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Off-Season Grades


The Commissioner
Aug 1, 2009
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Alma Mater
Florida State
So, we picked up our "Franchise QB" in a trade, got our LT in the 1st round plus a few additions that changed the face of the team. With the later rounds in the draft over the next 2 days, what do you guys think of Shanahan and Allen's first off-season?

I have heard arguments from both sides but I gotta say, this team looks far better than the team we had on the field last year! I would like to have seen some younger players come in, McNabb needs to be extended and we need to pick wisely over the next 2 days, but overall I give the new regime a solid B+.

New competent FO
New competent HC
A Franchise QB for a 2nd rd in 2010 and at most a 3rd in 2011
Older FAs with some upside brought in dirt cheap.
No big splashy overpaid FA moves.
New attitude in Ashburn.
Vinny is gone and Dan is focusing on other things.
And we drafted a LT in round 1.
I agree with Walking Deadman. Plus, I do not see how this FO could have done better. I, like everyone else, would have loved to get younger. However, I do not know how they could have accomplished that with the current NFL climate.
I'm going to have to play the bitterbeer face and go "Incomplete."

The one question mark I still have is when they are going to show they meant what they said about "winning with the big guys up front" when they first came aboard. They've restocked the DL aggressively with NT moves, Carriker, etc.---happy about that.

But the OL remains a question mark. Hicks was a good start, and Tent Williams an absolute THANK YOU move. But I'm a little surprised at a LB in round 4 and no other apparently aggressive OL moves. If the season started today I'd be sweating the OL still.

I have faith they aren't close to done, but as of today I still have that nagging voice in my head saying we haven't plugged the hole yet.
Well we did need the LB (although we need OL, FS more IMO) and he might have been the highest valued pick on their board. It was probably a value pick and not need based.

And yeah, hopefully they are not even close to done.
so do you guys feel the late round, O line guys will be able to contribute ?
I'd give us a B. We took an elite tackle in the first, franchise QB in the second. Not having a third wasn't this office's fault, but still, it hurt not being able to grab one of those guys. I didn't mine going LB with the 4th, but would have much rather have seen us take Eric Norwood. The TE/FB pick makes sense I suppose, though I kind of wish it came later. Really like the Terrence Austin pick as a return guy and slot depth, and think we will get solid contributions out of Cook and Capers.

Most of all, I'm happy at the fact that we remained patient and resisted the urge to trade up at any point, and instead made two moves to trade back to get more picks. Morris, Cook and Capers were all the result of us moving backwards. Add this to the fact that we got maximum value for Campbell in acquiring Oakland's 4th from 2012 instead of settling for a mid to late 5th rounder this year is a clear, refreshing show of restraint and patience that we haven't seen in awhile.
I give it a solid B. I like the idea that it looked like their was a plan in place for this years draft. We needed O-line and a LB. Shanahan also drafted a fullback as a possible replacement for Sellers and we picked up a slot receiver that is probably going to contribute to kickoffs and punt returns a lot.

I still think we have a huge hole at Free Safety. Plus I am not sure we have a starting Right Tackle yet. However, it was nice to see a pattern in need vs what we drafted for the first time in many years.

I don't want to sound negative but I am a little nervous about Williams at Left Tackle, he might be one of those guys that starts at LT but gets moved the RT and we may have to get another LT next year. Then again Shanahan knows lineman a whole lot better than I do... time will tell.
I think Russel may surprise some folks at safety, he's pretty good in coverage, he needs to beef up a bit but he could be a kid that winds up contributing a lot.
I'd say an "A", echoing WD's assessment. And as much as I would have liked another O-lineman in the 4th, if we truly are going 3-4, we needed a linebacker as well

I hope we can still trade for or pickup a RT somewhere
Agreed. Can't really see us heading into camp with the RT depth chart still in such flux ... not unless Hicks or someone else really jumps out between now and then.

Latest from the Park courtesy of G. Fitzgerald ...

The right side of the Redskins’ offensive line was seemingly in a constant state of flux last season.

The Redskins started five different players at right guard and two different players at right tackle as injuries decimated the depth and coaches moved linemen around to fill spots elsewhere.

At the Redskins' first mini-camp in mid-April, offensive line coach Chris Foerster gathered his linemen on the field for the first time.

He said he had Artis Hicks, a free agent pickup last March, working with the first team at right tackle and Mike Williams working with the first team at right guard.

It’s too soon to put any significance into this lineup, though.

At this point of the offseason, Foerster is mixing and matching at the two positions to find the right combination on the right side. Players such as Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chad Rinehart, Edwin Williams and even rookie seventh-round draft pick Selvish Capers could get a look.

