The safety position, which I had at least thought would be an area of strength at the start of the season, is even more of an area of concern. Atogwe and Landry could not stay healthy, and even when they were healthy, did not play at the level most of us were expecting. As far as the primary reserves are concerned , Doughty is…well…I’ll just say is nothing more than a reserve whose play is Ok against the run, and leaves a lot to be desired against the pass. Gomes played pretty well as a rookie when forced into action, but questions still remain if he is a starting caliber safety in this league.
So what should the redskins do this offseason? Make dramatic changes via free agency and the draft? Make some minor changes? Can we go with the same group of guys next year?
My thoughts are as follows:
For the CB position, I’m not sure we can make many major changes going into the next season. I think the Redskins will try to use their first three picks (assuming there are no trade up/downs) in the draft on the offensive side of the football, and I think we will end going into next season with Hall and Wilson as the starters. I would like to see the Redskins go after a CB in the 4th round who could come in and play nickel. I don’t think Barnes can be an effective corner in this league, but I do think he could play safety, and I would not mind seeing the redskins move him there to replace Doughty. I think we may have to end bringing in a tier II FA (i.e. Lowery or Hayden) as well, and let him battle it out with Thompson and Westbrook.
The safety position is a little more complicated and also a bit more of a concern. Do we resign Landry? Do we bring back OJ? I know it’s a role of the dice- and his health is a huge concern, but I would prefer to bring back Landry. I think when healthy he is a very good strong safety. As far as OJ is concerned, while I understand he too had nagging injuries throughout the year, I would be tempted to let him go. I just was not impressed with his leadership or play this year (Ironically I think Shanny is going to do the exact opposite and let Landry walk and keep OJ). We should draft another safety with our second pick in the 4th round (I might even use that 3rd round pick if the right guy is on the board). I’d like to see Barnes, Gomes, and the rookie battle it out for the FS position.