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Sept. 6, 2005

Redskins season preview

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
Last year, the 'Skins had everything.

A veteran quarterback. A gifted, all-pro running back. A sub 4.3-40 receiver and a big possession receiver on the other side. They had a great linebacking corps and a defensive secondary that had a shutdown corner and a rookie safety that opposing wide receivers were already scared of. But most of all, they had Joe Gibbs.

He was the savior. The Man. Those three trophies in the case everyone saw? All his. Fans went crazy. Snyder, for once, had pulled off the perfect offseason.

Then the poo hit the fan.

Last year's record: 6-10.

The three biggest question marks going into the season: quarterback, wide receivers and defense.

Quarterback:

The biggest concern going into the season has to be the Redskins' lack of a great signal caller. Clinton Portis will carry the offense, but even he can only do so much. The Redskins will rely on Patrick Ramsey, at least in the beginning, but with Mark Brunell having a great preseason and Jason Campbell being groomed as the quarterback of the future, Ramsey can't be all that confident.

Patrick Ramsey

The opening day starter finally has the confidence of his coaching staff (if not the fans) behind him. Personally, I'm of the opinion that he will keep his job through the season. Ramsey has a cannon for an arm and amazing toughness, especially in terms of standing in the pocket and taking the hit while delivering the ball. But that can also be his most overwhelming weakness. The fact is that Ramsey is slow. I've seen statues move faster. Watching Ramsey try to elude the rusher is like watching a turtle try to outrun a cheetah; it just ain't happening. Nonetheless, if the 'Skins give Ramsey time, he will produce.

Mark Brunell

So what if he had a good preseason? I had to suffer through nine games' worth of agony last year because of this man. He completed less than 50% of his passes and ended up with a 63.9 quarterback rating. He has much better mobility than Ramsey (who doesn't?) and has had, I admit, an extraordinary preseason. If Ramsey gets as much of a leash as Brunell had last year, Brunell won't so much as sniff the field.

Jason Campbell

In my mind, he is the illegitimate and unwanted child of the 2005 draft. I still don't know why he's on the team. Ugh…

Wide Receivers:

The lack of a true possession receiver on the roster seems to be a deficiency, but these wide receivers have the speed and quickness to make opposing defenses pay for their mistakes.

Santana Moss

The knock on Moss has been the same as with just about any other marquee wide receiver nowadays. He takes plays off, he has a bad attitude and he doesn't play up to his potential. The bottom line is that Moss can flat-out burn people. The trade with the Jets might be the quintessential good trade in which both teams get better. Both Moss and Laveraneus Coles were disgruntled, but now, with a change of scenery, both could have career years. Moss has dynamic playmaking ability and has the talent to turn five-yard hitch routes into 60-yard romps to the endzone. In an anemic passing attack, he will be the central player. As he goes, so goes the passing game.

David Patten

The erstwhile Patriot deep threat migrates south to bolster the Redskins receiving core. He may only be 5'10", but he has no qualms about going over the middle and is great at finding holes in the coverage to get free. Ramsey showed good chemistry with him during the preseason as he was the go-to receiver on third-and-long.

All the rest

This is not disparaging in any regard, but, quite frankly, the rest of the receivers will basically be cogs in the machine. Taylor Jacobs, James Thrash and Antonio Brown are all situational receivers. Jacobs will be there for intermediate routes as he offers good hands and average speed. Thrash will be the closest thing the Redskins have to a possession receiver and will be used in short-yardage and goaline situations. And Brown, who is also the team's punt returner, has crazy speed, even when compared to Portis or Moss. He will be the team's deep threat on third-and-long.

Defense:

With all of the turmoil in the offseason surrounding Sean Taylor and the contract grievance with LaVar Arrington, as well as the departure of Fred Smoot and Antonio Pierce, the defense should still perform at a high level. Gregg Williams will keep plugging in people into his innovative defensive schemes and with most of the defense already having a year under their belt, there should be more opportunities for players to make big plays.

Predicted record: 9-7



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  • robb (View Email) on September 7, 2005 at 4:59 PM
    im a skins fan and hope they do well this season but there aint no way theyre gonna have a winning record. check out theyre last few years in the league
  • the man on September 7, 2005 at 8:31 PM
    well be okay i predict 9 and 7 as well good reporting. I wouldnt call it a "perfect offseason" from Dan Snyder with the release of Fred Smoot and Antonio pierce. I would say our defense will dominate and our running game will be strong as well.
  • mike (View Email) on September 7, 2005 at 10:47 PM
    excellent use of the word "poo."
  • Steve on September 8, 2005 at 3:37 PM
    No matter what the season holds, No matter how many games we lose, No matter how many pics that Patrick Ramsey WILL throw the fact still remains the same...The Redskins will allways have the support of D.C, Maryland and Virginia!!!! Hail To the Redskins!
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