- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 8, 2003

The Washington Redskins (3-5) take on the Seattle Seahawks (6-2) at home today. The game is theirs to win or lose.

It was called the Great Experiment. Bring in a college coach and see if his championship-winning Fun ‘n’ Gun offense could be transferred to the NFC East’s mediocre Redskins. The results are in.

The Great Experiment is a Failed Experiment. The playbook dictates a heavy reliance on a pass-happy attack that does not work. There is a weak offensive line and, as a result, a battered quarterback, who has been sacked 26 times. There are too many false starts and other offensive penalties. There also is dissension in the lockeroom. The analysts say the team, halfway into this season, still has not grasped the fundamentals of professional football. A dearth of leadership is hurting the team. There is the report — out of New York, in a gossip column, to boot — that Redskins owner Dan Snyder plans to buyout the head coach’s contract and has already offered the job to someone else. There is even chatter about the team being jinxed.

The head coach says he is tired of talking about staying or going, winning and losing, and about him and his coaching staff adjusting to pro football. He is tired of talking about the great 3-1 start. The ‘Skins, he says, are simply in a slump. Sooner or later, he says, after some adjustments, his offense will shape up, and Washington will be on its way to a winning season.

Maybe ? maybe ? on paper.

We are as big a fan of the Washington Redskins as anybody — except Snyder, or course. But when we watch former Redskin Stephen Davis running off the gun for Charlotte week in and out, while our QB is not getting the time to fun or gun with the pigskin, then disappointment sets in big time. After the drubbing by the ‘Boys from Dallas, we simply had to speak up — especially after we learned that the Redskins had spoken with former Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson.

Snyder and Johnson? A winning match?

The decision to hire Steve Spurrier was Snyder’s. The decision to keep Spurrier is Snyder’s. It’s his wallet, and it’s his team. Besides, we were encouraged when we learned that Spurrier was leaving Florida for Washington, and we said so.

At this juncture, though, with the team playing against itself, we, too, wonder whether funning and gunning will return today to Fed Ex Field ? or at anytime over the course of the remaining season.


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