Contrary to what Sally Jenkins believes, no one is going to win if Peyton Manning joins the Washington Redskins. NO ONE. Not Peyton Manning, not the Redskins players, not the fans, not Dan Snyder…no one, and this is why:
Peyton Manning WILL LOSE BIG TIME
Manning will lose in the biggest way if he ends his career with the Washington Redskins. It will be like those last two years of Hank Aaron clinging to baseball relevancy with with Milwaukee Brewers, in other words, sad. Why? Because Manning, at 37 and coming off three major neck surgeries, cannot do it alone. Firstly, he needs an offensive line that is not only strong and agile enough to protect him from further injury but also smart enough to adjust the line calls quickly and accurately as Peyton calls and changes the play right on the line. The Redskins currently do not have this type of offensive line. As an example, the Redskins’ best lineman might also be their dumbest as he is one joint away from missing an entire NFL season. It only gets worse from there as the rest of the line, save for Chris Chester, was essentially cobbled together from a scrap heap.
Peyton also needs several wide-receivers that can run precise routes, create separation, and catch the ball. The Redskins’ wide-receiver corps, as it stands right now, just does not play the position the way Manning needs it to be played. Santana Moss is a great route runner, but his age is catching up with him and he just isn’t a #1 wide-receiver anymore. Moss used to be able to compensate for his lack of size with his speed and precise route running. Going into his 30s, the breakaway speed he once had has left him and he is best used as a #3 or slot receiver. Jabar Gaffney is another “veteran” receiver (ie: oldish), but he is no where near the caliber of receiver which Manning is used to working with. Leonard Hankerson showed a flash of talent in one game last year but subsequently injured himself and never played again after it. This is not a group of wide-receivers that Manning will want to throw the ball to. Some will argue that Manning can make the receivers better but there is only so much lipstick you can use on these pigs.
Finally, Manning would ideally like to be in an offensive system that he knows so that there will be no learning curve or drop off in performance as he learns the nuances of the system. Sadly for Manning, he will not be in an offense that is familiar to him if he comes to Washington. Mike and Kyle Shanahan didn’t change their offense for Donovan McNabb, why would they change it for Peyton Manning? These guys believe in their system and they want their system run their way or not at all. Why on earth would Peyton go to an offense where he would have zero say in how it was run and which would be brand spanking new to him?
So lets sum this up here. 1) Dumb and talent-less offensive line; 2) Crap Wide-Receivers; 3) Brand new offense with zero input into play calling. TOTALLY MAKES SENSE THAT MANNING WOULD WANT TO COME HERE! If he does make here, there is no way Manning can succeed.
The Entire Redskins Organization LOSES
The Redskins will be losers in this because signing Peyton Manning would be a gigantic step backwards in the rebuilding process which started only 1 off-season ago. Shanahan wasted his first year in D.C. trying to do what many had done prior to his arrival, putting a band-aid on the team and “trying to make a run for it”. It didn’t work and Shanahan realized throughout the year that he had a team that had no depth and was one of the oldest teams in the league. The next season, Shanahan set out to rebuild the Redskins. He traded down in the draft several times and acquired several productive role players, adding much needed depth to the team. He also did not go for any splashy free agent signing, instead, he signed young players that fit the schemes that the Redskins run. The team, of course, was horrible, mostly done in by quarterback play, but on both sides of the ball, improvement was noted. The Redskins need another offseason like the one they had in year two of the Shanahan era. Going out and signing Manning is a repeat of McNabb all over again. For Manning to be successful they will need to sign expensive, and old, wide receivers and linemen, just to give him a slight chance to succeed. That is not how one goes about building a team, its another band-aid which only goes to placate the owner and the fans who need to WIN NOW at all costs.
Mike Shanahan will lose because all faith in his “coaching genius” will be lost and it will be apparent that John Elway won those super bowls, not Shanahan. Dan Snyder will lose because this will be yet another Titanic that he is at the helm of. The current roster of players will lose because they cannot get back the wasted years of their careers that they will spend playing with the living legend that is Peyton Manning.
Signing Manning is short sighted and will set the Redskins back, yet again, and prevent them from being a consistent winner like teams in Pittsburgh, New York and New England. Imitation is the purest form of flattery, it is also smart when something works. If it worked in those cities, it can work here, to quote Axl Rose “All you need is just a little patience.”
The Fans LOSE TOO
The Redskins fans lose because once again the majority of them will be duped by the Dan Snyder hype machine, believing that the Redskins “were only a player away last year!” and that signing Manning magically fixes all the teams’ problems. This will certainly be The Redskins year to win the Super Bowl in most fans minds. It won’t happen. If it does happen, I will not eat meat for a month. Hold me to that. The fans will lose because the Redskins were so close to getting it…then they went and screwed it up by spending money on a 37 year old quarterback coming off of 3 neck surgeries and sitting out for a year of football as his nerves regenerated.
Its just a horrible idea…no one wins with this. God I hope it doesn’t happen.