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Redskins Least Talented Roster Since 1994


The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md
The Redskins have hit bottom. That much seems clear from a quick run up and down the roster. The ravages brought on by continual upheaval of coaches, systems, and personnel has netted a team that is bereft of starting caliber players at a critical number of positions and few younger players who have the demonstrable talent to be considered core players to build around.

In looking back the last time I saw an offseason start off with this type of challenge was back in 1994 after Richie Petitbon had been fired and Norv Turner came in the door at Redskins Park and inherited an aging team whose draft choices in recent years including Bobby Wilson, Desmond Howard, Tom Carter, etc. had largely failed to pan out. Norv and Casserly helped the process along in 1994 with Heath Shuler and again in 1996 with Andre Johnson.

Here in 2010 there is a Brian Orakpo. There is a Laron Landry. There is a Trent Williams and a Chris Cooley.

But it is difficult to find more than 8-10 players that you really wouldn’t want to see the team move, guys that you really believe in for the future. The slice and dice job done by the front office, owner, and past coaches has been that devastating.

This team needs to not only get younger, but faster and stronger as well. No one discussing the Redskins today talks about the team’s athleticism.

I know it’s not going to happen but in looking over the roster I conceivably point to 30-35 guys that could stand to be replaced. Everyone from the long snapper to the kicker to the quarterbacks to the entire defensive line.

What sort of compromise should we settle for?

A transition where goal number one is to get younger and more athletic. In some cases it may mean going with a middle or late round pick from 2011 for the upcoming season at a particular spot rather than a mediocre veteran whom Father Time is racing to tap on the shoulder.

Who should be gone?

1. McNabb (34) and Haynesworth (30). Obvious. Didn’t really want to discuss them, but someone would have noticed their not being on the list if I excluded mention of them.
2. Casey Rabach (33). I can’t think of a center in the NFC that would not be an upgrade on Rabach right now. He’s old and slow and lacks the size for today’s game inside. Centers that go 285 or so haven’t been around the NFC East in a long time.
3. Phillip Daniels (37) and Vonnie Holliday (35). Nice guys, good work ethic, solid locker room presence. But these guys are done. A 6-10 team needs 22 and 23 year old players that are learning and growing into roles for the future, not a stroll down memory lane with players whose prime was back in the Clinton Administration.
4. Artis Hicks (32). Hicks was a miss. I thought coming from Minnesota where he was a part-time starter the past 3-4 years, he would be a good 1-2 year bridge at OG or even OT. But he didn’t produce any push up front and was a revolving door in pass protection.
5. Maake Kemoeatu (32). Kemoeatu used to be a solid DT in Baltimore several years ago, but he now has a shoulder that needs surgery to go along with the Achilles injury he suffered in 2009. The Achilles can be a career ender by itself, just ask Jon Jansen, who never fully recovered from it either.
6. Clinton Portis (30). This one like McNabb and Haynesworth is obvious. He bought into the Shanahan program but Mike showed up 3 years and $20M too late to catch Portis when he still had the ability to run from scrimmage.
7. Mike Sellers (36). I don’t see anything special here. Sellers catches some balls in the flat for decent yardage as a change of pace, just like a handful of other secondary backs/fullbacks in the league. His blocking in short yardage is average and his play on special teams is colored too much by yellow for my liking.
8. Graham Gano (25). He’s only 25. But while you can’t teach youth, you also can’t teach clutch. Some guys like Vinatieri or Akers in their prime have it and others don’t. Gano doesn’t miss because he doesn’t have the leg, Gano misses because he can’t focus and block out the distractions. I have seen teams keep similarly talented kickers for several years before giving up in frustration with their inconsistency.
9. We don’t really have a punter, we need one.
10. We don’t really have a dependable long-snapper, we need one.
11. Rocky McIntosh (28). McIntosh is not a great fit for this defense. At 234 he is small for the ILB position in the 3-4. At 28 and with a history of knee problems, I am not signing him to a new contract for bigger dollars.
12. Andre Carter (31). Andre said he was gone when the season ended. He’s correct, the current staff doesn’t employ a scheme that maximizes his talent and he will do better elsewhere.
13. Reed Doughty (28). He’s not young, he’s not athletic and he can’t play a 'rover’ position covering as the backup for both SS and FS no matter what Jim Haslett thinks.
14. Roydell Williams (30). Roydell was done in the NFL 3 years ago.
15. Stephon Heyer (27). Heyer played in the NFL for 4 years. Amazing that a guy with his lack of technique and balance could last that long in a competitive league. A testament to him perhaps, but also to the failure of the Redskins on draft day to remedy the situation on the OL.
16. John Beck (30). Now that the novelty has worn off and the Shanahans have had a chance to 'look under the hood’ so to speak on a guy Mike evidently wanted to draft 4 years ago, we can be serious about Beck. Beck is 30 years old and hasn’t started an NFL game since his rookie season. He was traded for a defensive back in Doug Dutch that Baltimore used to fill a spot while their other corners were rehabbing from injuries in camp. He doesn’t have good NFL size and he doesn’t have a good NFL arm. Does anyone think he will be a better prospect at 31 or 32? The ship has sailed on this one.
I have no problem with your list. The only questions are, who's out the door first, who can be average for a couple of years until we can replace them when do we get started?
BT, I agree with your assessment, but how do you propose we make the wholesale changes? Per usual, we do not have the full complement of draft picks, so unless you are advocating cutting the above listed players and go with undrafted rookie free agents, I'm not sure how to fill the created holes. I can see free agency being used some, but if you are intent on a true youth movement, free agency should be limited.

