Keim: Redskins must 'do something in the playoffs' to earn fans' trust again

Josh Luckenbaugh
November 13, 2018 - 9:45 am

As someone who's covered the Redskins for many years, John Keim sees both sides of the issue between Redskins players and fans over attendance at FedEx Field this season. 

Several players, from Josh Norman to D.J. Swearinger to Chris Thompson, have spoken in the last few days about the perceived lack of support at Redskins home games this season, both Norman and Swearinger saying they'd rather play on the road. 

Keim says he agrees with the players on how opposing fans have filled up FedEx Field this season, but also understands why some Redskins fans are staying away. 

"It has been noticeable," Keim told The Junkies on Tuesday. "I think the surprise to me is, when Green Bay comes to town, Dallas comes to town, you expect a big contingent. It's just that they're getting it every week now, when there's a lot of Falcons fans or a lot of Panthers fans."

"I think that's some of the stuff that's probably driving them (the players) nuts. The hard part is, fans know why they're not going. I don't think the players really understand why they're not going, they just know they're not there. I think you can look at it and say both sides have a point."

"It is an expensive place," Keim continued. "The Redskins have decided not to sell on the secondary market, with the discounted tickets and all that. It's gonna make it harder to fill. They're trying to hold on to the season ticket holders by doing that."

"Then you add up all the other reasons. You hear it on social media from some of the fans with their thoughts and feelings on the organization, and why they're not going. There are a lot of reasons, and everybody's got their own, and if it's your reason, it's a good reason."

"But for players, all they see is a bottom line in this situation. And if you're a player, you want your home stadium to be a place that's feared to come and gives you energy and all that. That's what they would want. Who doesn't want that?"

Eric Bickel wondered aloud if some fans aren't buying in given the overall pedestrian production of Alex Smith and the offense so far this season, and Keim agreed. 

"I think that's definitely part of it," he replied. "It does seem like there's a lack of buying in because of that offense. You look around the league, it's exciting with the way the Rams are playing, the Saints, the Chiefs. And these guys (Redskins) are winning in an old-fashioned way."

"We've gone here from saying, 'Well, we want them to win' to 'Well, they have to win better.' They're 6-3, that's the bottom line, but it's not an exciting style of ball."

"I think what this team needs to do, if you're gonna play this way, you're gonna have to keep winning, obviously. And then I think you have to do something in the playoffs to get people truly excited about what might come."

 "Alex Smith is not a guy who's gonna generate a ton of excitement. And that's not a knock on him, that's just the way his game is. What he does well is not turning the ball over. It's kinda hard to sell season tickets on, 'Come watch us not turn it over.' That's not a knock, it's just reality."

"I do think you're right, it's not the most exciting style of ball," Keim concluded. "So it's gonna be harder to generate the level of excitement I think other teams might already be feeling."

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