Often, the only way to get those guys is to take a gamble. Although it’s costly to move up in the draft to pick a potential franchise quarterback (Robert Griffin III?), it’s time for the Redskins to try.
Sure, the Redskins likely will struggle again next season as a rookie quarterback learns. But so what? They went 6-10 and 5-11 the past two seasons.
Eli Manning didn’t walk a straight line to the top. And success doesn’t happen for everyone the same way. The bottom line is the eventual payoff.
Just look at Smith. Another No. 1 overall pick, Smith didn’t play like one his first six seasons. He seemed to have one foot out of San Francisco, if not the league, before Coach Jim Harbaugh arrived.
In Harbaugh, Smith seems to have a coach capable of getting his best. The perception was that Smith simply “managed” games during the season, and the 49ers relied primarily on their running game and great defense.
But Smith was solid. Smith was efficient. In San Francisco’s divisional victory over New Orleans, Smith was the star.
Smith’s game-winner to tight end Vernon Davis was his most memorable moment. He also had a nifty 28-yard, go-ahead touchdown run in the fourth quarter and passed for 299 yards and three touchdowns.
Suddenly, the 49ers appear to have a capable quarterback. It took time. But it’s happening for Smith.
Defense and running back Ray Rice powered the Ravens all season. Nothing changed in their divisional victory over the Houston Texans.
Flacco wasn’t great against the Texans’ strong defense. Too often this season, he was inconsistent. The Ravens, however, made the right move in getting Flacco in the first round. He’s 5-3 in the playoffs. That’s something to build on.
Drafting and developing a quarterback is the best way to go. That much is clear. Now, the Redskins have to see it, too.
For Jason Reid’s previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/reid