Here is what John Keim is hearing about the Redskins.
Item: Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl.
Reaction: Organizations win; it's why one former Redskin said he doubts his team will ever win. This player said what many others believe: owner Dan Snyder needs to stop butting into football decisions. He does not know the game, not from an evaluator's perspective, and never will.
There's a big difference, too, between Snyder and Steelers owner Dan Rooney. In Snyder's first training camp the Redskins scrimmaged Pittsburgh at Frostburg State. Before the scrimmage, Rooney walked around the track in khaki pants and a white polo shirt. He was barely noticeable. Meanwhile, Snyder flew in via helicopter and walked briskly to the field in a navy blue suit followed by a half-dozen others in suits and sunglasses. A real look-at-me moment.
Snyder has mellowed in that regard, often showing up to practice in sweats or casual clothes these days. But they remain different. After games Rooney walks around the room and shakes players hands and offers words of encouragement. After the Redskins lost to the Rams this year Snyder berated players as they entered the locker room. One player said he turned away because he nearly started to laugh. ‘'He looked like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum,'' the player said.
That does not mean Snyder's style can't work. He owns with passion; nothing wrong with that. But he does need to let the football side operate without his input. Like Rooney.
Item: Santonio Holmes Super Bowl performance.
Reaction: Holmes is proof that people must be patient with receivers. However, he was a polished receiver in college so it was probably more a matter of time before he started to do something. If I had to pick one Redskins young wideout who would mature it would be Malcolm Kelly. The only question I have on him is his health. He simply looked like a better receiver in practice than Devin Thomas. And I'm not sure Thomas will ever understand what it takes to be a good receiver in the NFL. Kelly, I think, does. I could see him developing into a solid contributor in the next couple years, perhaps making some of the same kinds of plays Holmes made for Pittsburgh. But the health factor can't be understated.
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