Mike Kerdock is one of the nine finalists in The Washington Post’s Greatest D.C. Sports Fan Contest. For Round 1, we asked our contestants to tell us what one thing they would change about one of D.C.’s professional sports teams. Read Scott’s response below, then tell us in the comments if you think he should be one of the six finalists to continue to the next round of competition.
One change I would want for the Washington Redskins would be stability within the organization.
When you look at our history we were most successful when our head coaches were here for at least 6 years. George Allen coached from 1971-1977 and had a 67-30-1 record with one NFC championship. And of course the winningest coach in our history was Joe Gibbs who was 154-94 and had a 17-7 playoff record with 3 Super Bowl wins. Both are now in the Hall of Fame.
What stability does is allow the G.M. and coach to draft and acquire talent through free agency to build a team with their philosophy. It allows the players time to develop in your system. It takes time for players to develop team chemistry and become familiar with your offense and defense.
This was done when Jack Kent Cooke hired Bobby Beathard as his GM who in turn hired Joe Gibbs. Joe Gibbs started 0-5 and finished the season 8-8. Imagine how history would have changed if we fired Joe Gibbs after his first year. By contrast, we fired Marty Shotenheimer after 1 year, who also started 0-5 and finished 8-8 in 2001. He was just getting his players to buy into his philosophy and learn his system.
The next 2 years, we went 12-20 under Steve Spurrier. The Steelers are an example of stability. They have had only 3 coaches since 1969 and have won 6 Super Bowls. Dan Snyder has hired a GM who is familiar with the Redskins history from the glory years under his father and a proven head coach who has won 2 Super Bowls. He must now allow them the time to do their respective jobs; building a winning team.
We’ve had so much instability since 2000, having 4 different coaches; that developing a winning team was impossible. The two great eras in our storied history came about because good people were hired and allowed the time to do their jobs without outside interference. Impatience has resulted in bad results. Let’s try being patient for a change. Go Skins!
Weigh In: Tell us what you think of Mike’s argument in the comments. Our judges will choose six of the nine finalists to advance to Round 2 based on a combination or your comments and their opinions. Does Mike deserve to advance? Why or why not?
Read each contestant’s Round 1 essay
Meet the finalists