• The D.C. Stands For Draft Choices

    The numbers are frankly kind of ugly. Seven head coaches and 3 playoff appearances in a dozen seasons. Six losing campaigns in the last 9 years, including 3 consecutive last-places finishes. And a combined regular-season win-loss record of 86-106 since 1999.

    Statistics like those above are usually reserved for other franchises, not for the once-proud Washington Redskins. This is the same organization that has been to 5 Super Bowls and won 3 of them, guided by Hall of Fame head coaches like George Allen and Joe Gibbs.

    Such are the way of things for this team under its current regime. But the great thing about this current NFL is that things have a way of reversing themselves. And in some ways, maybe this current lockout will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the ‘Skins.

    Under Daniel Snyder, this organization is traditionally the busiest during free agency and has made a living out of bringing in name free agents and paying them big money. As evidenced by the numbers, too often this philosophy has not worked. In fact, over the last decade or so, two of the least-busiest off-seasons for this club were in 2005 and ’07, both playoff years and both under Hall of Famer Gibbs.

    But perhaps there’s a change of philosophy on the horizon after all. Last week, the Redskins led all teams by selecting 12 players, the most by the franchise since 1985 when the draft was actually 12 rounds. In fact, the number equaled Washington’s combined total of the 2009 and’10 drafts. And just how much has this organization not relied on April’s traditional proceedings as of late? Under Snyder (who didn’t own the team in April of 1999), no team in the league selected fewer players than the ‘Skins from 2000-10 (69) and that included the Houston Texans, who didn’t enter the NFL until 2002.

    Washington addressed early every area of the team last week, splitting its dozen choices equally between offense and defense. But Mike Shanahan and company used their first 2 picks to address the league’s next-to-last ranked defense and are hoping LB Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) and DE Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson) can bolster a team that struggled to pressure the passer (29 sacks) and consistently force turnovers (10 in the last 9 games). Offensively, Shanahan and his braintrust added 3wide receivers and a pair of running backs to an attack that lacked punch last season

    In an NFC East that really lacked a superior team last season, the Redskins are as capable of anyone of pulling off a worst to first. Remember than a year ago, the team was 4-3 and had wins over the playoff-bound Eagles and Bears and eventual Super Bowl champion Packers before the roof caved in. Of course, there is that little matter regarding a quarterback and it will be interesting to see which direction the team goes in.
    In any case, youth may finally be served in the nation’s capital. For the sake of Redskins’ fans, they are certainly hoping so.

    Comments 14 Comments
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      It would be good for the league if the Redskins behaved like grown ups and ran their team accordingly, if for no other reason than the NFL insists on promoting them with primetime games despite how terrible they've been for the last decade. If you're going to force me to watch them, they might as well be decent.

      That said--and I do find the hyping of quarterbacks in this league to be a bit overwrought sometimes, but I'm going to surrender and do it anyway--you have Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, and John Beck on this roster. I just don't see worst to first. There may have been no dominant team in this division, but the unspectacular Giants have been steady at .500 and the Cowboys bring back Romo and have shored up the offensive line. I'm not sure I expect Mike Vick to resume spectacular play in Philadelphia, but either he or Kevin Kolb will still have a lot of weapons and a solid defense. I agree there aren't great teams in the NFC East, but there aren't any bad teams and you need that, I think, to pull this kind of turnaround.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      You knew there was a new sheriff in town when the Skins traded down. It takes stability to trade down. Coaches worried about their jobs never trade for future picks because they may not get to use them. Redskins OL needed the most work in my opinion. Donovan McNabb may not have been great, but he saved that OL many times last year.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris Collinsworth View Post
      You knew there was a new sheriff in town when the Skins traded down. It takes stability to trade down. Coaches worried about their jobs never trade for future picks because they may not get to use them. Redskins OL needed the most work in my opinion. Donovan McNabb may not have been great, but he saved that OL many times last year.
      This makes a lot of sense, and I think the line is a logical first place to build. Personally, I wasn't very impressed with the incoming class of quarterbacks, so I think it was smart to go for strength and protection first this year. I'm still not sure how this offense will score points, though, without much at the quarterback position and without real playmakers. The defense has a few interesting young players and could keep them in games, but 5-11/6-10 sounds right to me.
    1. bluestree's Avatar
      Long as we're pickin' on the Skins, ripped this from PFT;

      “Being in Washington, they don’t care about football. I didn’t feel good from day one there. They weren’t about football. They were about partying. . . . You appreciate Pittsburgh a little bit more after going somewhere else,” Parker said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh Tuesday.

