That Leadership Stuff…. Definitely Not Over-Rated


I’m sorry, but did I miss something? When did Brandon Merriweather become Ronnie Lott in his prime?

You would think by the way Merriweather’s teammates are reacting, his two-game suspension is the most un-just ruling in the history of sport.

DeAngelo Hall led the “kids-in-the-back-seat complaining” act by tweeting:

“Preseason sucks. They want to act like that. I’ll be damn if I play another preseason game. For what? Get suspended for a meaningless game”

Ryan Clark chimed in with: “Game for $1,000 dollars that won’t count on you record can cost you two regular season games & pay! Yep, makes total sense!!”

I’m sorry fellas, but I must interject at this point to say: “Nobody cares.”

Every Redskins fan knew that Merriweather’s “style” of play (run to the ball, lead with your head) was being methodically legislated out of the league. And every NFL player should know that trying hard in pre-season is for suckers (and rookies).

The forehead slapping irony in this, is that Hall and Clark are deemed as “leaders” on this team.

Whatever that all is… it’s like the exact opposite of “leadership.”

Leadership would have sounded something like this…

“You know, I have total respect for Brandon and how hard he plays, but this league is also about playing smart, and he’s got to be better. He can’t help us from the sideline, so hopefully when he comes back he’ll make that adjustment.”

Clark would have been more helpful saying something like: “Nothing we say can change it now. We just have to have guys step up and play hard when he’s out, because our opponents won’t feel sorry for us.”

But never mind being a leader, be a cry-baby instead.

The larger problem for the Redskins is that all three players – Hall, Clark and Merriweather – are “sub-prime” ideas at best.

Hall is a 30 year old corner whom the Redskins offered just a 1-year “show-me” deal to a year ago. He did, so now they’ve spent a bit more (although still cap-friendly) by signing him to a “4-year, $17 million” deal. It’s really just $5.3 million guaranteed, which I am sure the club hopes can be spread over two more productive years. A starting corner at $2.65 million per year? Not bad. But the larger point is that the team should have had somebody come and TAKE this spot from Hall by now, and they haven’t.

Ditto both safeties.

Merriweather couldn’t get on the field for his 1st year here due to a knee injury, then when he did, he started to promptly get himself kicked off of it by being an un-repentant head-hunter.

Clark is more of a nostalgia pick-up, due to the fact he was once here, but was allowed to walk away via free-agency to Pittsburgh over a pathetic difference of about $400,000 per year. Think about that: an organization that threw bad money after good for guys like Archuleta, Lloyd, Haynesworth and McNabb – SUDDENLY got penny-wise on Clark. Who naturally went on to have his most productive years in black and gold while winning two Super Bowls.

Oh, did I mention? Both Clark and Merriweather are such key parts of this organization’s future success….. that they are both on 1-year deals.

So in other words, you have at least 3/4ths of your starting secondary as guys who probably shouldn’t be here now, and won’t be here very soon.

Doesn’t mean they don’t know how to tweet like girls who have been jilted on prom night.

I don’t know what Jay Gruden thought about these comments, or wether he spoke to Hall and Clark to help “re-focus” them on the task at hand – not starting out 0-2 despite the softest opening two-step I’ve seen in years. It’s not often you get to play two of the league’s worst teams from last year right out of the box, but here we are.

And still, our so called “leadership” players are more worried about a guy who I can say with confidence, has literally no more than 14 games left as a Redskin.


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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at


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