(photo by Brian Murphy)
1. “Hail to the King” by Avenged Sevenfold
It wouldn’t have surprised me if fans of the Washington Redskins were less than enthusiastic about the team’s decision to hold their annual alumni homecoming game Week 9. After all, the Redskins came into the game against the San Diego Chargers winless in these nostalgic affairs — having lost 21-13 to Carolina last season and 19-11 to San Francisco back in ’11.
And yet, I can’t help but think that one of the primary reasons Washington was able to emerge victorious — defeating the Chargers 30-24 in overtime — had a little something to do with one of the old timers who was in the house Sunday.
Former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXII, and more than 30 of his teammates from that championship squad were honored during halftime. But before then, Williams had a chance to chat with local reporters about the burgundy and gold.
During a pre-game interview, Williams was asked what the Redskins need to do in order to salvage this season before it’s too late.
“You know, I think the guys that are here every day watching the Washington Redskins –- the coaches, the personnel guys –- they can probably answer that better than I can,” said Williams. “I can’t sit here watching them twice a year on TV and tell them what they need to do.”
And then, Williams was asked about quarterback Robert Griffin III. For a guy who just seconds earlier said he was too far removed from the situation to provide any real advice or feedback, he sure did manage to hit the nail on the head with this response.
“Last year, he came in and elevated his football team,” he said. “I think right now the football team needs to elevate Robert.”
As simple as it sounds, that’s what this team has lacked in 2013. With Griffin not quite playing up to his all-pro standard as he recovers from major knee surgery, it’s become painfully clear that he can’t do it all by himself these days.
If the the Redskins are going to be able to turn things around and be a more competitive football franchise in the second half of the season, it’ll be because players other than the franchise quarterback were able to help shoulder the load.