I'm done with Law School year uno, so here I am, back, returning to regular treatment in this space. All apologies (but for serious, I was busy) for my absence.
The loooooong offseason drags on. And on. And on. Content is light today, which I hadn't anticipated seeing as how I've been gone since the middle of last week. But really there isn't much of interest happening. Perhaps that's best; no news means no one has a hurt hamstring.
As Redskins 360 notes, ESPN finally got their act together and released their first top-to-bottom NFL ranking of the season. I find these exercises especially useless as predictors, though don't formulate that opinion on reliance of data I'm unwilling to sort out. I just happen to think preseason rankings are, by necessity, overwhelmingly speculative. Of course since I don't actually do any real reporting, speculation is really all we have here at Hogs Haven, so don't interpret my skepticism on the product as reluctance to speculate. Speculate away you crazies.
Here's what ESPN says about Your Washington Redskins (not placed in blockquotes, because I can't figure out how to put it in blockquotes without engulfing the entire post; I'm not a wise man):
|14 (10)||Redskins||9-7-0||Too many questions: a new coach, young QB and a pair of rookie WRs. Hard to get a good read. (MM)|
That's 14th now, 10th at the end of last year's 9-7 season, and can't say I disagree with the uncertainty conclusion reached by the following responsible gentlemen:
• Mike Sando on the AFC East and NFC West
• James Walker on the AFC North and NFC North
• Pat Yasinskas on the AFC South and NFC South
• Bill Williamson on the AFC West
• Matt Mosley on the NFC East
Our voters, who also include staff writer John Clayton and Scouts Inc. Insiders Jeremy Green and Keith Kidd, had diverse takes on what offseason moves mean to various teams.
The Redskins are especially difficult to measure in the 2008 season since we have a Head Coach with no proven background in that position. As Redskins 360 pointed out, the highest ranking the Redskins had was 10th, meaning the consensus view was that the Redskins are, at best, no better off now as a result of Head Coach Jim Zorn than they were before. I don't think that's unusual -- you don't simply follow a Hall of Fame Coach with no coaching resume expecting red carpet treatment -- but there are plenty of reasons to remain confident that it ain't true.
For example, Jim Zorn didn't inherit the same team Coach Gibbs left. Notably he inherited that team plus a whole bunch of draft picks, and depending on their contribution to this team we could be a lot better off now than we were in 2007. (Profundity warning: We also could be a lot worse off. That's deep analysis, for sure. Consider yourselves blessed.)
The real eye opener is that we're last in the NFC East. That's hardly surprising when it comes to the World Champion Giants (I just puked in my mouf a little bit) and the many, many win Cowboys, but the Eagles? It was close, but I wonder about that result. And I also wonder what you wonder about that result, as there's a poll added, as much to test that feature as it is to vet the opinion of all seven of you.
Rank the Redskins in the NFC East in 2008
Division winnah! (55 votes)
2nd (and playoffs, because it's the NFC East) (79 votes)
3rd (and playoffs... because it's the NFC) (54 votes)
Dead last (23 votes)
211 total votes