      Fast Willie on the lack of commitment in DC.
    1. Raven's Avatar
      There is still time for Daniel Snyder to screw it up. Only time will tell if Snyder has learned his lesson.
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Raven View Post
      There is still time for Daniel Snyder to screw it up. Only time will tell if Snyder has learned his lesson.
      It was interesting that while there were only a handful of street free agents to sign with teams just before the shutdown (TE Jeremy Shockey to Panthers, DT Shaun Rogers to Saints), the Redskins did ink former Rams' S O.J. Atogwe to a five-year contract.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Danny the Destroyer is planning his next ill-advised move. The Shana-rat is getting into position to block.

      This will be an epic collision of toolboxes.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      Washington has a long way to go still. Teams win on the offensive and defensive lines. Redskins need help with both and got some. Detroit would be the team that scared me. Loved their pick of Fairley. They physically whipped the Packers last year without him.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris Collinsworth View Post
      You knew there was a new sheriff in town when the Skins traded down. It takes stability to trade down. Coaches worried about their jobs never trade for future picks because they may not get to use them. Redskins OL needed the most work in my opinion. Donovan McNabb may not have been great, but he saved that OL many times last year.
      While Donovan McNabb is not an elite QB anymore and his skill are deteriorating, he is still a smart and capable starting QB. Give Donovan a good starting OL and the Skins should be competitive for a playoff spot. A decent OL makes all of the difference in the world. It wasn't long ago that Aaron Rodgers wasn't impressing people because he was falling flat on his face due to a poor OL. Green Bay addressed that and now Rodgers is thought of as one of the best QBs in the NFL. No QB can make up for a poor OL.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
      While Donovan McNabb is not an elite QB anymore and his skill are deteriorating, he is still a smart and capable starting QB. Give Donovan a good starting OL and the Skins should be competitive for a playoff spot. A decent OL makes all of the difference in the world. It wasn't long ago that Aaron Rodgers wasn't impressing people because he was falling flat on his face due to a poor OL. Green Bay addressed that and now Rodgers is thought of as one of the best QBs in the NFL. No QB can make up for a poor OL.
      I think this is an oversimplification of what happened with Aaron Rodgers. I don't know anyone who didn't think Aaron Rodgers looked pretty good even in the midst of his 50-sack 2009 campaign, and his development as a second-year starter was far from finished. He really broke through last year, but in 2009 he threw 30 TDs to 7 picks, 8.2 YPA and 277 YPG. McNabb's numbers aren't anywhere near there, and it's not just a matter of his ability or his line (both of which aren't near Rodgers's or Green Bay's line), but the playmakers surrounding him. There's just not enough there in Washington for them to contend. They'll get the hype because of the division they play in, but this team won't be as good as the Detroit Lions or the Cleveland Browns this year. Calling it now.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Interestingly, it's not just that the 'Skins drafted 12 players.

      It's also that they entered the draft with 8 picks.

      They did a Belichick. Here's hoping some of the mid and low round picks have talent.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Cris Collinsworth View Post
      Washington has a long way to go still. Teams win on the offensive and defensive lines. Redskins need help with both and got some. Detroit would be the team that scared me. Loved their pick of Fairley. They physically whipped the Packers last year without him.
      Here here Cris. This is where the Redskins have problems. Gone are the days of the Hogs on the offensive line and Dave Butz, Charles Mann and Dexter Manley on the defensive front. Those great Redskins teams were great up front on both sides of the ball. Shanahan has shown over a large body of work that he knows what he is doing and has a plan. It will take some time, there is much work to be done. Will Snyder have the patience?
    1. Russell S Baxter's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lapham View Post
      Here here Cris. This is where the Redskins have problems. Gone are the days of the Hogs on the offensive line and Dave Butz, Charles Mann and Dexter Manley on the defensive front. Those great Redskins teams were great up front on both sides of the ball. Shanahan has shown over a large body of work that he knows what he is doing and has a plan. It will take some time, there is much work to be done. Will Snyder have the patience?
      Shanahan and company used 3 of their 6 picks in 2010 on the offensive line, including first-round pick T Trent Williams and a pair of 7th-rounders in C Eric Cook and T Selvish Capers. But the latter 2 never saw the field. He also added G Maurice Hart in the 7th round llast week. He has to hope at least one of these late-round picks can pay dividends...
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Yeah; The Redskins are a dumpster fire. As a guy who likes Shanahan, I'd like to see them do well and hope that its gettin' worse before it gets better. However, I think there were some shady dealings with McNabb last with Shanny and his son. Things should get better for them though; I want better competition in the NFC East is why I say that.
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