Wow! Now Sally Jenkins jumps on the Peyton Manning to the Redskins bandwagon.
Jenkins has been one of The Washington Post's severest critics of Daniel Snyder's habit of signing free agents with big name recognition to restore the Redskins' winning ways. And yet...
"This is one instance in which Dan Snyder needs to be the Dan Snyder we used to know, the check-writer with a signature on the bottom flashier than a fountain," writes Jenkins today. "This isn’t some impulsive grab at a big-name jersey. Manning has absolutely nothing in common with the fat and happy Redskins free agent disasters of the past."
Excuse me, Sally, but Manning has everything in common with Redskins free agent disasters of the past. All of them came with big names that clouded football judgment that should have proceeded, if not precluded, the move. There is no name in football bigger than Manning these days.
The judgment is whether Manning can even perform at a pro level. Jenkins makes the point that "doctors" have cleared Manning to play without noting that it was Manning's doctors and not the Indy Colts doctors who said so. Is she so sure that Manning can pass a team physical?
Can anyone be sure that the medical staff of a quarterback-hungry team is truly resistant to pressure from above and give an honest assessment of Manning's medical condition?
We only know those free agents were disasters in hindsight. Adam Archuleta and Albert Haynesworth did not look like epic fails when the Redskins signed them.
Successful Redskins free agents have been small names you barely heard of before they got here, like Cornelius Griffin, Marcus Washington, London Fletcher and recent Shanahan imports Chris Chester, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen. These were successful value plays that filled a roster gap as role-playing contributors.
Jenkins adds, "We are talking about a player who, even if his 36-year-old arm is weakened, will instantly elevate the team, franchise and by extension the entire city with his competitive character."
Wrong again, Sally. The Redskins do not need a morale boost. That's like saying they need "swagger." The Redskins need a quarterback who can throw 30-plus touchdowns to a corps of average receivers.
We are not predicting that Manning will fail. We are just saying that we don't know near enough yet to make an intelligent decision. It's the NFL offseason. Everybody's lying.
So, Daniel Snyder, don't listen to Sally Jenkins. This is the time when an owner executive leader learns from the past and asks tough questions of his football executive team.
Do not just talk to Executive Veep Mike Shanahan. Talk to the OC, Kyle. I guess that would be one and the same, but ask anyway. Talk to the medical staff, independent of the head coach, and demand an honest assessment of Manning's prognosis and rehab. Can the man really last the season?
How would the line coach adapt personnel packages to block for Manning? We want no repeats of the Jason Taylor debacle when the Redskins traded in a panic for a player that DC Greg Blache both did not want and would not adapt his schemes to max out Taylor's pass rushing skills.
And talk to Jim Irsay, because if Manning could play, he would be in Indy blue.
Washington's executive team should be looking at all the contingencies. It's their job. It's the owner's job to be sure they are not getting caught up in it. Demanding unvarnished answers to hard questions is what executive leaders do.
So, do it, Dan Snyder. Ask the tough questions about Manning. Demand straight answers. Don't be the easy sell that Sally Jenkins wants you to be.
Don't get caught up in the promo aspects of Peyton vs. Eli, either. That would be a circus act at FedEx Field good for only one game. It won't cover the cost of Peyton's contract.
WaPOST's Jason Reid begs to differ - Peyton Manning not the answer