Sun Tzu, Daniel Snyder and Jim Zorn

Washington Commanders

The following post was written by member, Redskin in Canada. I have in the past, been a Dan Snyder apologist, and RiC and I have had a few spirited debates on this topic, but as I slowly leave the dark side and come into the light, much of what he has been saying over the past few seasons has really started to make sense.

This post, though perhaps obvious to some, really summarizes the entire anti-Snyder movement and is entertaining to read, as well. Just remember, it was written by a Canadian, so some of the words are intentionally spelled wrong. Don’t take it as an offence.

Nothing. There is absolutely nothing that has been going wrong with our offence which was not predicted as a source of serious problems by many analysts. the media, the fans and a number of realistic posters in this and other Redskins boards throughout the period spanning between the end of last season and this past devastatingly disappointing weekend.

We knew that we were running a Team with an old and prone-to-injury OL. We knew that we had no depth of any reasonable quality in that unit. We knew that no quality draft help had come around since … well … since Chris Samuels was drafted in 2000 !!!

We knew that our beleaguered QB needed more time than most other QBs due to mental and mechanical execution limitations because he is not suited to run this brand of WCO. We knew that a weak or bad OL does not lend itself to have a good rushing production no matter who is the RB. We knew that offence was going to struggle big time for all the above reasons.

So, why are many of you surprised, angry and pointing fiery fingers full of righteous indignation at individual coaches and players now ???

Most of you are passing judgment on the consequences and not on the causes that got us where we are now. Sun Tzu diagnosed this situation better than anybody else many centuries ago:


All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.

You are passing judgment on the circumstances surrounding the poor performance of individual players and coaches with a fiery finger assigning blame with righteous indignation. Why?

Sun Tzu always warned and cautioned:


Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

We have not had a strategy since Joe Gibbs 1 left the team in 1992, which includes the entire ownership of Dan Snyder since 1989 over the last decade. We have had only tons of tactics and noise before defeat with splashy and expensive acquisitions. I call it snake oil and malignant advertising circus.

This team has not had a plan, vision, distinct personality or identity since 1992. Sure, there were flashes of return to the old glory days over brief moments upon the return of Joe Gibbs 2 but even those moments always were affected by regressions and subsequent failures because there were deeper problems than the appointment of a great general.

The failures of Dan Snyder as the sovereign of the Redskin Nation are well forecasted by Sun Tzu too as the opposite of his advice:


Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

In other words, preparation for victory is essential to victory itself. In today’s NFL, Front Offices decide well in advance with preparation who the winners and losers on the field are during the regular season. NFL Front Offices compete with their strategies and work plans as hard or harder than coaches and players do on the field. The result of our defeats MUST be pointed at the right place: Daniel Snyder and his management and management style of this franchise.

John Madden, among many other analysts, pointed out the selection of poorer player personnel as the difference between the first and second stints of Joe Gibbs with the Redskins. I call that difference: the Bobby Beathard difference. When victory had been prepared for by Bobby Beathard at the Front Office with vision, plan and careful selections of great players, it was all but secure on the field by Joe Gibbs. Great strategy and tactics worked hand in hand.

There is only one conclusion: The Washington Redskins are a dysfunctional organization on the field BECAUSE this is the effect of a dysfunctional Ownership and Front Office management and management style.

As for Jim Zorn, he could have benefited from the Chinese grand master of strategy as well:


He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.

Jim Zorn can be blamed for not adapting his strategy (system) to the resources (players) that he has available to take best advantage of them. He has remained stubbornly blind to the urgent adjustments that he needed to implement if he wanted to effect a transition from a power run system to his own brand of WCO. The strategy does not work because it cannot work with the current personnel and he has refused to adjust to the circumstances.

But as if Zorn did not lack the capacity to implement his strategy (system) with the current resources (players), he now has faced the ultimate dead blow: interference by the sovereign.

Zorn’s greatest moment as a Washington Redskins Head Coach took place during his press conference yesterday when he finally assumed full and complete responsibility of the failures of the team as a whole. While some of you might think that this was too little too late, I get to know and appreciate people in the greatest of difficulties and most adverse circumstances. I will respect him for this action for a long time.

Zorn’s worst moment as a Washington Redskin’s Head Coach took place later on yesterday evening as well during his meeting with Vinny “the puppet” Cerrato. No coach of dignity and self-respect can accept the humiliating requirement to remove his play calling mandate. A firing by the FO, or a resignation by the coach would have been the honourable procedure to go away. It is not too late Jim. Refuse to work under those undignified conditions. You are too good a man under no-win circumstances to accept this treatment.


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