2009 Washington Redskins Season Preview
2009 Washington Redskins preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC East once again houses 4 phenominal teams all capable at making a run through the playoffs. We will likely see teams over and undervalued off one good or bad performance. As NFL picks handicappers we can keep you on the undervalued and off the overvalued teams.
2009 Washington Redskins Predictions
By Adam Barone
Redskin’s owner Daniel Snyder’s hiring of the experience-less Jim Zorn first seemed like craziness, then after a few games it seemed like genius, and then it went back to craziness. The ‘Skins got off to a 6-2 start, and running back Clinton Portis looked like Walter Payton. Quarterback Jason Campbell looked like he knew what he was doing. You know where this is going. A handful of embarrassments in the second half of the season led to the ridiculous offseason signing of all-pro monster defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. They gave Haynesworth a seven year $100 million contract—in a bad economy. Ben Stein would be appalled.
The Skins tried really hard to replace Campbell in the off season, but failed. No Jay Cutler, no Mark Sanchez. Campbell did lead Washington to road upsets of division rivals Dallas and Philadelphia, but had just five touchdowns and eight interceptions after week five. He was a first round pick for some reason. He’ll need to figure out what that reason was and tell the Redskins some time before the 2009 season, or he’ll be holding a clipboard somewhere very soon.
Clinton Portis ran like Forest Gump for a while, with seven touchdowns and four 100 yard games in the first seven weeks. Yes, it is possible to be Forest Gump and Walter Payton at the same time. Portis must have stopped eating his Wheaties after that, because he only had two more 100 yard games and didn’t find the end zone again until week 16. He’s not 30 yet, but Ladell Betts may start taking some of his carries, and there’s not much sign of the passing game loosening things up for him.
The receivers…are a problem. Santana Moss has a ton of talent, and, keeping with the theme, had three 100 yard games and four touchdowns through week eight. The rest of the way he posted zero and one. Yikes. Antwaan Randle El didn’t even break 50 yards in the second half. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, both drafted before last season, will need to step up after posting three and 15 receptions respectively—for the entire season. Tight end Chris Cooley (83 catches in ’08) is still awesome, but only reached pay dirt once last season.
The offensive line is old, though the loss of 36-year-old Pete Kendall makes them younger. He’ll be replaced by 28-year-old Derrick Dockery. Left tackle Chris Samuels is 32 but still a Pro Bowler, while Randy Thomas, Jon Jansen, and Casey Rabach are all at least 32.
Defensively the only thing that matters is Haynesworth. With the contract he’d better tackle everyone and get 25 interceptions and return them all for touchdowns. Rookie Brian Orakpo from Texas will join him, along with tackle Cornelius Griffin and end Andre Carter in chasing opposing quarterbacks. Orakpo was the best d-lineman in the nation last year, and will probably replace Phillip Daniels in the starting lineup.
Don’t ask about the linebackers. London Fletcher is good, but old, and H.B. Blades might start…
The secondary looks pretty good on paper. Carlos Rogers and DeAngelo Hall are now the starting cornerbacks in front of safeties LaRon Landry (a former first rounder) and 2008 7th round pick Chris Horton. Horton stepped up to make 76 tackles with three picks, while Landry has something to prove after tallying just 65 and two.
Kicker Shaun Suisham was the least accurate in the league last season, and will need to improve. Antwaan Randle El may lose his job returning punts, while Rock Cartwright looks to be a keeper returning kickoffs.
Jim Zorn better believe in magic, and probably have Mickey Mouse and a couple of wizards follow him around if he hopes to steer this sinking ship to safety. Sinking ships are hard to steer. They’re sinking. Jason Campbell is clearly just not very good, and neither are the receivers he’s throwing to. If the magic from the first half of 2008 is either gone, or was only a mirage to begin with, Daniel Snyder might have to just buy a different team.