The problem with this line of thinking in general, as I have said before, is that Shanahan would have to admit last year was a mistake, at least tacitly. I just do not see that happening. I think if he had come in initially and razed everything to the ground, fans and Danny would have gone along with it. But trading for McNabb and hanging on to the older players indicates a very different direction.

As a side note, i notice you did not mention Moss. Thoughts on him?
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I am not so sure this roster is less talented than the roster Joe Gibbs inherited. Steve Spurrier, Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder did a wonderful job of taking a somewhat talented team and put together a disaster! Unfortunately, the talent Gibbs brought in was older and didn't last long. Then we had Zorn, Cerrato and Snyder do it again. I would say we are in much the same position we were in for Gibbs II's 2nd year. The difference is we do not run a scheme that would cater to the talent we do have on D. 4-3 defense this year and I say we would have won 2 maybe 3 more games!

You're mostly right on Gano, but I strongly believe after watching the kid in college while I was at FSU he has the clucth in him. One more year. I have seen him make clutch kicks at the collegiate level. Can he transfer that to the NFL? I don't know. I can't say anything about Viniatieri, but Akers bounced around a while before he found his nerve. Give Gano one more year.

As for the rest, absolutely! Dump them all. They say this is the biggest FA class in a long time...well let's do what we do best! Sign players. There are at least 3 interior offensive lineman who were in the Pro Bowl this year who are free agents! Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards or if he decide to void his contract Larry Fitgerald! Then go out and sign some 2nd tier players! Draft to fit the 3-4 scheme. Just whatever we do, if we sign free agents, sign younger players!
After a while, this kind of pissin' and moanin' piece just becomes white noise.

Heard it ALL 1,000,000 times or more. Some times, like this one, are just better written than others.
I agree with your list, but I would like the Redskins to seriously consider keeping Daniels on in a mentor-coach type role. I have a few additions, also:

17. Santana Moss (31) - doesn't burn like he used to, and his drops have made more impact than his actual play has the past couple seasons. True he had his best yardage totals since 2005, however he only averaged 12 yards a catch, & only scored 6 times. A 31 year-old (32 when the season starts), 5'9 possession receiver this team does NOT need.

