Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A hypothetical Redskins offseason

This is somewhat difficult given the uncertain days we live in, but let's try to walk through a possible Redskins offseason. Of course we don't know whether free agency or the draft will occur first, and is at least possible that the season could be played under 2010 rules, which would mean that 5th and 6th year players are once again stuck as restricted free agents. But let's assume for the time being that free agency happens normally.

Let me clarify that this is not so much a prediction as it is how I would like to see the Redskins approach the offseason. What really happens will look nothing like this. We'll go position by position, and in the title of each section you'll find links to my post season position reviews which go into much more detail about how I evaluate the Redskins talent in each area. At the end of each section I will show how the depth chart for each position will look if the moves I describe occur. Don't try to make this add up to 53 guys as it is not meant to be complete - I'm only including guys we already know or recongizable names who could be added - I'm not going to try to guess every 7th round draft pick and street free agent. Also, we're ignoring special teams here.

Off we go:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The lockout and player-only practices

There’s been some internet and twitter chatter lately about the possibility of players organizing their own offseason training activities during a lockout. Nearest I can tell, our Redskins have no such plans in place as of yet.

I think it would be reasonable to assume that any group workouts or practices would have only a marginal impact on the on-field results once football starts up again. It certainly can’t hurt to have the quarterback and receivers work through some route trees, and at least the base plays could be worked on without the coaches present. But the Redskins are partly hamstrung here by not knowing who their 2011 starting quarterback would be. Joe Theismann famously led his own practices during the ’82 strike. Who is in charge of the offensive side of practices this time around? And you have to remember that since these are not held under team auspices, any injury sustained would be considered “non-football”, and once the league starts up again the team can basically dock your pay until you’re back on the field. So at the minimum these would have to be totally non-contact, and a case could be made that players would be better off simply sticking to workouts.

But team workouts may be most useful as a tactic in the labor dispute, particularly once we start getting close to the point where games are in risk of cancellation. It would work on two levels:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Redskins position review: Special teams

At long last, the final position review as we attempt to recover from the 2010 season. The story thus far:

Defensive line
Defensive backs
Offensive line
Running backs
Tight ends
Wide receivers

I was skeptical of Banks at first. My preference is generally for punt returners who know their job is to gain enough yards to shave one first down off of what the offense needs in order to score. I have little patience for returners who settle for minimal or nonexistent games while trying to break a big return instead of taking the adequate one that is available.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Redskins cut two and tender two

Hot on the heels of the Clinton Portis' departure, the Redskins executed four more noteworthy personell moves yesterday: cutting Andre Carter and Derrick Dockery and offering restricted free agent tenders to Chris Wilson and H.B. Blades (it is not at all clear if these tenders will be applicable under the new CBA, but the fact that they were offered indicates a clear intention on the part of the team to keep them).

Each of these moves tells us something wider about the state of the Redskins, and it is a mix of positive and negative: