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Posted at 2:53 PM ET, 11/17/2010

Riggins compares Redskins to a pyramid scheme

By Dan Steinberg

Chad Dukes's rant about the state of the Redskins on Tuesday has gathered a fair amount of national attention: a prominent link on, a Twitter mention from Questlove to his 1.4 million followers, the lead sports headline on, and so on.

The main attraction of Dukes's rant was his unhinged primal screaming, but he isn't the only one making the basic point of extreme frustration by the direction of the Redskins in the light of Monday night. John Riggins, speaking very calmly and with almost no emotion, made much the same point Wednesday on WTOP. Here's the crux of his argument:

"The whole concept, I think, is askew. And this is where it goes back to ownership. You can't continually promise people every year you're gonna have the potential to win a Super Bowl. But, of course, there's a cash-flow problem, that you've got to keep feeding some beast somewhere. And with the recent failures that ownership has had in some other businesses, you have to wonder if this continual marketing effort to every year sell something is nothing more than hope, really.

"And when it's all said and done, there is no product, and that's really derailing the team more than anything. Because clearly, the offensive line is what needed attention. And you didn't need to trade a second-round draft pick for Donovan McNabb. You needed to get some horses up front. Start there, and get some playmakers, and then find that special guy, that young quarterback and develop him.

"The whole thinking out there is askew, as far as I'm concerned, and it's not in step with the contemporary successes that you see around the league. Look at Baltimore, look how they've built. Look at Atlanta, look at Miami. I mean, these are some teams -- Detroit, Cleveland -- they're building with young quarterbacks and young players, and they're building it through the draft. But that takes time, and that is the one thing that they will not tolerate at Ashburn. You've got to fix it right now, but there's never a fix, it's just more promises and promises, and then there's more failures and failures....

"They have one guy, Trent Williams, who they drafted, and that should come as no surprise, that was a good move, clearly a good move. But they need more than just that one move, and next year, you look and they have no draft picks. There's no potential to develop the young guys that you can put in there, to take another guy with a second-round pick. So this whole thing has been put off to where it's almost like a pyramid scheme, because each year they've got to chase something else, [and] they don't have time to actually stop and fix and do it the right way."

I don't think it's quite as dire as Dukes and Riggins do, but it's hard to make a long list of young players the Redskins have discovered this season. Trent Williams, Ryan Torain, Brandon Banks, Keiland Williams. That's all I've got.

If you want even more pessimism, D.C. Landing Strip has what they call "The Thinking Man's Take on the McNabb Contract." It isn't cheery, either.

By Dan Steinberg  | November 17, 2010; 2:53 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Redskins  
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Huh, You check fark, eh dan?

I submitted that link. :) You're welcome Chad Dukes.

Posted by: lummox1 | November 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a Ponzi scheme is a better characterization, but it's apt anyhow.

Enjoy Chicago Cubs-like futility for as long as Snyder is owner.

Posted by: SavedByZero | November 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Also, I would consider AA13 a good young player as well. He's got some developing to do (see: catch a long ball and not stumble) but I see him being a mainstay at wideout

Posted by: lummox1 | November 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thought about AA13. Love his back story, love his hard work, love his smarts and humor, but he's 27. Just not sure if that counts as young at a skill position.

I guess he doesn't have many miles on his legs, but just in the NFC East you have Dez Bryant (22), Jeremy Maclin (22), Hakeem Nicks (22), DeSean Jackson (23) and Mario Manningham (24). They're young talent.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | November 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Things seem to be getting a little distorted. We all knew BEFORE this season the Redskins were/are rebuilding.

With that in mind the only draft picks the Redskins are missing are their 2011 third and fourth round picks. But they have two fifth round picks plus an undisclosed pick from Indy and an extra fourth round pick in 2012.

Shanahan's zone blocking scheme has never required premium road-grader type (i.e. high round draft pick) O linemen in order to succeed.

This coming off-season a slew of high quality free agents will be available. The Redskins, a major market team, can afford free agents.

It takes more than a half season for players to become fluent in a new scheme. The Redskins are running a new scheme on BOTH offense and defense, and have only been running these schemes for half a season.

I just won the Chad Dukes look-alike competition. I wore a chicken little mask and Jabba the Hutt body suit.

Posted by: belly_kilmer | November 17, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Riggins, tell it like it is.

Bottom line. This is about using the Redskins tradition to make money. It's about marketing and deception and the Redskins fan base has bought into it hook, line and sinker.

Look at the facts, the Redskins are one of the most valuable franschises in professional sports. They're right there with the Lakers, Yankees and Cowboys.

Fact, at the same time the Redskins have done nothing but produce pretty much one mediocre season after another since Mr. Snyder bought the team.

The fact that they have the highest annual operating revenue of any team in the league and yet they are one of the most valuable franchises in professional sports should tell us one thing, Daniel Snyder is a marketing genius. He's not just smart, he's absolutely brilliant when it comes to marketing. He has effectively been able to turn a non-performing team into a billion dollar empire. That is off the charts if you ask me.

He is the Bill Gates of marketing.

I have never sensed in my heart this is about winning championships. It's about using past Redskins greatness to romance the cash right out of our wallets.

The entire Redskins fanbase has been deceived. Point blank. We have been sold a bill of goods. Point blank. The only thing that makes the Redskins, the Redskins since Mr. Snyder bought the team are their helmets. Point blank. This is not the Redskins football. Point blank.

Mr. Cooke was committed to winning championships. Mr. Snyder is committed to making money. Point blank.

Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen (George Allen's son) were only brought in to pacify the burgundy and gold revolution. It was a PR fan move to romance the season ticket holders. Point blank.

The fan base was deceived by Shanahan's past glory of the two Super Bowl rings. He won them with John Elway. Ever since he has steadily gone downhill, to the point Denver fired him. His son Kyle, our offensive coordinator, he's only there because of his dad's last name. Bottom line. He has the worst 3rd down conversion rate in the league. The offense is not innovative. It's not cutting edge. It's vanilla. It's the same watered down recycled rendition of the west coast offense. We ran Jim Zorn out of town for this?

Kyle Shanahan still has not even figured out that Ryan Torrain is not a east-west runner.

It's been 21 long years since Bobby Beathard left the building. That's the real problem. The scouting and evaluating. Cerrato was a master sales man and a recruiter. Bruce Allen used to be a sports agent. They are salesmen at heart, which is why they hit it off with Mr. Snyder.

We need a legitimate talent evaluator as a GM. We need legitimate scouts. We need a innovative coach.

That's how I feel in my heart.

God Bless you John Riggins. You are my favorite player of all time. You cover the Redskins like you ran the ball.

Posted by: Redskindan44 | November 17, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Things seem to be getting a little distorted. We all knew BEFORE this season the Redskins were/are rebuilding.

Posted by: belly_kilmer |

Speaking of "distorted," clicky clicky belly:

Further distortion: The Redskins sell out their games and there's a waiting list.

Alas, distortion is nothing new w/this team, belly.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | November 18, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

DCP is being sued by the HFPA. All the wheels are coming off for the evil empire.



Posted by: jayrockers | November 18, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Have to say that I disagree with Riggins and Dukes on Snyder but the offensive line certainly do need to be addressed, no doubt. I feel for the coaches and the players whom are suffering from the consequences of poor draft decisions and personnel moves in the past decade. It's hard to be positive right now with the losses piling up but look at this way, at least the Redskins will be getting a good player in the first round again next April.

Posted by: RedCherokee | November 18, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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