Some of you may remember my appearance on Comcast Sportsnet's Post Game Live after the Oakland Raiders game. I held my own against Chick Hernandez, but I got grilled by Brian Mitchell. Tonight (for those who have not yet heard), I will be appearing on the taping of Burgundy and Gold Magazine opposite none other than Brian Mitchell. I seriously doubt he remembers me, but I want to be as prepared as possible for the discussion so as to avoid getting my hat handed to me by B-Mitch.
The host, Mike Richman, sent me some questions to begin thinking about as we have been going back and forth this week on the draft and the offseason. I'll offer a quick take of my own, but I want to hear from you guys on your takes so I represent Hogs Haven properly.
Mike Richman: With the Redskins in dire need of strengthening their O-line, should they have drafted Maryland OT Bruce Campbell in the 4th round instead of LB Perry Riley?
Ken: In short, yes. I was all about that idea and I became more and more excited about the prospect of him falling to us as the beginning of the 4th round approached. Had they called his name when we picked, I would have had to change my shorts....
I had already envisioned the Mel Kiper orgasm that would have ensued as he proclaimed Bruce Allen to be the "Savior" of the great offensive line tradition in D.C. Bruce Campbell was absolutely worth a 4th round pick and even as a project would have factored in our offensive line sooner rather than later. At the end of the day, we had other needs and next to zero picks to fill them, so I suppose I can't bemoan the pick too much. It will help a lot if Perry Riley can come in and be a strong contributor right away. I should also note I really worked myself up with the notion that we could trade Jason Campbell for Bruce Campbell straight-up. Once I realized that we were going to do no better than a 4th-rounder for JC, I thought, "Hmm...Bruce is a 4th rounder...starting QB for a project Tackle...Oakland has to do it right?" The 2012 draft can not get here soon enough.
MR: Should the Redskins try to trade Chris Cooley now that Fred Davis looks like a possible star in the NFL? How high a draft pick could they get for Cooley?
Ken: I have floated the idea of Chris Cooley's trade value in recent months but let me be very clear when I say WE SHOULD NOT TRADE COOLEY. Despite the success Davis enjoyed after Cooley's injury last season, I want both of them on this roster. Thanks to Cooley missing action, Davis had a chance to grow and develop and it was exactly what we needed. You know who excels at getting the ball to the tight end? Donovan McNabb. You know who is exceptional at reading a coverage and picking the right guy to get the ball too in the red zone? Donovan McNabb. I expect Davis and Cooley to give defensive coordinators fits in the red zone (finally.) Assuming we have a legitimate red zone receiving threat on the outside, we should have matchup advantages all day with Davis and Cooley both on the field. This is officially a strength for this team. You know who excels at maximizing strengths? Mike Shanahan. As for what kind of a draft pick we could get, I would have said a lot higher before players like Santonio Holmes, Leon Washington and Jason Campbell were traded for pretty low draft picks. Maybe a 3rd rounder is the best we could hope for...but I would keep him.
MR: Did the Redskins give up too soon on Jason Campbell?
Ken: Well, if by giving up on him you mean not letting him call his own audibles (from a selection of more than 1 audible) and not opening up the playbook then it would seem they gave up on him years ago. That is not really fair I know since things have done nothing but change around him year after year and the offensive line has seemed to specialize in escorting 300-pounders to the pocket. As for his exit this offseason, it was time. Campbell needed this fresh start. I can honestly say I was more than prepared to enter 2010 with JC as our starter. We had more than enough other areas that needed to be addressed. But one thing I have said over and over is that when you bring in these veteran coaches, they almost always gun for a veteran quarterback to run things for them on the field. So I will say it was less about giving up on Campbell and more about Shanahan needing an older, more seasoned signal-caller. Perhaps these are semantics, but in an offseason where "Hope and Change" are the key themes, Campbell was swept out with the old, and replaced with the...uhhh...old.
MR: What do you think of the acquisition of DT Adam Carriker? Will we see a lot of him at nose tackle in the 3-4 alignment or will Albert Haynesworth get the bulk of the work?
Ken: I see Adam Carriker as more of an end in the 3-4. And I loved the acquisition by the way. It seemed to be a situation where we gave up next to nothing for a guy that the incoming defensive coordinator knows well and wanted. What I will be most interested in is how Haslett rotates his personnel depending on the situation. Carriker has the size to move inside and out along the defensive line, but he will have to prove what he can be trusted to handle in the preseason. I think the team will be in a far better position if Fat Albert and Ma'ake can man the NT spot in most situations, but if Carriker is capable of moving inside in certain situations to allow Haynesworth to move out and wreck shop than I will be very happy.
MR: Who will be the Redskins' lead running back this season? Is it possible they could retain Clinton Portis, Willie Parker and Larry Johnson to form a "three-headed monster?"
Ken: They are already a "three-headed monster", right? The question is whether they will be a monster to our team or to opposing teams. I am optimistic that all three will contribute to wins this year. If we know anything about Shanahan, it's that he cares as much about the feelings and sensitivities of running backs as a baby cares about the cleanliness of a diaper. As for your question, I give Portis the edge right now to hit Week 1 as our lead guy. If he is 100% healthy, I think he is better than the other two, but we know that as he gets dinged, he will lose that edge. Each of these three men needs to check their ego at the door and take advantage of their opportunity to work hard, earn a living and advance the goals of the team. I'll go out on the limb that not everyone wants to join me on: they will do exactly that.
MR: Donovan McNabb has had a history of being injury prone. How many games will he start for the Redskins this season?
Ken: As many of my faithful Hogs Haven readers know, there is no shortage of Kool-Aid in the Meringolo fridge. I'll say he starts 15 games--because they sit him in Week 17 to rest him for the playoffs! As for your obvious follow-up questions, "No I am not on any medications" and "No I was not dropped excessively as a baby...that I know about."