A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Redskins Offseason To Date: Best Moves & Most Questionable

    Best moves:

    1. Using the recouped second round pick to draft Jarvis Jenkins who could be the ‘impact’ player from this draft down the road
    2. Going ‘all in’ on the defensive line and picking up both Bowen and Cofield. The Redskins really needed to replace the entire unit, and by signing both players and drafting Jenkins that is what they did.
    3. Trading Vonnie Holliday, a 35 year old DE, and a late draft choice to the Cardinals for RB Tim Hightower. Hightower fits the system, he has been durable and he seems to have a great work ethic and attitude.
    4. Allowing Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb to depart early in the offseason. These players were going to be nothing but distractions and everyone knew they never were going to take the field again as Redskins, so trading them early and being able to have a relatively quiet training camp and preseason was the right thing to do for the 2011 team. The fact Shanahan was able to get a #5 pick for Haynesworth was a mild surprise. Now New England is finding out why.
    5. Signing OJ Atogwe in January before the lockout. The Redskins have not had a true free safety since Sean Taylor during the 2007 season and the team wasted 2 years playing LaRon Landry over at that spot despite disappointing results for him and the club. Atogwe gives the Redskins a playmaker in the secondary who can cover down the field.


    Questionable Moves:

    1. Resigning Jamaal Brown to a 5 year deal at age 30 to play RT. I find it hard to believe that Brown would have been a better fit for Shanahan’s offense than Ryan Harris, who was also available in free agency, and who at age 26 seemed more like the kind of player the Redskins could build with over the next couple of years. Brown was a pro bowler at LT when healthy in New Orleans. He is now 30, playing RT for Washington after having undergone season ending surgery in 2009. Brown may pan out and rebound to being a solid contributor, but there is a definite bust factor there largely because of the injury history that I don’t see with the other free agents like Bowen and Cofield.
    2. Not doing more at the cornerback position. DeAngelo Hall is a playmaker but he is also a notorious gambler who can get beaten down the field. He is also 5’10. Josh Wilson to me would have been a solid signing as a #3 corner at 5’9 and 189. But as the #2? I don’t know that the Redskins are prepared here to compete in the NFC East with the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles on the outside. Making things less certain is the 4 game suspension of Phillip Buchanon, who was up and down in 2010, and is now 31 and the fact Kevin Barnes has not developed faster into a guy you can’t keep off the field.
    3. Lingering uncertainty at ILB. While the Redskins have drafted to acquire starting OLB for the 3-4 defense, other than London Fletcher the team hasn’t been able to identify any sure fire performers on the inside. McIntosh was resigned despite being a poor fit at 229-230. Perry Riley, the #4 pick last year, may have a future at the position but it doesn’t appear as if the coaches are expecting a breakout in 2011. The team signed Keyaron Fox, a 31 year old veteran who was a career backup in Pittsburgh, and has HB Blades returning. But neither acquisition really seems to move the needle much at the position. It appears the Redskins are treading water here until 2012.
    4. Not acquiring better depth on the interior of the OL. With Casey Rabach’s departure and Will Montgomery’s move to center, the Redskins signed Chris Chester to play RG. But that is all they did. Kory Lichtensteiger, who at 290, is a bit undersized even for Shanahan’s scheme, was up and down in 2010. Whether he is a 16 game starter to me is still a question mark. And yet the only experienced depth is Artis Hicks. Hicks, 32, is 6’4 and 330 and to me has been a disappointment since coming here from Minnesota. When watching him he doesn’t appear to have the agility and athleticism to run this system and he has been beaten in pass protection like a drum at times at both guard and tackle. From the camp reports Selvish Capers, who was switched from tackle to guard, has struggled. No one has come forward to nominate Erick Cook for a prominent role off the bench as a ready substitute. Willie Smith looks like a practice squad candidate. While the Redskins did pick up OT Sean Locklear to backup the tackle spots, I think we are still short one veteran offensive lineman. Perhaps that player will be found before or after the final cuts?
    5. We are all waiting to see if John Beck is the real article as a starting quarterback in the NFL and to me that is the biggest question mark on the team. If he fails to establish himself, the Redskins would have spent 2 years under Shanahan operating without a quarterback of the present or the future. After the fiasco of 2010 with Donovan McNabb the decision to go with stand pat with Beck and Grossman in 2011 needs to be validated on the field.
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  2. #2
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    Florida State

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    Sounds about right but I would say that Jamaal Brown has looked very solid at the RT position so far. And correct me if I'm wrong but Harris is not even getting much time on the field due to injury, again. The Locklear signing is solid one as well.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  3. #3

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    I agree with what you pointed out. I will also say that in the case of Brown and to a larger extent, McIntosh, you hope that with this being year two in the system for each of them, that it will help make up for any deficiencies displayed from these players a year ago.

