The question has been raised on my radio show on 106.7 The Fan: should a losing team consider tanking the rest of the season to earn a higher draft pick?.
Let me be the first to tell you, that is a ridiculous way of thinking.
I can understand wanting a team to be able to draft in a high position to pick up a potential franchise changer, but make no mistake about it: winning should always be what a team goes out on the field to do, regardless of its record.
If a team exercises a loser’s mentality just for the sake of a draft pick, that would lead me to believe the culture of that team is inconsistent at best. It makes no sense to try to win when it’s convenient and do the same with losing. Losing should never be an accepted action. What type of coach would actually march his team into a game with the intention of losing? Not the kind I would want coaching any team of mine.
Winning is a mindset. It becomes a way of life. The sting of losing should always serve as a reminder of how you don’t want to feel after competing.
I wonder if tanking games was something Vince Lombardi ever considered when he said “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” I’m guessing not.
This Redskins team has struggled for quite some time even with a series of very high draft picks. I believe I was the highest of them all, at No. 2.
In the 2000 draft, the Redskins had the second and third selections in the draft. Yet in in six years we made the playoffs once. High draft picks don’t mean instant wins. It takes much more, including a premium placed on all involved to work together to create the best environment conducive to winning. If the Redskins are ever to turn things around, the culture must first change. Until then don’t expect different results, even with top draft picks.