Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator

The Washington Redskins season officially ended Sunday with a loss to the New York Giants. They celebrated the start of the off-season by firing defensive coordinator Joe Barry. This is the third defensive coordinator to be fired by the Redskins in four years.

When I first heard this news, I was surprised that the Redskins even had a defensive coordinator. Who knew?

Not only did the Skins fire Barry, they fired defensive line coach Robb Akey, defensive backs coach Perry Fewell and strength coach Mike Clark.

Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator - Bent Corner
Former Washington Redskins strength coach Mike Clark blows a special whistle to make players stronger.
Washington Redskins fire yet another defensive coordinator - Bent Corner
Hey, you look strong, can you open this for me?

Why fire Clark? Did the Skins have a bad season because their players weren’t strong? The guys who are NFL strength coaches crack me up. They never look all that strong. They tend to look like guys who have to ask for help opening a pickle jar. I’m not saying Clark can’t open a pickle jar, but a lot of his peers look like they can’t.

The Redskins defense did suck a lot this past season. One way of solving that issue would have been to try to keep the defense off the field. They should have run the ball a lot more than they did. In 2016, the Redskins threw the ball 607 times and ran the ball 379 times. That’s ridiculous. Running the ball takes time off the clock. That’s not the case with passing the ball. The clock stops with every incomplete pass or any time the receiver steps out-of-bounds.

A lot of the defensive problems the Redskins had this season were caused by poor play calling on offense. Was Joe Kelly responsible for that? Nope. Plus, he looks like the type of guy who’s always ready to open a jar of pickles.

Why the Washington Redskins will certainly go 0-3

The Washington Redskins go to New Jersey this weekend to play the New York Giants, and it’s not looking too good for the Skins. They’re starting the season at 0-2, and they could easily extend that record to 0-3.

The biggest problem the Redskins have this season is once again, the coaching. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden not only looks like a Walmart Auto Care Center assistant manager, but he also coaches like one. That’s assuming he even does any real coaching.

Sean McVay is the offensive coordinator. Joe Barry is the defense coordinator. In theory, this means Jay Gruden is free to prowl the sidelines looking dumb, thinking of new ways to publicly criticize his team’s quarterback.

From what I can see, that’s what he’s doing.

Since Jay Gruden is technically the head coach, I might as well blame him for the Redskins coaching problems. Who else could I blame, Glorious Leader owner Daniel Snyder?

Why the Washington Redskins will go 0-3 - Bent Corner
Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder in high school rocking a Tom Selleck mustache.

This last offseason the Redskins placed the Franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. What this did was it allowed the Redskins to force Kirk Cousins to sign a one-year deal worth the average of the top five quarterbacks in the league. Because of this, Kirk Cousins is making $19.9 million this season. That’s not too shabby, especially considering that he made $660,000 last year.

One of the many advantages of signing your own player during free agency is that the player is a known quantity. For the Redskins, there are no mysteries with Kirk Cousins. The Redskins coaching staff should know Kirk Cousins historically gets off to the slow start. That’s just who he is. In the first six games of last season, Kirk Cousins had a quarterback rating of 78.03. In the remaining 12 games last season, his quarterback rating was nearly 119.

Why the Washington Redskins will certainly go 0-3 - Bent Corner
Washington Redskins starting quarterback and tradionally slow starter, Kirk Cousins

A competent coaching staff would take this aspect of Kirk Cousins’s game into consideration and try to engineer game plans to start the season that take the burden away from the passing game and place it on the running game. Have the Redskins done this?

No, they most certainly have not.

The Redskins so far this season have thrown the ball 89 times and ran the ball only 29 times. The Redskins have thrown the ball three out of every four plays. Even if the Redskins were productive throwing the ball so much, and they have most certainly not been, that’s mind-numbingly one-dimensional.

One-dimensional teams don’t win a lot in the NFL. Poorly coached teams don’t win a lot either.

The truth about cold weather football

I was reading about today’s NFC Championship game between the New York football Giants and the Green Bay Packers. The article mentioned it might turn out to be the coldest game played in NFL history. They say the temperature in Green Bay will be a balmy 3 degrees tonight at the 5:30 PM CST kickoff.

I’ve never been to Green Bay, but I did once watch a football game in the brutal cold. On January 15, 1994, I went to Orchard Park, New York to watch the Los Angeles Raiders lose to the Buffalo Bills 29-23.

Back in my Air Force Days

I was in the Air Force and stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in upstate New York. ESPN shows it was the 3rd coldest game played in NFL history. They show the temperature was zero degrees with a windchill of minus-32. I remember it being minus-40, but maybe it’s warmed up 8 degrees since then.

It wasn’t just cold, it was alien planet cold.

The worse part about watching a football game in the brutal cold is sitting in one spot for hours at a time, not moving. You are just sitting there. No matter how much you bundle up, you are going to get cold. The number of layers of clothing you put on only helps to delay the inevitable.

You will get cold and once you do, it’s impossible to get warm.

We had seats on the two-yard line, 13 rows up from the field. I remember things sounding different in the cold. The Raiders moved the ball and scored a touchdown. They then attempted an extra point. When the kicker’s foot hit the ball, it made a bizarre sound. It didn’t sound right. It didn’t sound like a shoe making contact with a leather football. The ball failed to go through the uprights and instead bounced off the crossbar. It sounded like a cannonball hitting the metal crossbar.

Buffalo Bills fans are stupid

I remember a Bills fan sitting in the end zone seating taking off his clothing from the waist up. His bare, pale flesh was exposed to the elements. Security grabbed him and took him off somewhere. I guess he wanted to get on TV. I don’t know if he got on TV, but his stupid stunt earned him a permanent spot in my personal memory banks.

Looking back at this photo, I wonder how many of these Bills fans are still alive and how many died in horrific snowmobile accidents.

I went to the game bundled in layers of clothing:

  • Los Angeles Raiders Starter pullover jacket
  • Air Force extreme weather parka
  • Sweatpants and long underwear under my pants
  • Air Force issued cold weather mummy sleeping bag

I’m glad I did. That said, it took me about three days to get warm.

The ironic thing about that game was how it contrasted with the prior Raiders game I attended. It was at the Los Angeles Colosseum where they lost to the visiting Cleveland Browns. I think it was the last road game the Browns ever won. The temperature on the field was 100 degrees and I walked away with a nasty sunburn.

Even though the Raiders lost the game, I was glad I went. It turned out to be Howie Long’s final game. He was always my favorite player.