If you saw the Washington Redskins play a very hot Chargers team today in San Diego, you might have come away with the impression that the Skins can compete with 3/4 of the teams in the league. After all, they moved the ball when they had to, and had a solid scoring percentage when in the red zone. Were it not for a Derrick Dockery false start, they probably would have won today. Of course, they played much of the game against San Diego’s second string. Still, the Chargers are a deep team. Their second string is better than some teams’ first strings. I probably shouldn’t dwell on that fact, as it might cause me to say something unkind about our Skins.
So, the Redskins gave it the old college try, Jason Campbell played well, and Jim Zorn went out with dignity. Now we hear that Joe Bugel may once again retire. Bet it’s for good this time, even if he is still dying his hair.
The Washington Examiner reports that Charlie Casserly stated on TV that Mike Shanahan has already started picking his staff. I could be wrong, but I don’t think he’ll retain any of the Redskins’ current coaches. For a few, that may be more a matter of choice than a matter of fate. I’d lump Danny Smith and Jerry Gray into that category, if I was a betting man. Oh wait, I am – I like to play blackjack.
With Shanahan at the helm, expect competition at every position. Further expect the Redskins to draft Sam Bradford. I don’t have a crystal ball, but let’s face it, Shanahan is used to working with QBs who are stellar enough to be the face of the franchise. He’ll swap running backs on and off the roster like they come a dime a dozen. He’ll ensure the offensive line is stout, and he’ll continue what the Redskins have already started – deploying speed on defense. Of course, he won’t do all this by himself.
George Allen will do some housekeeping. It’s likely that a couple of veterans who can still play at a high level will be given their walking papers. That’s what happened at Tampa Bay on Allen’s watch. He seems to like younger players, even if they’re still developing.
Allen and Shanahan have a pretty decent set-up. There are a number of very talented players on the Redskins’ squad just waiting for the system to allow them to showboat their skills. Like Al Davis used to preach, they want to ‘Just Win Baby’. (I have no idea what he preaches now, though I suspect it’s “I’ll take Speed and Size Over Talent baby.”) The Redskins could easily improve to .500 next season. That depends in large part on how much of their core is ripped out and tossed aside. After next season, with a decent 2010 and 2011 draft, the sky’s the limit. There truly is nowhere to go but up.
Two final thoughts … 1) I’d like to wish Jason Campbell and Jim Zorn both a happy new year. I think they deserve it. 2) There’s no truth to the rumor that the Redskins are going to consider signing T.O. during the offseason. (Oh wait, I just started that rumor.)
As they say in Vegas, thanks for playing y’all. The season may be over, but there will be a lot of Redskins news to discuss. RedskinsGuy and I will be here. Hopefully you will be too.
Hail to the Redskins!