The two best things that could happen to the Redskins are: hiring Jack Pardee as coach and George Allen getting a job as quickly as possible. Pardee is one of the few men alive who might keep the team at a respectable level until it can be restocked with youth; Allen could hasten the rebuilding here with his future-is-now policy somewhere else.
Whoever the Redskins hire as coach cannot quickly deviate much from Allen's veteran-studded team for the simple reason that many of the fossils played better than anyone else last season, and no other avenue is open even if they had not.
Say the new coach wanted to begin an immediate reconstruction, casting aside such as Ron McDole and Len Hauss, Billy Kilmer and Charley Taylor, shopping for young talent and taking a severe dose of defeats. Where would he get a transfusion in a hurry?
Allen traded the first eight choices in the upcoming NFL draft and the second through sixth picks for 1979. And the only current Reaskins who would bring as much as a No. 1 draft choice are strong safety Ken Houston and tight end Jean Fugett."Most of the Redskins are useful only to George Alien," rival general managers always insisted. They would be useful to a Pardee, because most still are anxious to play and their former teammate would find the proper way to take advantage of their spirit.
One of the myths os sport is that veterans will quit in protest when a favorite coach is fired and replaced by someone unkown to them. Few making the sort of salaries the Redskins earn retire voluntarily - and Pardee is one of the few coaches who would welcome them.
Besides, who played better than McDole last season? The 70-year-old Hanburger Curtis was adequate at right line backer. Who won the game the Redskins needed to win for any chance at the playoffs? Kilmer.
Pardee has shown a remarkable flair for sucess under the most difficult situations. He took players who were not getting paid to the championships game in the World Football League four years ago. He took what amounted to an expansion team, the Chicago Bears, to the NFL playoff in three years.
And the Redskins will be what amounts to an expansion team in two years. Or at least they ought to be. The history of every wildly successful team in the NFL in recent years, from the Lombardi Packers to the Shula Dolphins to the Noll Steelers and the Davis-Madden Raiders, is that they once were awful.
To dare to be great in the NFL, it seems, involves the risk of first losing often enough to lasso the quality players that form the core of a champion. And then hiring someone bright enough to choose the proper players, which in many respects is a more difficult choice than the coach.
The Redskin general manager who Edward Bennett Williams said he will hire ought to be given orders to trade anyone who might bring a quality draft choice. Trade Houston? Fugett? Mike Thomas?
Well, why not? It makes no sense at all to continue the patchwork philosophy of Allen that brought unimagined sucess early and then steady decline. So the Redskins might as well gamble with Allen - (dash) like fervor - except in the opposite direction.
The view here is that Allen's notion of trading unknown draft choices for proven quality players is more sound than the traditional method of building a team. But Allen simply failed to execute his once successful strategy the last few years here.
It can be argued that Allen spent much more negotiable currency - money and draft choices - than any team in the NFL in the last few years; more certainly than Oakland, much more than Dallas. And under those conditions , missing the play offs is not acceptable.
Who might the Redskins barter with for the draft choices that one day might form the cornerstone of a '72-like team? George Allen would be one of the best, because the would pay more than fair value for the players he needed to teach his system.
Four prominent Los Angeles Rams linebacker Isiah Robertson, strong safety Dave Elmendorf, wide receiver Billy Waddy and defensive lineman Cody Jones - were drafted with choices Allen gave them during his seven years with the Redskins.
If Allen lands a job - and it is foolish to assume he will not, even if he must sacrifice loads of authority with the Rams - Redskin wizards ought to decide the worth of, say, a Kilmer and then add two higher rounds when their former coach calls.
The rap against Allen lately is that his team might be able to limp into the playoffs with an heroic late season effort - but not last much beyond the first round. And with no high draft choices, Allen offered little hope for the future.
He did win, however, and that remains the ultimate bottom line in the NFL. For the immediate future, all the Redskins will be selling is hope - and in this regard it might be better to be the second coach, rather than the first, to succeed Allen.