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What to expect of the offense in '09?

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Old 03-28-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
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What to expect of the offense in '09?

It's the billion dollar question, the elephant in the room. Our defense was solid last year and I think no matter what, whether we draft a LB or grab a stopgap in FA between now and OTAs, it will be a competitive to dominant unit in '09. Understandably our focus has been sort of limited to defense w/ the additions of big Al and re-signing Hall.

But as that excitement abates it's like now I keep remembering the anemic, bottom of the league offense that frustrated the living hell out of us for eight straight weeks last season. How much will we improve by opening day? What is left to add (or subtract) to produce a competitive offense? I'm curious to hear what the gurus, the self-made analysts, have to say about:

1) the possibility/probability our WR corp makes a leap in a single season (predicting no change in the group btw)

2) whether our o-line can become a respectable unit between now and opening day

3) whether you all think Zorn can create a game-plan that maximizes our talent on offense and turns "touches" into touchdowns
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
It's the billion dollar question, the elephant in the room. Our defense was solid last year and I think no matter what, whether we draft a LB or grab a stopgap in FA between now and OTAs, it will be a competitive to dominant unit in '09. Understandably our focus has been sort of limited to defense w/ the additions of big Al and re-signing Hall.

But as that excitement abates it's like now I keep remembering the anemic, bottom of the league offense that frustrated the living hell out of us for eight straight weeks last season. How much will we improve by opening day? What is left to add (or subtract) to produce a competitive offense? I'm curious to hear what the gurus, the self-made analysts, have to say about:
Quote:
1) the possibility/probability our WR corp makes a leap in a single season (predicting no change in the group btw)
Devin Thomas is working with Santana in Miami- this could only help. If he emerges as a legit #2 WR, he could take some pressure off of Moss. As for Kelly, he was looking better than Thomas in training camp last year, let's just hope he gets healthy.
Quote:
2) whether our o-line can become a respectable unit between now and opening day
Again, injuries are a concern here. I think these guys are a respectable unit when healthy. Bringing Dock back will help with the lines chemistry. With the addition of a good young tackle, I think we're ok.
Quote:
3) whether you all think Zorn can create a game-plan that maximizes our talent on offense and turns "touches" into touchdowns
This is my biggest question. The play calling last year was often stale and predictable. I have to believe that with the off season, Z and his staff will have made adjustments and open it up a little more. This year they should be able to run the majority of the playbook instead of just a section. But if I see no hurry up or 2 min drills this season, I will lose it.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

Meh, the only thing i like to see be better is our young recivers, but honestly im not expecting much from our offense
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

1) A leap? If improving to the point of actually making contributions to help the team qualifies as a leap, yes.
2) Yes. How long it can stay that way has a lot to do with injuries and whether we resign Kendall or not, just in case. I think a couple of the younger guys, Rinehart, maybe Clark or Gysienger, will be put more in a position to progress. Plus I think we will get some help in the draft.
3) Yes. He's had plenty of time to see where things went wrong and will adapt. Davis should also help us in the redzone this year, I think he's ready. Kelly also could make a huge difference.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Goat View Post
It's the billion dollar question, the elephant in the room. Our defense was solid last year and I think no matter what, whether we draft a LB or grab a stopgap in FA between now and OTAs, it will be a competitive to dominant unit in '09. Understandably our focus has been sort of limited to defense w/ the additions of big Al and re-signing Hall.

But as that excitement abates it's like now I keep remembering the anemic, bottom of the league offense that frustrated the living hell out of us for eight straight weeks last season. How much will we improve by opening day? What is left to add (or subtract) to produce a competitive offense? I'm curious to hear what the gurus, the self-made analysts, have to say about:

1) the possibility/probability our WR corp makes a leap in a single season (predicting no change in the group btw)

2) whether our o-line can become a respectable unit between now and opening day

3) whether you all think Zorn can create a game-plan that maximizes our talent on offense and turns "touches" into touchdowns
The main expectation I have is how JC improves in the WCO. This will be his 2nd second year and I'm hoping he becomes a decent QB. If he does not progress, we might finish 4th again, so this is a make or break year. This will also put expectations on Zorn to call better plays and take more shots downfield, and if he doesn't improve on either they're both gone after the season.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

I'm a self-made (or, at least, a self-proclaimed) analyst, and I'm glad you asked those questions. Here's what I think:

1) I see no reason why our WR position would not be stronger this season.

