“THERE IS NO PATRIOT WAY,” my pal Drew Magary wrote on Deadspin during one of his typical bouts of restraint. “THERE’S NO SPECIAL STAMP ON OPERATING A FOOTBALL TEAM WITH PRAGMATIC EFFICIENCY.”
That was in July, when people were wondering how Aaron Hernandez fit into the Patriot Way. You might have thought stories about the Patriot Way would have been retired since then. You’d have been wrong.
In fact, just this week, ESPN.com’s Greg Garber wrote a long piece on the Patriot Way, while acknowledging that it “means markedly different things to different people.”
“The Patriot Way,” [Drew] Bledsoe said, smiling, in a bittersweet kind of way. “I think it’s just that simply no one player or group of players is bigger than the team or the organization. I was a prime example – maybe Example A of that.” …
“It’s about trying to collect a lot of good people,” [owner Robert Kraft] said. “Having everybody in the organization on the same page, doing things in the community. I think people in America today, it’s not just about money. They want to be connected to something they feel is special and when they get up every day, they look forward to coming to work. We try to create an environment here that does that. We’re not always successful, but we give it our best shot.”
Well fine, so the Patriot Way means whatever. But what of the Redskins Way? Yes, that phrase was new to me, too, but Bruce Allen used it twice Friday morning while talking about new Redskins Coach Jay Gruden during an interview with the Junkies on 106.7 The Fan.
“What Jay brought to he interview, and Jay’s resume coming to the interview was very unique, which fit the Redskins Way, fit the camaraderie and the confidence that you need to build football teams around,” Allen said. “No matter what team I’ve ever seen in sports, it usually does take on the personality of the head coach, and I think Jay’s the right man for us today and into the future.”
Later, Allen was asked about the possibility of eventually moving into a team president role and elevating, say, Morocco Brown to GM.
“We need to get back to doing things the Redskins Way, which is one day at a time, and improve this football team one day at a time, and use the next 24 hours to make sure our team is getting better,” Allen said.
So the Redskins Way is apparently being confident and taking things one day at a time. In fact, that’s been the Redskins Way since at least 1978, when Jack Pardee’s club began the season 3-0:
“When you have a little success, it generates enthusiasm,” [Pardee] said. “The players are more confident. They’ve earned each other’s respect and that’s the reason they’re working and pulling together now. … Now you have to figure out how do you hold what we’ve got for 13 weeks.”
How does Pardee plan to do that?
“Take it one day at a time,” he said.