Washington Redskins: The Expectations Game

By briancarroccio
Washington Redskins
Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

We tend to play these games this time of year.

Whether its going through a team’s schedule and counting certain games as a win or loss, or prognosticating a team’s final record, the guessing game is alive and well. Further, considering no NFL team will lose a game for another six weeks, such prognostications tend to understandably optimistic.

This is certainly the case when it comes to the Washington Redskins. Coming off an NFC East division championship in 2012 in which the Redskins won their last seven games, expectations are understandably high.

Also, numerous Redskins players such as Robert Griffin III, Barry Cofield and Pierre Garcon have all mentioned the words “Super Bowl,” in interviews since training camp began last Friday. Plus, many in the D.C. media have suggested that the Redskins are capable of a deep playoff run come January.

To be clear, I am of the firm belief lofty expectations for the 2013 Redskins are not necessarily unreasonable. The team has seen a near total overhaul of its roster since head coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen arrived four years ago, and the two have professionalized what was a completely dysfunctional embarrassment of a franchise  for well over a decade.

For these reasons and others, lofty expectations are not necessarily wrong. However, I do believe that the projection of expectations is not only unreasonable, but also misses the bigger picture.

See, the goal of the Redskins should not necessarily be to win the Super Bowl this year. Rather, it should be to build an organization that contends on a year-to-year basis. If you take a look at the recent Super Bowl-winning teams, you notice a recurring theme: these franchises are relevant nearly every single season.

Sure, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoffs last season. However, the Steelers have had one losing season since 1999. The Giants have not had a losing season since 2004.

In other words, one could argue the Giants, Steelers and others winning Super Bowls is not so much a product of what happened this year or that year. Rather, their championship-winning ways are a product of sustained excellence.

And ultimately, that is what Washington fans want from the Redskins.

So don’t necesarily get too wrapped up in this season. Simply put, the Redskins are on the verge of building something much, much more. And history tells us that should be any organization’s primary focus.

Brian Carroccio is a Washington Redskins blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @bricarr2, ”like” him on Facebook and  add him to your Google+ network. 

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