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What If Sports: NFCE Preview


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Daniel Snyder must have a deal with a hell of a plastic surgeon because the Redskins have endured quite a facelift this offseason. When you think of the new cast members at camp this summer, Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, and Jim Haslet, it's hard not to get excited thinking of the potential this team has in 2010. To be fair there are a number of issues (cough Albert cough Haynesworth) that need to be addressed before this team can move forward, but Snyder has once again dipped into his wallet to bring big names to D.C. Now all they have to do is win big ball games in the toughest division in the NFL.


Most Significant Newcomer: Donovan McNabb, QB - I could be cute and say the 3-4 defense, but let's be honest as McNabb and his rapidly aging body goes, so go the Redskins. The offensive line just got a boost with the addition of Jammal Brown via trade. Right tackle Artis Hicks may slide over to guard to make room for him. Those two plus first round draft pick Trent Williams will be in charge of a keeping McNabb's jersey clean as Shanahan rebuilds his O-line. McNabb has a few wide-out weapons to choose from in Santana Moss, up and comer Devin Thomas and tight ends Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. McNabb is a quarterback that gets it, but has only had to within one system. We shall see how quickly he adapts to his new digs and new teammates.

Biggest Strength: Passing Game - That is if McNabb stays healthy and considering his track record it's a big IF. The Redskins have the receiving corps that can make plays and the former Philly has the arm to create those opportunities. If the improved offensive line can keep their quarterback upright (Jason Campbell sacked 43 times in 2009) then the chances are the passing game reaps the benefits (and not just in the fourth quarter, desperate for a comeback mode). The backfield will also play a role as they will be called on to change the pace of the game. Keeping defenses honest with workhorses Portis and Johnson should do the trick. Willie Parker needs to find the "Fast" that abandoned him in Pittsburgh.

Most Exploitable Weakness: 3-4 Defense - The 2009 Redskins ranked 10th in total defense in 2009. Not bad considering the Redskins' horrendous 4-12 record. But Shanahan and Haslet's defensive philosophy to move to a 3-4 is causing quite a stir especially with the $100-million mountain Albert Haynesworth. He says he'll show up to camp this month. Actions vs words: you decide. This team seemed to thrive within the 4-3 scheme and will have deal with the mental breakdowns of learning new assignments throughout 2010. Imagine going to school for print journalism and then one day the bosses say "Hey, you are now a broadcast journalist." An adjustment on your part will need to be made while, again, the best division in football tries to run you over. We will learn in the first few weeks which players adapt the quickest to their new found roles in the 3-4.

Possible Fantasy Sleeper: Fred Davis, TE - This may be a V-8 duh moment, but Chris Cooley is back this season. Davis filled in the second half of the season for his fellow tight end following a broken ankle. The former USC Maxwell Award winner scored 5 touchdowns after Cooley's injury and averaged over 10 yards a reception for the season. McNabb has been known to fall in love with his tight ends especially inside the redzone. If you want to wait to take a tight end late in your draft, I think Davis would be a wise back-up, just in case he and Cooley become a TE by committee. Closest Game: Week 17 vs Giants (Avg. Score 18-17 - Redskins)

Fantasy Notables: Donovan McNabb (11th) 4008 yds, 23 TDs, 11 INTs; Clinton Portis (23rd) 966 rush yds, 8 TDs (total); Santana Moss (28th) 952 rec. yds, 5 TDs; Chris Cooley (11th) 714 rec. yds, 4 TDs; Graham Grano (12th) 29-33 FGs, 29 XPs

Very good article. Have us tied with the Gnats for last in the division.

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Pardon me...

But did I just read "Biggest Strength: Passing Game?"

That did just happen, right?

It is called 'What If' Sports..

Perhaps it should be called 'Best Case Scenario' Sports.. ;)

I like the positive attitude of the article.

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one thing I can't wait for is Kolb hitting a brick wall when teams have a book on him. I wonder what the "analysts" will say after a few weeks into the season about Kolb. Biggest hype since new coke

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I agree that the Giants are fading.

The offensive line that dominated in 2007 is aging and Brandon Jacobs/Ahmad Bradshaw don't scare anyone anymore on the ground.

Eli Manning I think has shown that he caught fire in 2007 and played the postseason of his life, but is in all likelihood NOT going to repeat that performance.

He is not his brother.

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one thing I can't wait for is Kolb hitting a brick wall when teams have a book on him. I wonder what the "analysts" will say after a few weeks into the season about Kolb. Biggest hype since new coke

I'm waiting this as well. There will be alot of story-lines in week 1. I'm kinda glad that we have a night game so i can get a looksy around the league. (JC with the Raiders, Kolb's play...etc).....:munchout:

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