A Look Back – Disaster – That’s probably about the only way that you can sum up the season of the Washington Redskins in 2009. The team looked anemic at best offensively, scoring just 16.6 points per game on the season. The slate has basically been wiped clean though with so many of the players on that team are no longer around, and there is a hope for success in 2010.

Key Addition – QB Donovan McNabb – Any time you can add a franchise quarterback to your roster, even if it is at the tail end of his career, you have to take advantage of it. McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a number of NFC Championship Games, but only one Super Bowl and no titles. Their loss is Washington’s gain. The Redskins have been on the lookout for a quarterback to lead the franchise since the days of Mark Rypien, and the Syracuse product may finally be the answer.

Washington Redskins NFL Cheerleader

Key Loss – DT Albert Haynesworth – Okay, so technically at this point, Haynesworth and the Redskins haven’t cut ties yet, but the handwriting is on the wall. The Skins are in search of over 20 million dollars from their franchise defensive tackle, as he doesn’t seem to have any desire to play the nose in new HC Mike Shanahan’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Haynesworth may be doing more than just alienating his teammates. He may be destroying his career. He has clearly become a malcontent in the locker room, and regardless of the fact that he picked up four sacks and had a great year pressuring quarterbacks in 2009, he may find himself unemployed and with no suitors.

2010 Will Be a Success if... – The Redskins start to feel like winners again. It wasn’t that long ago that this team was in the postseason, but the aura in our nation’s capitol is one of defeat and pessimism. The hopes are that a new quarterback and a new head coach can change that. This isn’t a matter of turning the Skins into winners and doing it now, but the team has to feel like it can compete in the NFC East once again.

The Crucial Game – Simply put, the game at Philadelphia on October 3rd is the one that every Redskins fan has circled on the calendar. Do you think that McNabb would love nothing more than to go back into the City of Brotherly Love and dispose of his former mates in front of the same fans that booed him from the moment that he was drafted? To say he’ll be up for that one would be quite the understatement.

Predictions – The division and the rest of the schedule are just too tough for the Redskins to overcome this year. Washington should return to respectability and compete for a playoff spot, but in the end, just finishing at .500 would be considered a success with or without the spot in the playoffs. However, more than likely, another 6-7 win season looks to be on tap in Landover.

2010 Washington Redskins Regular Season Schedule

9/12 vs. DAL (-3.5)
9/19 vs. HOU
9/26 @ STL
10/3 @ PHI
10/10 vs. GB
10/17 vs. IND
10/24 @ CHI
10/31 @ DET
Bye
11/15 vs. PHI
11/21 @ TEN
11/28 vs. MIN
12/5 @ NYG
12/12 vs. TB
12/19 @ DAL
12/26 @ JAX
1/2 vs. NYG

 

McNabb and Owens Together? Not Likely

ESPN is reporting that Donovan McNabb is open to the idea of playing with Terrell Owens despite their feud when they were on the Philadelphia Eagles.

But lets hold up here for a second.

The Washington Redskins may need some more talent at receiver, but this smells of a reporter making something out of nothing.

Washington Redskins NFL Cheerleaders

“A source close to McNabb said the quarterback and Owens recently talked about the possibility of reuniting while shooting an episode for the television show “Pros vs. Joes” in Los Angeles.”

What exactly is a source close to McNabb? How did the subject come up?

The story makes it sound like McNabb is actively recruiting TO, but the truth is probably more like the subject happened to come up in conversation and McNabb was being polite and accommodating by not calling the prospect complete bunk.

I’m not calling the idea a complete impossibility, but from my experience with reporting, it sounds like an innocuous comment being blown out of proportion on a slow news day.

The New York Jets are after a player who has the potential to greatly improve their odds, but might just be a dud while the Washington Redskins have an impact player who might be available.

Jets courting Jason Taylor

The New York Jets are making a pitch to Miami Dolphins free-agent linebacker Jason Taylor.

Washington Redskins NFL Cheerleader

Taylor would improve the Jets pass rushing. The Jets only had eight sacks last season and a player like Taylor could add another 8-10 on his own and 4-6 team sacks.

Signing Taylor wouldn’t be without risks. He had a good season last year picking up seven sacks, but he is 35 and his play should be declining.

Haynesworth not trade-bait

The Washington Redskins are denying rumors that they are looking to trade Albert Haynesworth.

The speculation began when it was revealed that the Redskins offered Haynesworth in their quest for quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Haynesworth is still a dominant player and the only reasons to trade him are that the ownership is cutting costs, they think they can get a better deal by trading him, or the new coach doesn’t see Haynesworth as a fit for their system.

With Donovan McNabb being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins, Kevin Kolb inherits the starting role much like Aaron Rodgers did two years ago for the Green Bay Packers.

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Kolb, like Rodgers in 2008, joins a team that was in the mix for the playoffs with their veteran quarterback.

The comparison looks pretty good as Kolb has solid numbers except for a throwing too many interceptions while Rodgers struggled his first season as a starter because he threw too many interceptions (13).

The Packers fell to 6-10 in the first year under Rodgers after going 13-3 while the Eagles went 11-5.

