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The Curse of Rypien and Williams

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Old 09-25-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
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The Curse of Rypien and Williams

I'm sitting here reading the rants and raves on yesterday's game. Seems about 70% of us still aren't happy with Brunell despite his record setting performance and giddy 119.3 QB rating (and you can put me squarely in that group). It made me start to think (every one duck and cover).

Are we, as long-time Redskins fans, tainted by the legacy of William's and Rypien's Championship seasons? Are we setting wholely unrealistic expectations from our QB based on the spectacular past performances during those two championship runs? In particular, those offenses were keyed by strong between the tackle running peppered with play-action bombs when the safties came up for run support. They were executed extremely well by big, slow, cannon-armed, QB's who relied on 5-7 step drops and had plenty of time to get the ball out.

For me, it's almost as if any Washington QB since 1992 has had to compete against the legacy of two of the most prolific long-ball scoring teams in the history of the league. In this day and age, with the complexity and quality of defensive play, are we fooling ourselves into believing ANYONE can live up to our expectations?

I'm not throwing my support at Brunell because I do think he has a lot yet to prove, and I'm not conviced he can get it done, but I'm beginning to think that as a group, we need to re-evaluate our expectations. I think we're all tainted by our rosy memories of bygone days. Perhaps that's why the lure of a big, slow, cannon-armed, QB like Campbell is so appealing. That just might be a curse that no one can live down.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

I have not ever once heard someone compare our teams(QBs or any other position for that matter to any team other than recent seasons' teams. I think our expectations are fueled by the state of the league and game today more than anything. Neither Williams or Rypien(or any other totally irrelevant QB) ever comes to mind when evaluating Brunell.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:46 PM   #3
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

I can agree that Campbell fits the mold of former Redskins greats, Rypien and Brunell. In fact, now that you've mentioned it I wonder if I am expecting a rebirth of that type of offense.
Defenses, though, have changed making it more difficult for the QB to make a 5-7 step drop. 3-5 step is more like it which means less time for the receivers to get downfield.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:49 PM   #4
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

I don't think a direct comparison is in order, especially with the way the game has changed in the last 15 years (faster, bigger d-backs, etc.), but I think people are looking for that long-ball offense again. Brunell is not the guy to do that, though.

Don't get me wrong - if we can run the offense we did yesterday against teams with good defenses, I'll take it. However, I don't think it's going to fly, since it lets the D crowd the line.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

While I, like many lament the days of Doug or Ryp disemboweling the enemy D with yet another 40 yard death dart, I do not equate that with the success or lack of it from MB. I personally am a supporter of MB and believe he still has it (although when it's gone, he has to go). Yes, I would like to see MB lay it deep more, and I think we will with the days to come. It was a MUCH needed building game on many fronts. It was Houston, but much needed WIN!
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:07 PM   #6
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mark Brunell. He's a good QB, good enough to win a title. But he needs a surrounding cast.

Football is a team sport. If the line's not blocking, he's not going to do very well (see Dallas and Minnesota). The backbone of any offense is the offensive line, that's something Rypien and Williams both had - a great line. This line in 2006 also can be very good, but they need to learn the new Saunders protection schemes first. If they learn the schemes and protect Brunell long enough, he'll prove that he can live up to Rypien and Williams any day.

Now the defensive issues, that's a different story altogether.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

Good line of thought.

I still remember my 'I Like Sony' bumpersticker, from the Sony J. and Billy Kilmer days. QB discussions are not new to the DC fan base.

The game has changed, maybe evolved is a better way to think of it. I think the Internet has had its impact on the fans as well. No longer do we place our opinions on a bumpersticker ... we go to the internet and use a great deal more text to express ourselves.

I'll support the Redskins QB (and keep my favorites as a cherished memory) whoever it happens to be at the time. Just don't bring back Fran Tarkenton as a back-up again.
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:47 PM   #8
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

Well, Williams actually had talent, but Rypien was a product of our system. Rypien was NOT a good qb.
However, what you inadvertantly stumbled on is that Rypien was a nickel and dime qb. He threw mainly short passes and let the receivers do the work. So the fact that Brunell has been nickel and diming his way to success (albeit 1 week) doesn't really mean we are doomed.

