like Peyton or Tom Brady chewing people out when they screw up wouldnt help us at this point....

Ruhskins 12-22-2009 11:03 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
[quote=SolidSnake84;644533]Jeff George said it the best, but leadership really is over-rated.

Leadership, or lack thereof, didnt get us where we are today.

Mediocre talent, and over-paid declining veterans, along with poor coaching did.

[B]having a field general like Peyton or Tom Brady chewing people out when they screw up wouldnt help us at this point[/B]....[/quote]

And as I said, that typically works well when the team ownership is behind the QB. I mean why would one of our sorry ass lineman would pay attention to Campbell, when they know the owner doesn't want him there?

sportscurmudgeon 12-22-2009 11:10 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
Leadership is the ingredient that can take a very good team to the level of a dominating team or a championship team.

The Redskins squad is not very good - - in fact, it is sub-standard. I am looking at the depth chart here on 12/22/09. I don't think General George S. Patton Jr. had sufficient leadership skills to take these players and make them into playoff contenders:

[B]OL:[/B] D.Batiste, L. Jones, P.Fanaika, C.Rabach, W. Montgomery, M. Williams, E. Williams, C. Reinhart, S Heyor, W. Robinson. A very good team MIGHT have one or two players of that caliber on the practice squad in the hopes they might some day turn into a serviceable offensive lineman. The Skins have 10 of them and play lots of them most of the time. [B]Leadership is not the issue here.[/B]


[B]WR:[/B] S. Moss, A. Randle-El, M. Kelly, D. Thomas, M. Mitchell. Moss and Randle-El have been here for years and have yet to keep opposing defensive coordinators awwake at night. We have had Thomas and Kelly here for two seasons now and the excuses made for the two of them are starting to wear thin. Mitchell so far has shown that he is a training camp wonder. Might the youngsters develop with mentoring? Possibly. [B]But this quintet is hardly at the top of the talent ladder across the league.[/B]


[B]RB:[/B] [B]Clinton Portis is the anti-leader[/B]; the only thing he seems to care about is that he gets to play a lot without practicing a lot. Oh and he likes to goof with reporters at press conferences too. [B]Betts is workmanlike[/B]; he does not provide leadership; he does not need a leader to get him to play hard. [B]The other three guys are - - just guys.[/B] No GM in the league is trying to figure out how to steal Ganther, Mason or Cartwright away from the Skins.


[B]DL:[/B] Here are the players who are NOT journeymen: Haynesworth, Carter. Here are the players who are OK: Griffin, Golston.
Here are the space-fillers: Daniels, Wynn, Jackson, A. Montgomery.
Alexander is a special teams player; Jarmon might turn into something very good. [B]Bottom line here is there is not enough talent here for a leader to take to the next level.[/B]


[B]LB:[/B] Fletcher and Orakpo are really good players. After that ... McIntosh has some good days and more bad days and Blades aspires to mediocrity. There are no diamonds in the rough among Henson, Bowen, Gatewood and Wilson. [B]Neither Fletcher nor Orakpo need leaders to make them play hard or play well. For the others, it just does not matter...[/B]


[B]DB:[/B] Hall, Smoot and Rogers all think they are a whole lot better than they actually are. Landry and Moore seem to be in a competition to see who can miss the most tackles. I don't see how leadership is going to help that situation much. As for Tryon, Barnes, Westbrook and Doughty, they seem to give whatever they have on the field. [B]It is hard for me to believe that their shortcomings are a lack of leadership on the field.[/B]


[B]Here is where leadership is lacking:[/B] On the sidelines and in the FO. There is none.

When you go out in the middle of the season and raid a Bingo Parlor to find a guy to call your plays, there is no managerial leadership.

When you are the owner and you have a few select favorite players who are given access to your private phone # and you allow them to question the coaches (note the use of the [B]plural[/B] noun there!) decisions and competency, there is no executive leadership either.

BigHairedAristocrat 12-22-2009 11:12 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
I think what we saw yesterday had more to do with front office/coaching drama more than anything else.

In the past week, its been (essentially) confirmed that Zorn, and the vast majority of the coaching staff wont be back.

The man directly responsible for acquiring a large number of the players on our team has resigned and we have a new general manager.

Atleast one of our assistant coaches interviewed for Zorn's job and then lied to his face about it.

Its easy to say that the the players should just focus on their jobs and the task at hand, but can you blame them for being distracted? The season's lost. They know many of them will be elsewhere next year. Most, if not all, of their coaches will definitely be gone. The head coach has been neutered for months and now their coaches are reportedly backstabbing eachother.... and this is what WE (the fans) know about. I garauntee that after the season's over, we're going to find out that what we know now barely touched the surface of the turmoil going on behind the scenes.

SmootSmack 12-22-2009 11:25 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
Mudge, you keep bringing up Batiste. And not to harp on this, but I'm pretty sure he's not even on the team

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 12-22-2009 12:01 PM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
Top notch post SC. It's pretty ugly when you survey our roster and see just how little talent we have. The only top notch guys we have are: Carter, Haynesworth, Orakpo, Fletcher, Cooley, and Davis. Everyone else is either way out his league (e.g., Heyer) or "just a guy" (e.g., Dockery).

perez24 12-22-2009 06:39 PM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
[quote=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;644610]Top notch post SC. It's pretty ugly when you survey our roster and see just how little talent we have. The only top notch guys we have are: Carter, Haynesworth, Orakpo, Fletcher, Cooley, and Davis. Everyone else is either way out his league (e.g., Heyer) or "just a guy" (e.g., Dockery).[/quote]

I wish I could disagree but I can't. I would add that Cooley seems to play hard most of the time but he seems too goofy to be a leader and doesn't seem to aspire to be one...but I could be wrong. Fred Davis is not yet established despite a lot of catches. Yoder is a hardworking non-entity.

mlmdub130 12-22-2009 07:04 PM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
[quote=perez24;644891]I wish I could disagree but I can't. I would add that [B]Cooley seems to play hard most of the time but he seems too goofy to be a leader and doesn't seem to aspire to be one[/B]...but I could be wrong. Fred Davis is not yet established despite a lot of catches. Yoder is a hardworking non-entity.[/quote]

well he is a life coach so...

Zorn on the 4th of July 12-23-2009 12:21 AM

Re: The Other Ten Guys
 
Didn't see this when I originally posted the thread, from the Washington Post:

[B]"I mean, the score, the record, they'd say that we're horrible, that we don't know how to play football," Haynesworth said. "But I've been around these guys a lot. I think they know how to play football. I think we're all just going different directions, and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction."[/B]

SmootSmack, I should have made the post clearer: I contend that the root cause of the Redskins' woes is a lack of player leadership in every phase of the game, and I'm worried that people are focusing too much on personnel moves rather than developing a winning atmosphere. We should find players (either currently on the roster or not) who make the other ten guys on the field better. The difference in skill between the best and worst players at any position in the NFL is much smaller than a lot of people will admit. Plus, because football is a team sport, it is statistically impossible to separate an individual's performance on the field from the performance of the other ten players on the field at the same time. Impossible.

It's easy to point at poorly-performing teams and say that their players are worse than those on a team that is winning all the time. Hell, the individual stats would probably even correlate nicely: better teams have better players. But correlation is not causation. Imagine if the worst teams in the NFL played error-free, inspired football. Would they be that much worse than the most talented team that is just going through the motions? No. Ask the Saints. Ask the Colts.

Acquire better players and we will improve. But that improvement will hit a ceiling without the focus and psychological toughness that allows teams to win games late in the fourth.


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