If anything, Kevin Kolb is ahead of where Rodgers was when he took over his team. His four touchdowns against three interceptions last season doesn’t look very good, but all three interceptions came against a ball-hawking New Orleans defense. Kolb bounced back against the Kansas City Chiefs with two passing touchdowns and a 120.6 passer rating.

Kolb needs experience to handle the more sophisticated defenses in the NFL, but with a solid supporting class around him he shouldn’t have too much trouble against more typical defenses which should translate in to a 9-7 season falling just short of a playoff spot.

Today’s denial by St Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo that they are pursuing Donovan McNabb shouldn’t do a thing to stop speculation that he’s leaving. After all, until he actually gets McNabb, the only smart thing to do is deny any rumors.

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If he gets McNabb, then great. But if he fails, then he’s just destroyed his relationship with his current QBs while getting nothing back.

McNabb’s been rumored to be heading to St Louis, Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco, Buffalo, Washington and probably everywhere else but I can’t be bothered to keep researching.

St Louis seems to be the front-runner based on how often their name is mentioned in relation to McNabb, but I can’t see McNabb signing an extension there.

I think Minnesota is probably the best fit for both player and team although if Arizona can replace Boldin and Urban they’d also be a good fit.

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The Denver Broncos haven’t called the quarterback position wide-open for next season, but all of their actions point to a a wide-open competition for who sits under center.

Denver Broncos NFL Cheerleader

Mmmm. Gratuitous cheerleader shot.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels gave his quarterback Kyle Orton a vote of confidence at the end of last season saying, “I’m pleased with a lot of what Kyle did and I saw improvement in what he did. I was happy to have the opportunity to work with him this year and we’ll look forward to the future.”

Now with the trade for Brady Quinn the Broncos have two young quarterbacks both of whom under-performed to start their careers.

Orton started to improve under McDaniels tutelage and Quinn, who has more potential than Orton, hopes to do the same and thrive with the Broncos.

While Orton has improved, he still hasn’t proved himself to be an NFL quarterback. The Broncos started the season 6-2, but finished 2-6, so Quinn is almost certain to get some chances if he isn’t able to wrest the job outright.

Delhomme, Leader or Aging Veteran?

The Cleveland Browns signed Jake Delhomme to be a leader who can take charge of the team.

Mike Holmgren said, “They need a guy that is going to grab everybody by the throat and say, ‘Follow me through that door.’ I don’t look at him as an aging veteran, I look at him as the leader I wanted.”

With Delhomme’s declining production he’s going to have a hard time getting the attention of the locker room. Leaders have to earn respect and it remains to be seen whether the Browns personnel respect Delhomme’s past achievements over his current performance.

Clausen is Sexy, but Wrong Choice for Washington

The Washington Redskins are said to be pondering Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen as their number four pick, but that would be a big mistake.

The other player they are rumored to be considering is Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung.

While a left tackle isn’t nearly as sexy a pick as a quarterback, developing a quarterback behind a weak o-line can ruin a prospect as they have significantly less margin of error.

Okung has what it takes to make the Redskins o-line solid so that when next year’s quarterback-heavy draft comes around, the Redskins will have everything in place to give their new quarterback the best chance to succeed.

Where will Julius Peppers end up?

Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers

One more day until we find out whether Julius Peppers goes for the money or he goes for the chance to win a championship.

He already has a boatload of money from his time with the Carolina Panthers, so he doesn’t need to pursue the highest-value contract. But, you can never have enough mansions.

If he wants to go for a Super Bowl, he’s going to have to accept less money since none of the teams that play in the sort of situation that he’s looking for can afford to spend what Peppers is asking for.

If rumors are to be believed, there are four likely destinations for Julius Peppers: the Chicago Bears, the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears may not be able to afford Peppers, but they’d dearly like to have him in the line-up.

It’s rumored that some of the Bears staff met with Carl Carey who happens to be Peppers representative at the NFL Scouting Combine. Peppers is Carey’s only client, so unless they were talking about the weather…

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles won’t be able to compete with some of the top-dollar teams, but if Peppers decides a championship is more important than money then the Eagles should be in the mix.

Peppers would help the Eagles short-term, but he doesn’t make a lot of sense. The Eagles don’t normally spend a lot on free-agents, and they don’t normally sign older players like Peppers to long expensive deals. They’d be more likely to sign some of the cheaper free agents out there.

Washington Redskins

Under Shanahan, the Redskins are switching to a 3-4 defense which means Peppers would have to switch to outside linebacker. But Peppers has already made it known that he’d like to see how he fits in a 3-4 defense.

The Redskins can afford send the Brinks truck to Peppers, but they’re probably not going to be a championship contender for a little while so Peppers would have to give up on his dream of winning a Super Bowl.

New England Patriots

The Patriots are the perfect 3-4 team for Peppers, but they can’t afford to pay him anywhere near what he’ll get from some other teams.

The Pats with Peppers become instant Super Bowl contenders. He could do that for any number of teams, but the Pats can afford to pay him more (at his discounted price) than he’s likely to get from teams like the Eagles.

 

 

 
 
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