Washington is starving for some good football after the Redskins have underachieved over the past few years. Owner Dan Snyder hopes he has done enough this offseason to propel his team into the NFL elite.
After rumors swirled that the Redskins were trying to acquire quarterback Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell will try to refocus and show Washington that he is a more than capable leader and quarterback. Campbell needs to open up his game if he wants to improve and be more aggressive with his passes. Clinton Portis will be returning in the backfield and although he is a bit slower than he once was, he still can be a big threat to opposing teams and keeps pressure off Campbell. Veteran Santana Moss will return as Campbell’s main weapon and he can be a big time play-maker and be very dangerous. Antwaan Randle El will play mostly in the slot and he has shown to be a solid go-to option for this offense. The rest of the receiving core consists of 2nd year players, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. If both can stay healthy this season, they should see a lot of playing time and Thomas could develop into a prime time receiver for the Skins.
Chris Cooley provides Campbell with another great weapon at the tight end position. Cooley has proven to be one of the top tight ends in the league and should once again have a great season. Washington brings in Derrick Dockery this season at the guard position and hope he continue to be a good run-stopper like he has been overall in his career. Randy Thomas will be the other guard and hopes to regain form after fighting with injuries throughout his career. Also fighting injuries is left tackle Chris Samuels who will be returning this year for Washington. Stephon Hoyer will be at right tackle and he has shown signs of improving over the past 3 years. At center, Casey Robach will return and bring along his average play.
The Redskins biggest acquisition this offseason was undoubtedly, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth provides an immediate upgrade for the line and makes the whole defense better. Cornelius Griffin will also be playing defensive tackle and will benefit playing next to Haynesworth. The defensive ends consist of Andre Carter, who can be a great pass-rusher, and the combination of Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels who will provide effective play and are good at stopping the run. Washington drafted defensive end Brian Orakpo and will eventually turn him into a starter and most likely will do so this season if the Redskins decide to put him in a strongside linebacker role. The linebackers also include London Fletcher in the middle and Rocky McIntosh on the weak side.
The Redskin’s secondary could be very dangerous this season and will strike fear into opposing offenses. DeAngelo Hall was brought back at cornerback and he will play opposite of Carlos Rogers. Fred Smoot will provide back-up duties. LaRon Landry has big-play potential and he will line up at free safety. The strong safety spot will belong to Chris Horton who is still learning but has shown signs of being a great player.
The Redskins have a fairly decent squad this season but compete in the very tough NFC East. Don’t expect them to compete for a division title but they may have a shot at the Wild Card if everyone can stay healthy.
2009 Season Prediction: 9-7, 4th NFC East