For starters, I like Devin Thomas. You throw him the ball and he catches it. That seems simple enough, but some other 1st round picks such as Braylon Edwards and our own 50/50 weren't able to do it. When he was drafted, we knew he was raw and that it would take him some time to produce. Now, he has a season under his belt and he has been working with Santana Moss in the off-season, so he couldn't help but be better.

By all accounts from last season, Malcolm Kelly was more impressive than Thomas in practice until his knees betrayed him. He was a great college player, so IMO, if he's healthy, I think he'll make a meaningful contribution.

Santana Moss will do a fine job, as usual, but I don't expect much from ARE. Thrash is done.

2) Our O-Line will be fine from the start of the season until the mid-point. From then on, they'll wear down and the offense will become less effective. We desperately need an infusion of talented young players on the O-Line.

3) To me, Jim Zorn is unproven as a game planner, a play caller, and a head coach. I think this season is his last chance to prove that he can be the HC in Washington because proven coaches like Cowher, Shanahan, and possibly Holmgren will be available next season. If the Skins should miss the playoffs, Dan Snyder won't be able to resist hiring one of them.

To answer your question, I saw very little creativity and absolutely no willingness to take a calculated risk in Zorn's offense last season, so no I don't think he'll get the job done.

4) The question you didn't ask. I also don't think Jason Campbell wil be our QB after this season. I won't bore you with my reasons because it's just the usual stuff. I think that the OL woes have simply masked his deficiencies.

Nevertheless, I'll cheer for the Redskins, including Zorn and Campbell, and hope that I'm proven to be wrong.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

JC has a 3600-3700 yd season, with 19 TDs, 10 INTs, and a 61% completion percentage. He also gets a 7.0 YPA and is sacked 35 times.
I believe Thomas will be productive, but inconsistent. Kelly lights it up... for half a season.
I think the O-line will be adequate, even with Heyer as the starter.

I doubt Zorn will make a huge jump in making adjustments, but he'll improve enough.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:13 PM   #8
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

All of the above posts are spot-on. I remember Portis basically calling-out his O-line, and how JC was not able to look for anybody open down field because he was constantly running for his life.

This team needs to focus heavily on up-grading at the O-line position. Without a dominant O-line, this team will never realize its potential.

This team has plenty of talent and youth at the skill positions. In year two for our 2 new joins at recceiver, and our second threat at tight end (Davis), we should all fully expect better returns. BUT, for those returns to be realized, we need to have WAY better play from our O-line.

Scoring touchdowns in the redzone also needs to improve.

And, no post from me would be complete without a shameless plug to GIVE BIG MIKE THE DAMN BALL!!!
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

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Originally Posted by 4mrusmc View Post
And, no post from me would be complete without a shameless plug to GIVE BIG MIKE THE DAMN BALL!!!
I second that. Dat Boy needs more touches.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:30 PM   #10
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

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1) the possibility/probability our WR corp makes a leap in a single season (predicting no change in the group btw)
I'm not expecting too much of an improvement from Thomas. If Kelly can be healthy, I suppose he might make a difference, but I really think that Cerratto painted himself into a corner by drafting 3 receivers so close together. He should have drafted Davis and one of the other two and then kept Mix another year to see if he developed and then they could have been justified in drafting another WR or going after one in FA, although after Houshmanilli, the pickings were pretty slim. Now our whole season hangs on a bad knee and a bad attitude.

Quote:
2) whether our o-line can become a respectable unit between now and opening day
I've never thought our offensive line was not respectable. They were much better last year, to me, than they were the year before with Fabini and Wade/Heyer on the right side. That line was poor. Last year's line run blocked pretty well although they did taper off at the end. I think you could make a case that the lack of a passing game allowed defenses to be more agressive in keying on Portis rather than a big drop off in execution as to why they dropped off late.

