The Earth has made one revolution around the sun since Dan Snyder’s football team officially was reborn the Washington Commanders. On that same day in 2022, the most famous resident of Punxsutawney, PA emerged from his hole, saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
A year ago, the Commanders spent their first days of existence unveiling new uniforms, apologizing for a mistake on the team crest and talking about how they would continue to “build the brand” over the next several years as they embarked on a “new chapter” for the franchise.
A year later, a new fight song debuted, Major Tuddy arrived, and the team finished last in the division in their inaugural season. And today, Punxsutawney Phil once again saw his shadow to predict more winter.
Does anybody else feel the Commanders are in the exact same place they were a year ago?
Dan and Tanya Snyder remain the owners even as the heat around them grew more intense. Another attempt to honor Sean Taylor resulted in a bad PR day. And while more fans went to games at FedEx Field, attendance was still putrid by NFL standards.
And on the field, Ron Rivera – who is still the head coach – is still looking for a quarterback.
“Well, I think first you start with your own evaluations and go from there. We've talked about some things today… And one of the things that we talked about again was, the four options [what] we have on the roster, in free agency, in the draft and potential trades. You gotta look at all avenues,” Rivera said in January.
General manager Martin Mayhew added, “We've been talking about this for several months now and how we move forward. Every avenue uncover every stone. We look at every situation out there and try to find the right guy.”
Oh, sorry, that was from January 2022. Those quotes were from last year.
"Well, you pretty much have to enter every season and look at the entire landscape of what's available and I thought we did a really good job of that last year. We went through the entire process of all those guys and did a very thorough evaluation. We will do the same thing this year. We're not gonna rule out acquiring a vet. We'll go through the landscape of who's available. We'll evaluate 'em and we'll get a consensus on somebody," Mayhew said that this January.
"You know, but again, we're gonna do what we believe is best for the football team going forward and whether it is a rookie quarterback or free agent quarterback or quarterback on the roster or trade. Yeah, we're gonna look at everything and then make the decision,” Rivera said that Jan. 2023.
Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?
“Well, the biggest thing, guys, is we’re gonna continue to look… We're going through this process, free agency starts next week, the draft is in 50 days, I understand. So we still have time. And we're gonna continue to explore all the options that are out there,” Rivera said in March 2021.
"So again, as we go through this process, we're gonna evaluate, and we're gonna look at our options," Rivera said in Jan. 2022.
"I think, again, all our guys are guys that we're going to evaluate and see where they fit for us,” Rivera said in Jan. 2023.
It’s still just once a year, isn’t it?
“I get it, we had success last year, people want to see us continue to do that. Well, if we try to take one big shot [and fail], now you gotta start all over again, again and again. What we want to do is to get to the point where we don’t have to start all over,” Rivera said. “So we want to make sure we look at every option we have and we do things and we move cautiously, smart.
“… We don’t want to put ourselves in a position where we have to start all over again in a year or two.”
He said that on March 10, 2021 just five days before signing free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who lasted all of sixteen plays. He said that 364 days before trading for quarterback Carson Wentz, who lasted all of eight games.
The big question on everybody’s lips – chapped lips – who will it be this year?
"Well, I think going into [this offseaon], I think we're in a much better place," Rivera said that this January.
We won't find out until we grow. It could be six more quarterbacks next season. I guess I'll see you next Washington Groundhogs Day. Another step in the cycle of life.
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