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Redskins Resolutions

It’s that time of year - time to pause, to reflect on the 365 days gone past, and to make steadfast promises to ourselves for those ahead. If you’re a member of the Washington Redskins front office or coaching staff, there’s good news and bad news. You get to start working on your New Year’s resolutions right away. You won’t have any playoff games to distract you from becoming the 'new you’ you’ve always dreamt of being.

Come Monday, 'carpe diem’ can begin 'mosh skosh’.

And if this lowly beleaguered Redskins fan were making out the list for his beloved burgundy and gold, just what might the Redskins Top Ten list of New Year’s resolutions for 2011 look like?

10. Give a sports journalist a hug. There are few tougher press corps than the one that camps out in Ashburn, Virginia. They salivate and wag their tails at the mere thought of the next Redskins disaster. You can’t blame them really. Daniel Snyder spent years thumbing his nose at the media, then moved to actively circumventing them. Most NFL owners court and woo the press, because it’s the smart thing to do. The Redskins would benefit greatly from a couple of controversy-free years. Negative press creates distractions this team can’t afford. Tell Mike Wise you 'really respect what he does’. Buy him lunch. Hell, make him a golf buddy. Sell your love of the press like those discount Mcnabb jerseys. It’ll provide an even bigger payoff.

9. Ignore the fans. Yeah. You heard me. I once overheard a wise NFL salt pronounce 'The fans don’t know. They think they know. But they don’t know.’ He was right. I love my fellow fans – I’m infected with the same virulent strain of fandom as they are – but fans don’t know. Fans scream for stability and a long-term plan, building a team 'the right way’, but want to blow it up and start over every year when the new regime (you know, the one they begged to be brought in this time last year) can’t turn their team into a playoff contender in 16 games. It’s not our fault. We’re ill, our fevers 106 and we’re mostly talking out of our head. Ignore us.

8. Dance with the date you brung. Don’t make any coaching changes. Not one. The Redskins can win with this staff. The constant carousel of change has a been a yoke around the neck of these Redskins for far too long. Stop it. There are no perfect leaders, no perfect schemes, no perfect plans. Embrace the ones you’ve got. Give the players consistency, stability, and time. They will begin to understand what their coaches want from them, and how to flawlessly execute the schemes and plays required of them. They will make fewer mistakes and win more games. No more coaching speed dating.

7. Free agents ain’t free. They are the 'quick fix’. Eschew them. Consider the possibility that 'great gal’ your buddy down the road is trying to fix you up with may well have Chlamydia. Our current Redskins leadership finds itself on the horns of a dilemma, with a vast array of needs, and nary a draft pick with which to fill them. We got there by tossing around draft picks like they were Mardis Gras beads. That we mostly never got to catch a free glimpse in return has only compounded the pain of this failed strategy. It’s true the draft is a crap shoot. Knowing that, a smart man enters the game with as many chips as he can garner.

6. Ditch your baggage. Save the drama for your mama. If the Redskins are ever going to change their franchise paradigm, that culture change has to start with an organizational enema. Haynesworth. Mcnabb. Portis. Anyone else who doesn’t want to be in D.C.,who thinks they can coach better than the guys hired to do the job, or who otherwise undermine (overtly or passively) what this staff is trying to accomplish, needs to be sent packing. Oh – and if we can get a humble pick or two for them, that’s gravy.

5. Get your guy. The Redskins need a quarterback, not for next season, but for the next decade. Drafting young quarterbacks is tantamount to making an educated guess. If Ramsey and Campbell were failed picks (and they were), the answer isn’t to stop picking, but to guess better. This resolution may have to wait. Short of blind luck, the Redskins likely don’t have a stake big enough in this year’s draft to make a move to get their guy. But unless you believe Bad Rex has been exorcised for good, or John Beck is the next Tom Brady, we need a quarterback, and sooner rather than later.

4. Past your prime-time. Get young Redskins. This is not a 'win now’ team. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re rebuilding. Part of that painful process is shedding beloved vets whose best days are behind them. If players aren’t still going to be in their prime four or five years from now (that’s how long it will take to build this team into a perennial contender again), holding onto them only robs us of the opportunity to get value for them. We need picks. Lots of them. The best way to get them is to trade players with talent on the back half of their career. I know you don’t like it. Neither do I. But to get to the top of the hill again, some have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

3. It’s the trenches stupid. Forego sexy for slobberknocking. We can win without all-stars at the skill positions. Mike Shanahan knows how to build a dominating running game. Invest in the horses to open holes. Then invest in their backups. The Giants will. The Eagles will. Hell, even Dallas will. We’ll never return to hegemony in the NFC East if we can't consistently win the battles at the line of scrimmage. Physical, imposing lines are a Redskins tradition. Get back to it.

2. Be a savvy shopper. Triple the size of your scouting department. Be the most well-informed team in the NFL draft. Take some trips to Canada and abroad. Scour those 'other divisions’ of the NCAA for hidden gems. Find the next London Fletcher or two.

1.Go George Herbert Walker Bush on us. Stay the course. If you think the 3-4 gives us the best chance to field an imposing, stingy defense in the long-term, build one. Assume you’ve got five years to win and act accordingly. You brought in Shanahan and Allen precisely because they know what it takes. Let them do what it takes.

Happy New Year Redskins fans!

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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friend 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you Sandy ❤