What an awesome piece!
The last three times this team has been in the playoffs, we've failed to qualify the following year. After the division title in '99, the organization tried to hit a home run with signing big name free agents in an attempt to put us over the top. The hype and expectations placed on a team that certainly wasn't a few players away from winning a championship that year gave it a feel as though we were destined to fail. That's indeed what happened.
In the two seasons that coach Gibbs led us back to the playoffs in his second stint, high character gave us a big lift in late season pushes to qualify for the postseason. We really "fought our guts out."
In both instances, it was clear that lacking a premier quarterback, as well higher quality skill at several positions just wasn't going to cut it when it came to competing against the top teams in the league. Those teams from the Gibbs years felt as though they had a ceiling in terms of achievement.
The 2013 version of the Redskins is on a completely different wavelength compared to previous versions of the team that tried to follow up a playoff season with a repeat performance. We aren't a team with players here to collect a final paycheque, and we certainly are young enough to have a very high ceiling in terms of what we can accomplish - the sky truly is the limit in due time if the young core of this team continues to develop and fulfill their potential. This point alone gives me hope that we can establish a sense of consistency this season and prove to the league that we plan on being a playoff staple for years to come.
If we fall off course in 2013, I'm not going to believe we are doomed or headed down the path to nowhere once again.
To me, it would simply be a sign that the young nucleus of this team needs a better understanding of how to establish consistency in the midst of higher expectations that have been placed on their shoulders.
Just because the future looks brighter than ever in D.C., it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to part ways with patience.