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Redskins Roundtable

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Indebted to Dillweed of Post Game Heroes [ED NOTE: Their post is up here] for taking the iniative on the initial Redskins Roundtable, currently involving just a small smattering of questions between myself, Dillweed, and Ben of the Curly R [ED Note: His post is up here] (who also revealed his Blogger Deathsport picks; he's actually good). Questions w/ answers from Ben and Dillweed posted below, make sure you check their sites periodically throughout the day for my responses to their questions. Enjoy:

1.  What do you consider our biggest strength going into the regular season?

Dillweed: I agree with Will, it's the linebackers.  Our running backs are good…not great, and the defensive line seems to be average at best.  It's hard to say Corners are our strength when the D-line (and blitzes) aren't getting to the quarterback.  With LaRon Landry back our safety position looks a lot stronger, but I have a huge concern at Strong Safety.  We just need to
find a guy that can occasionally cover while primarily being a weapon in
the box, and I don't think we've found that guy just yet.  On offense, our
passing game is unknown to us…we'll find out a lot more about it this
Thursday.

Ben: It has got to be the defense, despite some changes in personnel, Phillip Daniels out and Jason Taylor in, and some injuries, safety LaRon Landry's hamstring, linebacker Marcus Washington's hip and cornerback Shawn Springs bruised calf, this unit has managed the proverbial continuity Joe Gibbs was hoping for at the end of his second term in Washington.  They get started a little dinged with linebacker Rocky McIntosh and cornerback Carlos Rogers coming back from inury in addition to those mentioned above, this unit should get better as the season wears on.

2.  What about the team makes you want to resort to alcohol abuse to
help numb the pain?

Dillweed: Reed Doughty.  It's really not all his fault either…we have been
absolutely spoiled with Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry.  Doughty's mistakes
in the run and passing game have been amplified this preseason because of those two guys.  I still haven't adjusted to the fact that teams will
throw deep on us.  I mean just a year ago that was something you couldn't
do…ask Brett Favre.  If we had a defensive line that could apply pressure
then I wouldn't be so worried about having a weak link in coverage at
SS…but we don't.  And even if Doughty improves in his run defense, which I
think he will in a hurry, what does that leave us with…Adam Archueleta?

Ben: The FUD factor, fear, uncertainty and disarray.  Fear of weak offensive line play and nagging injuries, uncertainty in the strength of Jason Campbell's coming 2008 performance, disarray if the team gets off to a weak start or a large part of the team is simply not working right.

3.  Which NFC East team worries you the most?  How do you think we
will fare against our division foes?

Dillweed: With Sean Taylor, I never feared T.O.  I looked forward to playing him and seeing him get shut down almost every game.  But now…Dallas kinda scares me.  Giants are very physical but as long as Elijah is their QB I'm not too worried about them.  And the Eagles refuse to just open up the check book to hire ONE FREAKIN WR.  I'm so glad I'm not an Eagles fan.  It's one thing to just absolutely suck, but to have an obvious, and easily curable,
weakness never taken care of year after year…that's gotta make you
suicidal.  I think we split with the Giants, Eagles…and hopefully Dallas
too.

Ben: The Eagles, always the Eagles, they are the Redskins principal division rival now, I expect the Redskins will split with the Giants and Cowboys, depending whether the Eagles progress back toward the team they have been for most of the past decade or regress toward the end of the Andy Reid slash Donovan McNabb era, remember how surprising it felt to beat them in game two last season in Philadelphia and how unsurprising it felt to lose to them in Washington seven game later?  The Redskins are looking at best at 3-3 in the division, a more realistic assessment may be 2-4.

4.  What will our regular season record be?  How far do we make it
into the post-season (if at all)?

Dillweed: 9-7…Our running game and defense are the same…schematic wise at least, and I like the continuity on those fronts.  I think the passing game won't hurt us during the home games, JC seems to play a lot better at home. However, the away games are where JC will be tested and probably fail early on.  I think we go 6-2 at home and manage to pull out 3 wins on the
road.  If we make it to the playoffs, we might get one win, but I'd be
surprised (and really freakin happy) to see us go past that.

Ben: My walk through the schedule has the Redskins somewhere between 4-12 and 10-6, depending on whether this team comes together and stays together, or not.  If the Redskins finish 10-6 that should be good for a wild card playoff berth, maybe not, the NFC could be more competitive than the past two years, ie fewer 8-8 teams vying for playoff spots.

I'd like to expand this feature to either include more questions and/or more bloggers in the future, though give me some feedback for now on whether this is goodness or badness. It's greatness for me since Ben and Dillweed know more about the 'Skins than I do.