I have spent more than just a little time thinking about and analyzing the redskins performance this year. The central question that my inner deliberations have revolved around is very simple- “What’s wrong with them?” Last night, during the nationally televised game vs. Dallas, Chris Collinsworth, seemed to lay the lion’s share of the blame at Jason Campbell’s feet, with a little side of blame for Coach Jim Zorn. So many Campbell haters! Over the course of this season I have consumed massive amounts of media pertaining to the Redskins’ woes. With season ending injuries to Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, the running game has been terrible. Although, in all fairness, Portis and Betts were not able to get anything done before their respective injuries and it can be argued that Washington’s running game actually improved after they made their way to the tunnel. Speaking of injuries, what happened? Is Washington cursed or something?!?! Almost everybody who is a somebody in Washington has spent some time on the sidelines with an injury this season. We have guys from off the practice squad playing at key positions, and with so many demoralizing losses even the twelfth man is listed as “Questionable” for this weekend.
What is his injury? A broken heart and stooped shoulders.
The offensive line is terrible. It was even terrible before being decimated by injuries, but now they have reached all new levels of crappiness as third and fourth string guys are called upon to fill in. The porous and weak offensive line made Campbell look worse than he is. He was constantly, and almost instantly, rushed on every snap. By allowing Campbell little or no time they kept our admittedly mediocre receiving corps from posing any sort of deep threat, and the receivers were forced to run short routes underneath or snag little screen passes just to be relevant. The O-line also didn’t allow our ground attack any holes or running lanes. What successes Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther were able to wrest from opposing defenses is entirely to their credit and they should be recognized for playing with heart. Fred Davis, filling in for an injured Chris Cooley at TE, was a happy surprise. I would like him to see an expanded role in the future. The only other bright spot from this season was the defense, which played extremely well. I think it can be argued that Washington has the best defense overall in the NFC East. They would be better too if they weren’t constantly on the field. For example, during our last game against the Giants, during the first quarter the time of possession was almost fourteen minutes to one in favor of New York. Our defense is really, really good, but the offense needs to give them a break every once a while. I don’t know what to make of Zorn and the play calling fiasco that was foisted upon the organization by Vinny Cerrato. The same Vinny Cerrato who has since been fired. Then, of course, there is the owner, Dan Snyder. I’m not sure how much to blame him. Oh, the Redskins’ problems are myriad!
But here is my final analysis in bullet point-
THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE FOR 2010:
Priority #1- BEEF UP THE OFFENSIVE LINE! The entire offense of any football team is predicated on a strong offensive line- pass protection, maintaining a pocket, running lanes. You can’t win without a strong o-line.
Priority #2- Fire Jim Zorn. His head must roll for this farce of a season. Shanahan? Greg Williams?
Priority #3- Go out and get some big, tall receivers- the kind you can just lob it to in the back of the end-zone and they come down with it.
THINGS THE ORGANIZATION SHOULD NOT DO:
#1- Don’t fire Jason Campbell. Fix the offensive line and he’ll perform better. I’ve decided I believe in him.
#2- I hate to say it, but it’s time to give Portis his release. It’s time to invest in some younger legs. I love the man dearly, but we can’t afford to keep him around.
#3- Don’t become so focused on fixing the offense that the defensive side of the ball is neglected. I’m happy being a defense-first club. Coach Blache has done a great job, and things should be maintained on that side of the ball.