This has been a conflicting season for me as a native Washingtonian and Redskins fan. There was good (the 3-1 start), the bad(Rex Grossman’s fumble in an anemic Week three performance against Dallas) and the ugly(John Beck’s short lived starting stint).
Before the season, I had no illusions that Rex Grossman or John Beck were the future. If anything, they were temporary vacations in purgatory.
After the 3-1 start I came around to the possibility that this might be a playoff caliber team. However, the Redskins quickly squashed those rumors.
There is but one course of action for the Redskins to take in the upcoming NFL Draft. That would be to draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Currently, the Redskins are on pace for the fifth overall pick and the only team ahead of them in need of quarterback also happens to have Peyton Manning under center.
The Colts are already rocking Andrew Luck’s cradle and re-painting Peyton’s old room. USC’s Matt Barkley is a fine prospect but Griffin is unlike any prospect the NFL has seen. He won’t be the NFL’s best passer out of this Draft. That would be Boise State’s Kellen Moore who will be the 2011 Draft’s Tim Tebow.
He also isn’t the most NFL-ready prospect—Andrew Luck is but he has the potential to be the better all-around signal caller. Matt Barkely has been a top-10 pick since he signed with the Trojans. However, the most impressive aspect of Barkley is his humility off the field. In between the hash marks, his steady improvement since his true freshman campaign has been understated. When you look at his development since 2009, it’s apparent that Barkley’s development isn’t over. Unlike Luck, Barkley didn’t have the benefit of a redshirt season. He was thrown straight into the fire.
Barkley didn’t come blazing out of the gates as expected but he improved exponentially from season to season. As the first true freshman to start the season opener threw for 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Between his sophomore an junior seasons, Barkley touchdown-interception ratio improved from a respectable 26;12 to the 39;7 ratio he posted this season.
Imagine Ben Roethlisberger but with a better head on his shoulders. Envision a taller Mike Vick devoting himself to becoming an efficient pocket passer at 21. That is what you get with Griffin.
The only problem is that for months I realized Griffin and Barkley would likely be top ten picks. At the season’s start, Griffin wasn’t on the national radar. By October, he was late first rounder/early seconder. Once it became clear the Redskins were a middling team, this put me in an awkward position.

I came to the realization that the Redskins had to continue losing.I feel worse than Anna Nicole Smith waiting for J. Howard Marshall to pass away so she could collect $80 million from his will. Like Anna Nicole Smith, I’ve had to do things I don’t want to (like root for the Dolphins) but in the long run it should pay off.
I haven’t so much as rooted for the Redskins to lose so much as I have rooted against them winning. Only three things should matter for NFL franchises—Super Bowls, playoff berths and draft positioning. I think it was apparent early on that two out of those three were out of Washington’s reach. Even Helen Keller could see that the future to the Redskins is in the upcoming draft.
The current quarterback situation is a Train-Rex. Finishing 7-9 with a mid-first round pick would put the Skins in position to draft another game manager or worse—Oklahoma’s Landry Jones. For all of his size and arm strength, Landry Jones often makes the same mental mistakes as a young Rex Grossman over—and over.

The Seahawks recent surge for the playoffs was a good thing. Defensively, the Redskins are playoff ready. Offensively, the Redskins are in dire need of a “franchise” quarterback to pop in the oven with a clipboard and place underneath center when he’s ready. It may be unpleasant to say out loud but for this to happen the Redskins have to get biblical like Abraham and sacrifice the final three games of 2011 for a decade of prosperity.