Former NFL general manager Bill Polian knows there’s one way to create culture change. It’s something the Redskins haven’t done in a while.
“Nothing improves the culture more than winning,” the ESPN NFL analyst recently said on the air. “Winning really helps.”
That phrase has been a big one for Washington this offseason as the Redskins try to recover from a combined seven wins the past two seasons. They want a different culture, though it’s something every new coach says. But Polian said they can’t rely on one person – Robert Griffin III -- to bail them out of a mess. It was clear by season’s end in 2014 that the Redskins knew this and said privately that if he was going to stay, they had to improve around him.
Polian continued by saying, “Secondly, they have to buy into the idea that every part of the team contributes to winning, not just RG III. He’s part of it, and a big part of it, but everyone else contributes to winning as well. Where they’ve fallen short in years past has been on defense. They’ve been abysmal in the secondary. That has to improve. Their pass rush has to improve. Their protection of the quarterback has to improve and RG III has to improve and play within the system coach [Jay] Gruden has designed. If they do that, if everyone’s taking care of their own business and they don’t worry about the outside noise and the soap opera effect that comes with people focusing on RG III, they’ll be fine. And RG III needs to deflect the soap opera, be a good teammate – not that he isn’t – but concentrate on doing that.”
Polian likes that the Redskins hired quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.
“Matt will be good for RG III,” Polian said. “Matt’s a solid guy. He knows the game. He’s been through all the things RG III has gone through and will go through. He’ll be a great sounding board and great reference for him. It will be helpful.”