As I mentioned in Wednesday's post, we've teamed up with friends Rick Snider and John Keim, two beat-writers for the Redskins, to bring you better coverage. Rick and I each week will have fun arguing a topic. This week it's the WRs.
Topic: What is your feeling for how the WR depth chart should and will play out (especially in the TE and Z position)?
The Redskins currently have on their roster: 2 starting, receiving TEs in Cooley and Davis, the veteran Santana Moss, red-shirts Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly (entering their 3rd years), the rookie Terrence Austin, old vets Joey Galloway and Bobby Wade, the journeymen and WRs no one's heard of (Marques Hagans, Roydell Williams, Anthony Armstrong, and Derrick Townsel) and backup TEs Dennis Morris, Logan Paulsen, Sean Ryan, and Lee Vickers).
Rick Snider: "My prediction is Joey Galloway starts at least one game this season. Might be week 5 or 6, but obviously Mike Shanahan isn't happy with Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas. Santana Moss is the only one we know who's starting o
pening day. Thomas and Kelly make the roster along with Galloway. That leaves two more who have to play special teams. I'll go with Austin and Hagans right now. In three receiver sets, it's Moss, Thomas and Galloway unless it's near the goal line when Kelly must quickly prove his worth. As for tight ends, Cooley and Davis share the job, but Cooley gets three-fourths of the snaps. Sixth-rounder Morris gets the third job unless he has an awful camp."
Kevin: My prediction is Joey Galloway joins Sherman Lewis in the retirement home bingo hall...before pre-season ends. The upside to Galloway is that he had 6 years of the WCO in Seattle with Holmgren and 5 years of it with Gruden in Tampa. So, it certainly is his wheelhouse, but he struggled mightily in New England last year. It was clear from quotes from both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick that he couldn't learn their system. The same system that made use of Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell. A WR that has injuries problems, was out of the league most of last year, and will be 39 years old I just don't see making it. Training camp and pre-season will tear him up.
As for my starting lineup prediction: Cooley and Fred Davis are too good not to have on the field at all times. Why not have them rotate as the slot guy a la Dallas Clark and also move Santana to the inside at times? Cooley is not the prototypical Wes Welker mold, but he can certainly use his hands and get some yardage in chunks. It's not impossible, but it's a leap to think any of these other players can jump into the top 3. I've pretty much given up on Malcolm. He can always learn and improve, but he's a sports car that only has 4 gears. Some red zones looks for him at best.
As for "Showtime," when I spoke with Devin Thomas last month, he had a long talk with Shanahan who told him he's going to be his guy. Devin has been fully immersed in the playbook and if anyone can make a superstar out of a WR, it's Donovan F. McNabb.
Finally, for my closing arguments, here's the first picture I found from Galloway's time with the Pats. Coming soon to a Redskins Park near you.
Rick Snider: "You punk kids never respect anything. You think anyone over 30 can't be trusted. Oh wait, that was my generation saying that and now I'm staring at 50 a week before training camp. Anyway, don't you have school work or something to do?
My over/under on Galloway's catches is 30 and only because McNabb has a lot of options. I see Moss with 70, Cooley 65, Thomas 47,
Smith Davis 32 and Kelly 21. There's nothing wrong with two tight end sets, and if the receivers don't step up the Redskins will have no other choice, but neither Cooley nor Davis is a great blocker and the right side of the offensive line needs help. That means using Mike Sellers more and a TE less. Overall, a little more balance among the top 5 receptions than past years and few touchdowns. Who do you think will have the most TDs? I say Cooley with 9."
Kevin: I didn't think senility struck humans until their seventies! 30 catches for Galloway?? Does that include practice??? I'm so confident in the under I'll buy you Red Lobster if I lose. Assuming McNabb stays healthy, I think Santana hand-down leads the team with TDs...and tops his Redskins-career high of 7 TDs with 8. He's still got the 5th gear and knows how to get past defenders. Even though I'm a smidge over 30 years old, the punk kid label definitely still applies, and I'm proud of that.
Rick Snider: I haven't eaten at Red Lobster in years because real Southern Marylanders eat at local crab houses, not that prepackaged stuff. But if you want to buy me a meal, you're on. Thirty catches for Galloway means I'm getting their shrimp feast or whatever's most expensive. Less than 30 means you're eating at a crab house down here on me. Oh, and practice catches and preseason ones don't count, but his 5 touchdowns will.