18. Phillip Buchanon (30) - never was an effective cover corner in this league, which is why the Redskins are his 5th different team in 9 years of playing in the NFL. With age, he has gotten worse, not better. He had 2 picks this season, but I for one much more remember plays like letting Andre Johnson waltz into the endzone instead of double-teaming him (Doughty got all the flack for this, but he should have never been single-covered in that situation), or running off his receiver to go for an ill-advised sack on Bradford against the Rams, and Bradford threw the easy TD to the now wide-open WR. He needs to get gone - fast.

19. Derrick Dockery (30) - we let him get away in his prime, where he wasted away in Buffalo for a couple seasons. We got him back and he hasn't been the same player he was in 2005, when he helped Portis to 1500+ yards. To top it all off, he's a mauler at this point in his career, not athletic enough for the ZBS.

That pretty much covers all the gray-beards; get rid of that group and I'd be surprised if the Redskins weren't the youngest roster in the NFL.
I propose risking a 4-12 type season to clear the decks and replace these players.

But honestly I don't think a focus on the draft, increasing our stock of picks with a trade or two, and signing 4-5 solid free agents that fit the 3-4 scheme and ZBS on offense will net us only a 4-12 record.

I think we will be better than that.

Let's face it, some of the guys on this list didn't do much of ANYTHING in 2010.

Haynesworth and Portis were no-shows for the most part.

Kemoeatu and Daniels were hurt much of the season and showed their age.

Gano had the worst FG percentage in the NFC.

The punters were awful.

Roydell Williams and Artis Hicks at this point are marginal players at best. Undrafted free agents may be better roster additions as depth players.

Others like McIntosh and Rogers, you really have to question giving these guys a big contract. They are solid performers for the most part, but they don't rise to the next level of being 'impact' players who change games.

At age 28/29, I think it's time to move on from these guys. We have seen enough of the movie.

Ditto for the 36 year old Sellers. He is a reckless player. And by that I mean he doesn't focus and show discipline at critical times. He is a bit of a knucklehead.

I remember a couple of years ago he got an unsportsmanlike penalty for taking a shot at a guy in a pile that really cost the Redskins on a drive in the fourth quarter of a winnable game. Where was his mind?

Last year his penalties on special teams were noticed.
I propose risking a 4-12 type season to clear the decks and replace these players.

I think a lot of people would agree with you. What is irksome (to me and others - I'm looking at you Henry) is why didn't we do this last year, where now we'd be a year further along in the process?
Listening to the Super Bowl postgame show one theme was repeated over and over. All the Packers kept talking about the character of the locker room. Several said there is no room for "me" players here. They all talked about how they all liked each other and did things together during the week.

I wondered how many "me" players we still have. How many guys are just here for the pay check? Haynesworth is probably most talented guy, but he is too much of a "me" player. Time we develop the high character locker room like in the 80's.
Listening to the Super Bowl postgame show one theme was repeated over and over. All the Packers kept talking about the character of the locker room. Several said there is no room for "me" players here. They all talked about how they all liked each other and did things together during the week.
When you win, it's all flowers and candy.

Had they lost, the questions about "PhotoGate", and it's effect on the locker room, would be a hot topic. Whether it was truly divisive and disruptive, or not.

I doubt any locker is completely trouble free, and character DOES matter. Other than the obvious Haynesworth Drama-rama, I think we've got a pretty good locker. What we lack, is more talent.
Besides Haynesworth and the other issue of lack of talent, you can also look at the quarterbacks.

Aaron Rodgers is running the offense he was asked to run. Mike McCarthy calls the plays and Rodgers executes the game plan.

Here in 2010 you had a 33 year old prima donna quarterback in McNabb that thought he knew better than the coaches and wanted to adapt the offense and plays to suit his own preferences.

You can't have slow-mo, 'look at me' type players like this on your team and expect to win.

Grossman is abysmal at times, but over 3-4 games was there any real difference between him and McNabb?


And THAT tells you what you need to know about how selfish McNabb is and how important it is for the Redskins to move him off the roster and head in a new direction.

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