Still, it’s an opportunity for both Hicks and Williams to claim starting jobs in 2010.

Elsewhere on the line, Derrick Dockery and Casey Rabach return at left guard and center, respectively.

Heyer lined up at left tackle at mini-camp, but top draft pick Trent Williams is expected to take that spot.

Foerster was asked to evaluate his linemen after the mini-camp....
With the glaring needs on the Offensive line, I feel the chance to take Bruce Campbell in the 4th round was a no brainer. Instead we take a LB who does not even play the position we are likely to ask him to play. I'd like to think Selvish Capers will step up, but Campbell rated much higher and has so much upside with his athleticism.

I stand by the B+ simply because we didn't go after more lineman.
I drafting 3 OL plus the FA pickups was sufficient. With the switch to 3-4, picking up a ILB was not a bad decision at all.

Campbell would've been a reach, and many rank Capers higher.
I drafting 3 OL plus the FA pickups was sufficient. With the switch to 3-4, picking up a ILB was not a bad decision at all.

Campbell would've been a reach, and many rank Capers higher.

I have read some good things about Capers, but ranking him higher than Campbell? I know it was the Raiders who drafted him, but I doubt he would have lasted until the 7th like Capers did. I gotta disagree with this.

And drafting 3, 2 of which were late rounders, doesn't make the cut. Our defense was good last year. It could be great given the right scheme and motivation. Our offensive line was atrocious and we need as much help as we can get. I just hope they address the line more before training camp starts.

As far as picking up an inside LB, well he was a good OLB in college. Does that translate to good ILB in a 3-4 defense in the NFL? I don't know, but I think it is riskier than taking a freak of nature to coach up to his potential on the offensive line like Bruce Campbell. Much less of a risk if you ask me. But hey, like I have said many times before, I am just an internet message board pundit who has little knowledge of scouting football players.
Pat & Tim on Sirius, two guys whose opinions I respect almost more than anyone when it comes to the NFL, were raking Bruce over the coals and saying that was a horrible pick by the Raiders. They loved the Capers pick.

Most analysts say the LB we got translates better as ILB rather than OLB. With London getting up there and McIntosh iffy, this was a position of need.
Not too many late-rounders on the OL were going to help the team this year, or probably even next year. Plus, remember, we have guys on the roster now who are late-rounders and UDFA we're developing who have already stuck around long enough to show the team thinks they're at least worth keeping around. No such guarantee on a late-rounder taken in 2010.

T. Williams is obviously going to play this year, probably be starting if not on opening day not long thereafter. I don't see Capers or anyone else they might have drafted in the 4th or later doing that, not even B. Campbell had they gotten him. Campbell would almost certainly IMO have been a guy who disappeared deep into the depth chart, maybe just made the practice squad. Very much a project. Doubt we would have seen him in a game for at least a couple of years. How many OL slots do we have for guys like that that aren't already occupied by people the team has deemed worthy of keeping around?

Meaning ... the Redskins aren't done for this season. They're going to continue to look hard at the guys who are here, the rest of the FA's out there, and then very carefully at cut-downs as training camps start to wind down. The starting five of T. Williams, Dockery, Rabach, M. Williams and Hicks, if it's going to change between now and opening day, would not have been crashed by B. Campbell or any other late-rounder this year. If someone else is going to steal a starting spot (or even 2nd string), it will either be by someone they took to develop earlier, or brought in in FA so far this year, or will pick up veteran-style from some other team between now and late August.

Bottom line, with so few picks to use in 2010 I'm not sure using the 4th, even 5th, on an OL simply for bringing in more OL would have been the way to go. They opted instead to take guys they hope can help on special teams this year, and maybe compete for some playing time, at LB, FB and WR/kick returner.

Were they right? We won't start to know the answer to that until at earliest preseason when we get to see how much progress the young pups on the OL (Rinehardt, Robinson, Oldenburg, Lichtensteiger, Fainika, etc.) have made.
I think the Skins should bring in Tony Washington. I know he brings in a little baggage, but we have all done regretable things. If he does not work out, cut him. He could be a steal.
So far the Redskins deserve an A-.

The team started the offseason lacking legitimate NFL talent at the two most important positions on offense, quarterback and left tackle.

Shanahan acquired BOTH without having to trade the #4 overall selection for Bradford.

The Redskins finished the last couple of years with a top 10 statistical defense and folks complained about the offense and the protection.

Well, isn't that what Shanahan has addressed in the major moves made so far? :)

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