In terms of pass protection, I just think that people have the bar set too high in their minds. Defenses today are totally focused on pressuring the QB (except for ours, I guess). No QB is going to be clean the whole game. The onus is on the skill players to a)maximise the situations where there is solid protection, and b)minimize the damage when things inevitably go awry. That's all the current successful QB's in a nutshell to me. If you're waiting for an O-Line that will do what the 1991 O-Line did, you'll be waiting the rest of your life. That was a 100 year performance. Our line is at worst middle of the pack. Age is a concern, but when I see people talk about the O-Line as though they were 32nd in every category, I have to scratch my head.

Quote:
3) whether you all think Zorn can create a game-plan that maximizes our talent on offense and turns "touches" into touchdowns
I 'm sure he can. I think he needs to be more agressive early in the game. Too many times last year they would have three three and outs with all vanilla playcalling before he ever got to the plays that had any chance of success. There's no rule that says you have to save all the good stuff for the 4th quarter. You need to have 60 minutes of good stuff. Sometimes it helps your team's attitude to just come out on the first play with a reverse or some other gadget to keep it loose and get the blood flowing. Maybe just give Jason the green light to take a deep shot right out of the box.

I think that he needs to stop calling what I would call "crutch plays" for Jason. (A crutch play would be one that he knows there won't be a mental error on because it's really basic and they've run it a 1,000 times i.e. that slant to Moss that was less and less sucessful as the season wore on) Zorn cannot allow caution to become fear in his mind as a play caller. Caution is good. I saw more and more fear as the season went on.

Lastly, we need Jason Campbell to take on a little bit of a schoolyard bully mentality. Did you ever play sports in like 4th grade with a kid who was bigger than all the other kids, but who still took great joy in dominating every sport? Who didn't think his exploits were in any way cheapened by the fact that his opponents were so much smaller and weaker? Wasn't that kid a dick? That's what you need from your QB.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:37 PM   #11
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

What is there to expect????? Our Offense will be a little better, but not much. I say instead of avg. 16 ppg we will avg. 19ppg! Same story good Rushing Attack and Boring passing attack, we didn't change any personal so it won't get that much better!
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:40 PM   #12
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

Not much, maybe 3 more points a game.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:41 PM   #13
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Arrow Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

1. If all of our recievers are healthy; we will be in good shape there.

2. I think getting Doc back will boost our line. They should be very solid come opening day.

3. Zorn can if he mixes it up. Get all of our threats involved in the game. Assuming everyone is healthy we have; Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, Chris Cooley, Mike Sellers, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Antwaan Randle El, and a solid offensive line.
Zorn can't be as predictable as he was last season. Mix it up and our offense will be tough to defend.
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:34 AM   #14
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

1) I predict good health for Kelly, and that he makes a moderate impact this year. I don't think anyone is unseating Randle El as the No. 2 just yet. I think Fred Davis will handle whatever role we ask of him with great success, but his ultimate success or failure here is based heavily on his usage pattern. I don't see much more for Thomas than another 12-15 catches this year.

2) Really, this depends on how we address C and T in the draft and the months leading up to training camp. As is, we are simply an injury prone group that is thinner than it needs to be.

3) No reason to be down on Zorn. Man is a student of the game, and as long as he has the tools, we'll see a multi-dimensional attack next year.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:41 AM   #15
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Re: What to expect of the offense in '09?

Expectations:
1. The offense overall should run smoother with Jason now in entering his second year in it and his 5th year overall in the league.
2. I expect much better play from our 2 young receivers, with one of the two hopefully breaking out for a solid year.
3. I expect Zorn to be more comfortable coaching the offense. Better play calling was needed at the end of the season especially in the Red Zone.
My Biggest Worries around the offense:
1. Clinton Portis's health. We were playing our best ball last year when he was running hard, towards the end of the season he was too banged up. It would be nice if the front office would not give away draft picks so we could get Portis some help back there.
2. Right Tackle. I think the entire O-Line is solid when healthy, with the exception of this position.
3. JC not growing this year in the offense. If he doesnt he is gone, but we need better play to make the playoffs in this division.
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