Time for Snyder to change

When the Redskins decide to make it official and name Mike Shanahan their new head coach, there will be a parade of people telling us why this was a great move and why Washington will now be considered a player in the NFC East for years to come.

I’ve heard that before—and so have you.

That isn’t news to me anymore, even with the name power of a Mike Shanahan. I saw it when I played there when Joe Gibbs came back to the sidelines. We were going back to the 80’s, with “The Hogs” and “The Fun Bunch,” right? Not really. Coach Gibbs did have a couple of playoff teams that sparked some big time hope inside the walls of Redskins Park over in the Virginia countryside, but it still wasn’t enough to compete with Philly, New York and Dallas each year.

It is no different than free agency, when plenty of big name players come to D.C. with bags full of money and press conferences full of hope. Because that is what Snyder does: he sells hope.

No, that is old news, and despite the Super Bowl rings Mike Shanahan will bring with him from his days with John Elway and the Broncos, let’s not get overly excited about this franchise—until we see some actual change at the top.

This is Dan Snyder’s time. He will take center stage again today, or tomorrow, or whenever this game of charades with Mike Shanahan is over. We will stop tracking planes that land in Denver and Washington, and we will get back to the coverage of wild card weekend, the Colts bye week, the Patriots without Welker, and the Packers. We will move on, but if Snyder wants us to pay attention, wants us to keep the Redskins in the news outside of sexy names coming into D.C., then he is going to have to change.

And, by change, I mean he is going to have to take a step back.

The fans in D.C. need a winner, but to get that winner Snyder can’t be the owner who pretends to be the coach, the GM and the helping hand to players when they have issues in the locker room. That has to stop, because he can’t control the football operations at Redskins Park anymore. We saw enough of that with Jim Zorn.

Now, we all understand that this is his team, and I respect that as one of his former players, but there comes a time after 11 years when I would hope that he sees the holes he has dug for this franchise by running the Redskins like a video game.

We will hear all about the Skins when they hire Shanahan, just as we heard how great a move it was to bring in Bruce Allen in as the new general manager. But, until there is an actual chain of command in D.C. that is conducive to winning football games and the NFC East, does it really matter? A separation between coach, GM, and owner. They will have to work together, and they will have to get an equal say when it comes to personnel and the running of this football team.

Look, I am all for Mike Shanahan being the next coach in Washington. He brings a pretty impressive resume with him, but until Dan gives away some of that power he has owned since taking over this team, it doesn’t matter if it is Shanahan or Mike Ditka who walks into that new office at Redskins Park this week.

Because things will stay the same—until Dan decides to change.

Follow me on Twitter: MattBowen41

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