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Just like any business meeting, let's talk about what we want accomplished out of training camp. I've listed my 5 major concerns, and unfortunately, I don't see them getting answered. Let me know if there's more Kool-Aid around because my can of mix is dry and clumpy.
Defensive Line depth: With starting NT, Ma'ake Kemoeatu, still nursing that achilles, it's imperative a new starting-caliber NT emerges in camp. Howard Green proved to be valuable last year for the Jets, but he's listed at 320 lbs, a noticeable drop-off in size from Ma'ake. So many DLinemen are simply old or didn't play last year, and add in the fact they're learning a new scheme and never played together...it's a big leap of faith to say the DL will perform well over the schedule. Carriker backing up Daniels is legit, but Golston behind Haynesworth (?) is iffy and of course the NT position.
Offensive Line Depth: Let's face it...if McNabb gets hurt, we'll all be spiking our Kool-Aid. So, what are the odds McNabb plays all 16-games? I put it at less than 50-50. McNabb had one of the better OL's in football his time in Philly while the Redskins are coming off a fresh overhaul from last year's disaster. We have to expect Trent Williams to make some mistakes given all the Pro-Bowlers' he'll be facing, so that means some clean shots on McNabb.
Rabach will be 33 in September, Artis Hicks 32, and Dockery 30. Not over the top ages, but it's the drop-off in depth that will hinder this team again. If there's one injury the Redskins must avoid, it's the OL (and thus the QB). We've seen Heyer, Montgomery, Rinehart, and Edwin Williams in action. I'll be trading my burgundy and gold colored sunglasses for a blind-fold if they have to ever start.
Backup Quarterback: Rex Grossman vs Colt Brennan. Based on the OL analysis above, does it really matter who wins this battle? If McNabb gets injured, it's pretty safe to say I won't be rushing to fold up my tailgate and get into the game each home game. In the single game Rex played last year, he had a QB rating of 5.6. Based on what I saw out of camp from Colt last year and the few number of reps he's gotten in minicamps this summer, he's a long-shot to make this team.
#3 Wide Receiver: With Randle El out, who will take the slot? Tana and Thomas
Moss are the 1-2 (I worry about depth there, but not worth going there)...so who's the slot? Galloway? Bobby Wade? Mike Furrey? All disastrous. The good news is Mike Shanahan calls for WRs and RBs to learn every position on the field, so there will be a lot of disguises and 2 TE sets. Either way, I don't see anyone who can claim that spot.
Special Teams Returner: Who is it going to be? The Redskins had an open tryout at the end of last year and no one shined, including Devin Thomas. The Redskins used late round draft picks and undrafted free agents to find a gem with Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks, but they are really small, untested guys. There's no guarantees either of these players will even make the squad, which leaves big question marks. I guess anyone is better than Randle El, well, until they fumble kick-offs. At least RockCartwright never turned the ball over.
The Football Outsiders are predicting such an implosion from old age, in which case Dan Snyder will again get all the blame for trying to build a winning team by bringing in old, star veterans and failing miserably. It's a vicious cycle I'm longing to fricking ending. The Snyder bashing is getting as old and tired as Brett Favre news. Please, for the love of God...stay healthy, Redskins.
At least for once we don't have to debate about who the Kicker will be. Throw an ice cube in my empty glass...that's a start.
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