    As for the decision to roll with Beck and Grossman in 2011 and not draft a QB yet in two years....that's a positive in the sense that it possibly indicates to me that Shannahan and Allen have time on their side, are committed to building the right way, and are not feeling the heat from Dan.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with all of your indicated positive moves, but I'm having trouble with some of the ones that you consider questionable.

    1) I was as surprised as anyone when we didn't sign Harris. Hell, he signed with the Dream Team for pocket change. What I'm wondering, though, is if Shanahan really just is that good of a judge of talent. When Gabbert, who was in debate as going before Cam Newton, fell to us, I thought that it would've been a faster pick than Orakpo. Nobody expected him to drop to ten, we needed a quarterback, and so we did the completely expected thing and . . . traded down with Jacksonville? We then used that pick to get Jarvis Jenkins, and he's doing anything but disappointing. I think that Brown could get back to form, and that Shanahan knows that this is not a Lombardi year. He could see a tackle in his senior or junior season that he has already planned for. He could know something about Brown that we don't.

    2) I don't think that our corners are lights out, but I don't think that you're being very fair to Kevin Barnes, LaRon Landry, OJ Atogwe, Deangelo Hall, or Dejon Gomes. Quick, what's your last memory of Kevin Barnes? Not getting burnt, rather it was an interception in Week 16 to seal the deal in overtime against a Jacksonville team that was win-or-die for a playoff spot. This secondary is certainly no Green/Bailey/Taylor/Landry, but it's not as big of a concern for me as it is for others.

    3) See 5.

    4) See 5.

    5) See 5. Jokes! Something that has really hurt us is taking the best available at a position right now as opposed to waiting for the best player for your team. Jason Taylor was easily the best defensive end available when Daniels went down along with Buzbee, but he was an awful fit for us. Albert Haynesworth is incredible when he wants to be, but he, too, was a terrible fit for us. Hell, Donovan McNabb plus a ring would be in discussion for Canton, but he, too, was an awful fit, so he was jettisoned. There is no point in acquiring, or keeping, a player in order to fight for 7-9 when you have an eye on a player who can help you get to 13-6 (ending in a victory, of course).

    Honestly, I had thought that Shanahan had lost his mind when he made the McNabb trade. I started to temper that when he benched the guy, thereby admitting fault (ego my ass), to do what was best for the team. It wasn't about the 2010 season; the last half of the season was basically a preseason with many second stringers and newcomers playing, and not just because of injuries. That was, in my eyes, fantastic foresight. The Barnes interception epitomizes that for me.

    The best offseason decision that I've seen since taking Sean Taylor in 2004 was trading the tenth pick in this year's draft. To everyone, Gabbert was an absolute no-brainer. We need a quarterback, so take the best one for this year, right? Absolutely not. The rational thought is, we have a very tough schedule, we're in our second year, I'm replacing half of these guys, I need leaders to replace McNabb/Haynesworth/Portis (and I'm a huge Portis fan, but there were points that he really needed to STFU and practice/play), Beck and Grossman are adequate, and we've got Luck, Barkley, and Jones next year.

    I think that what many people consider inaction is being confused with patience. We haven't seen that in D.C. since Beathard. We're so immersed in the wrong way of doing things that we're almost experiencing Stockholm Syndrome now that things are being done the right way.

    Are they all the right choices? Of course not. However, I'd much rather have a coach and general manager who make the wrong choice the right way than the right choice the wrong way.
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    Sean Michael Taylor: April 1, 1983 - November 27, 2007

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    One of the reasons I thought the Brown move was questionable is the support for him in the free agent market as a left tackle had cooled and to ensure himself of a starting gig he really needed to come back here.

    On that basis I think we overpaid him based on what he has done. He hasn't been a top player since 2008.
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