A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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Solution

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No one likes a complainer. We all know them. Everyone needs to vent when they are frustrated, but eventually if you aren't offering solutions to the problems, you're just bitching. And no one likes that.

I vented on the BGO forums yesterday. If I offended anyone, I apologize. I am still deeply frustrated by the situation with my beloved football team right now, and now I am ready to offer a solution. It's a big, risky move that Snyder would have to make, but I know it would work.

Allow me to set the stage first. I like Jay Gruden. He seems like a nice guy, and his success at previous stops indicate he knows how to run an NFL offense well. What he needs help with is management. He is not managing well. At all. To be fair to Gruden, the Redskins organization has been dysfunctional since Snyder purchased it, and asking Gruden to be successful managing a dysfunctional organization is at best a very difficult task.

Henry got me thinking yesterday. He posted something about the organization being the one constant as we have brought in players and coaches that have failed to various degrees in their time in DC. We end up blaming the Spurriers, Shanahans, Arringtons, Haynesworths, Zorns, and so on; but the organization brings in guys that are successful elsewhere and they fail here. Certainly, the players and coaches deserve a LARGE portion of the blame for their failures. But at some point, we have to look at the organization and conclude that the Redskins do not provide an atmosphere conducive to success. The list of players that have been successful elsewhere, in college or pros, that have come here and failed is long. And every single coach that had success in college or pros elsewhere has come here and failed.

Except one.

One man stands out as having been able to navigate the atmosphere in Redskins Park successfully and start to build something. Joe Gibbs dragged a team helmed by an aging, immobile, noodle armed Mark Brunell to the playoffs twice. Listen to the stories players tell about Gibbs. About how much they adore him 25 years after playing for him. Gibbs knows how to lead.

He won't coach, we all know that. Gibbs at this point in his life probably is not physically capable of putting in the 100 hours a week needed to coach an NFL team. But he can absolutely lead. If I am Daniel Snyder, as soon as the season is over I fly to wherever Gibbs is and beg him for whatever he can give me. Team President? Done. General Manager? Great! Part time consultant who delegates, but has a hand in leadership and people decisions? We'll take it! Any position where Gibbs can have influence over the employees at Redskins Park would a VAST improvement over what we have now.

Joe Gibbs understands people. He knows how to lead. He could evaluate Gruden and Allen, and I for one would trust whatever he wanted to do with them. Allen could be relegated to salary cap wizard, or he could be fired for mishandling everything he has mishandled. I trust Gibbs. If Gibbs thinks he can work with Gruden and mold him into a more effective (or, more apropos, effective at all) leader of men, great. If he thinks Gruden has go, OK. I trust Gibbs.

I realize this will probably never happen. There are too many obstacles to overcome, I just don't see it happening. But I can dream, can't I. From the outside looking in, it sure looks to me like there is an enormous leadership vacuum in Ashburn. I have a friend who works for a company that is dysfunctional. The employees feel un-appreciated, which causes them to become demotivated, which just increases the pressure from the top, which results in more feelings of unappreciation, and so on. It's a sad, sad cycle. My friend tells me everyone hates going in to work every day, they all worry about their job security and the future of the business, and it all stems from a toxic environment, because there is a lack of leadership. Oh sure, there is a CEO in place, but no one respects him or values him because he doesn't provide guidance or leadership, he just makes demands.

From the outside looking in, this sounds an awful lot like what we have at Redskins Park, and what we have had for 15 years. Frankly, until we address that, we're not going to have any improvement. For years, we have been clamoring for Snyder to take a step back from the team and not get involved. I'm asking now for the opposite. Get involved Dan. Be a leader. Turn this thing around. And if you can't do it, go hire the guy who is the best leader I have ever seen, leading through respect and empathy. Bring back Joe Gibbs, in whatever role he would accept.
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