Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Redskins future has a lot to do with the past

As a diehard, lifelong Redskins fan I should have expected a season like this. Let's be honest, the Skins haven't strung together consecutive playoff appearances since 1991 and 1992. That's 15 years. And in those 15 years they have been to the playoffs twice, advancing to the NFC Divisional game both times. I don't know if you remember my post from preseason, but I made the prediction that this team could either be 12-4 or 13-3, or they could just as easily be 7-9 or 8-8. Unfortunately, my latter prediction came true. But frankly I truly believe this team is not that far away from becoming a playoff contender again. You saw the way they played against the Saints this past Sunday. They dominated a division winner in their own building. And they did it playing Redskins football. The defense was solid, but not spectacular, and the offense controlled the line of scrimmage with a lot of running. As much as people want to anoint Al Saunders a geniue, the bottom line is that every game the Skins have won this season has been through playing the way Gibbs wants to play. The Redskins have three solid running backs for next year (Portis, Betts, and Duckett) and I see no reason why they can't run the ball atleast 35 times a game every game.

Which brings me to Jason Campbell. I have been impressed with him so far. He doesn't make too many mistakes and he throws a nice deep ball, but he isn't a Peyton Manning either. He's not going to single handedly win you a football game in the same way Tom Brady or Donovan McNabb will. But he does remind me of quarterbacks in the past. We all need to remember that Gibbs doesn't need a great quarterback to win a Super Bowl. All three Super Bowl wins came with quarterbacks of the same nature as Campbell. Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, and Mark Rypien were not Hall of Famers. Heck, even in their Super Bowl-winning years they barely made the Pro Bowl. But they all made few mistakes and threw a nice deep ball. That's all the Redskins need to be successful. I see no reason why the Redskins shouldn't win out and finish 7-9.

And if you've been reading anything online, you'll know that Daniel Snyder is apparently ready to splurge on some new free agents. Rumor has it that the Skins have already targeted Nate Clements and Dwight Freeney as potential signees. And for the team's sake I hope this does not happen. As I've said before, I'd like to see the Skins build through the draft. The infusion of young players helps a team. Rather than having a veteran who signed a fat deal, you have a rookie who's willing to put it all on the line because he has to prove himself. I think it's obvious that right now Carlos Rogers is not ready to take on being a No. 1 cornerback in this league, so I believe the Skins need to use their first round pick on something secondary-oriented. Whether that's a CB, safety, or even a D-lineman to create more pressure on the QB, I don't know. But remember this: The Redskins revival under Joe Gibbs didn't start until after Gibbs' first season when they selected a small cornerback out of Texas A&I in the first round. His name was Darrell Green, and he only went down as one of the greatest players of the 1980s-1990s. Who's gonna be the next Darrell Green?

Did you know Jason Campbell's
initials are the same as Jesus Christ's

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