I don't think any of us are trying to relive any glory days of Williams or Rypien...some are with Theismann, but we have never had a top 5 qb, we are about having a great running game. Someone touched upon the fact that the game has changed and qb's are a vital aspect. The era we are in is about airing it out over grinding it out. That being said, as long as Brunell can occasionally throw deep to open the offense (think Dallas game last year) and does not create any turnovers, he too could join Redskins elite status like the subpar Rypien.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

My memories of Ryp are of him throwing the bomb to Clark or Sanders, and the 12-yard sideline out pattern to Monk. He had a strong arm, if I recall correctly.

But I wasn't thinking of those guys when I worry about MB. It's his own play--the 5 yard into the ground, the heave out of bounds when there's a bit of rush. And the guy who I think of in comparison is Campbell. I am a classic skins fan, and we have a long tradition of worrying about our QB play. They always mention it on Monday Night Football--skins QB controversies are as common as corrupt congressman in DC. It goes with the territory. Sonny vs. Billy is the classic example.

The thing about MB is that he has been inconsistent while he's been here--sometimes great (and for a good bit of last year, I thought he was) and sometimes just awful, looking like his passes can't break tissue paper. Of course, JC seems perfect right now, but that's becuase he hasn't been out there in a real game. So it's easy to assume he's the next D. Williams, M Rypien, or whoever. That's not to say he's not, but we just don't know yet. Still, it makes ya think, and that's what drives these endless internet discussions.

My biggest worry is that MB will get mildly injured, and tell the coaches he can still go. He's got heart, so he'll try to play hurt, and Gibbs has a man-crush on Mark, so he'll support him. But if he's not 100% healthy, his play really collapses. So my hope is that he stays at 100%, or has a Theisman. Of course, I hope for the former option. But I don't want that in between stuff!
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

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Originally Posted by JWsleep View Post
My biggest worry is that MB will get mildly injured, and tell the coaches he can still go. He's got heart, so he'll try to play hurt, and Gibbs has a man-crush on Mark, so he'll support him. But if he's not 100% healthy, his play really collapses. So my hope is that he stays at 100%, or has a Theisman. Of course, I hope for the former option. But I don't want that in between stuff!
This is one of the best points I've seen on the Warpath in a while. Brunell is solid and dependable when healthy, but a complete liability when banged up. Especially when an ailment hits his legs.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #11
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

Ryp not a good QB?

Wow, he might not have been a superstar, but for a few seasons he was pretty damn solid and in 1991 he had an outstanding season. He had incredible touch on his deep ball that season... not sure where this talk of him being a dink and dunker is coming from.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #12
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

Wait a minute ... the Skins did have a top 5 QB. Remember Slingin' Sammy Baugh? He may still hold some NFL records.
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:22 PM   #13
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

I really did not mean to imply that people are trying to compare Brunell with Williams or Rypien directly, only that we may have subcontious expectations based on past successes. I know that I do.

There is a transcendent appeal to the long ball, certainly for me. I don't think I am alone in feeling like a win is more or less visceral based on the success of the deep pass. As a 9-10 year old, I thought Jay Schrader was the best QB on the planet because he could lay a rope 75 yards on the fly. Williams went on to define success with Q2 in the '87 Superbowl with 4 TD passes, and they weren't dump off passes. Would our week 2 win over Dallas last year been as satisfying had it not come via those two bombs?

Will we as a fan base ever be happy with a "Trent Dilfer" at the helm, contributing and playing well enough to help us win, but without the long-ball?
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

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Well, Williams actually had talent, but Rypien was a product of our system. Rypien was NOT a good qb.
However, what you inadvertantly stumbled on is that Rypien was a nickel and dime qb.
Whooaa.... you might need to rethink that. I remember Mark throwing quite a few bombs to Clark, Sanders, Monk. Although what I will say is that Mark had that one really, really good season (the SB year.) The season before that he was on the rise, but really...a couple of really good seasons and that was about it. The same can be said about Doug Williams. Really, J.T. and J.S. were probably our better...constant QBs..with Theismann being more of a consistant face on our offense.

Which is what really makes it outstanding when you think how many different QBs Gibbs went through, during an era where the same guys came back each and every year to the same team. Gibbs won championships with 3 different QBs...all within a decade of coaching. That really says more about Joe Gibbs and how he can make just about any QB a winner eventually.
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Old 09-25-2006, 06:49 PM   #15
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Re: The Curse of Rypien and Williams

Rypien actually had a few really good years, from 88-91. He was injured a bit, IIRC, and didn't play all of the '88 season, so his numbers don't look that great, but, given the number of games he played, he put up solid numbers.
Mark Rypien statistics - pro-football-reference.com
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