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Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

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Old 07-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

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Washington Redskins 2010 Season Preview - The Fifth Down Blog - NYTimes.com

July 22, 2010, 6:00 AM
Washington Redskins 2010 Season Preview
By ANDY BENOIT

Contrary to popular belief, the Washington Redskins are not driving down a different road in 2010. They’re driving down the same Dan Snyder highway – they’re just in a faster, fancier car. At least this time Snyder minion Vinny Cerrato isn’t behind the wheel. But once again, the Skins enter a season with a new high-profile coach. Things didn’t work out with offensive maharishi Steve Spurrier, and results were lukewarm under multi-Super Bowl champion Joe Gibbs. (And the Jim Zorn era managed to live down to expectations.) So, this time, they’re trying a mix: offensive maharishi and multi-Super Bowl champion, Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan has final say on all football operations, but he works closely with new G.M. Bruce Allen. Upon being hired last December, Allen, in a nod to the past, said, “The future is now.” (Allen’s father, George, took over the Redskins as coach in 1971 and immediately began trading future draft picks for proven veterans, many of whom had played for him in Los Angeles. At one of his first press conferences, he said, “The future is now.”)

In recent years, the Redskins have been masters at seeking the quick fix. This means surrendering piles of draft picks and cash to acquire new veterans. It’s a formula ripe for failure; veteran players generally aren’t available unless they’re flawed. Most of the time, the flaw is old age. Some of the time, it’s character. By now, the Redskins should understand that better than anyone.

Allen and Shanahan actually began the off-season dumping some $13 million worth of declining veterans, like Randy Thomas, Chris Samuels (retired), Rock Cartwright, Ladell Betts, Todd Collins, Antwaan Randle-El, Fred Smoot and Cornelius Griffin. Put after the purge, Allen and Shanahan eagerly followed the franchise’s traditional quick-fix blueprint.

Their most notable move, obviously, was the trade for Donovan McNabb. The Skins gave up a 2010 second-round pick and a conditional third-or fourth-round pick next year to acquire the 33-year-old quarterback. There’s no question McNabb is an upgrade over Jason Campbell (Campbell was traded to Oakland for a fourth-round pick in 2012). But that doesn’t mean he instantly makes this team a contender. Ask yourself, is McNabb’s situation in Washington better than his situation was the past two years in Philly? McNabb doesn’t have a 10-year history with this coach and this playbook. He’s not throwing to nearly as much talent here. And he’s relying on a ground game that boasts perhaps the three most worn-out star running backs in football: Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker.

Still, Shanahan thinks the offense – including the run game – can click. His zone blocking system was able to make any Joe Schmoe a 1,000-yard rusher in Denver. (Remember Olandis Gary? Mike Anderson? Reuben Droughns? Tatum Bell?)

Almost as important as the McNabb acquisition were the changes made at offensive tackle. Washington used the fourth pick on Oklahoma’s Trent Williams, who immediately became the starter on the left side. Two months after the draft, the Skins acquired Saints two-time Pro Bowl tackle Jammal Brown in exchange for a 2011 mid-round pick. Factor in the addition of utility backup Artis Hicks and this feckless front five is suddenly adequate – if not formidable.

Still, at best, the Skins will have a proficient but non-explosive offense. What has made believers in Washington is the defense. New coordinator Jim Haslett inherits a unit that has ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed five of the past six seasons. Haslett is rolling the dice by installing the first 3-4 scheme in this franchise’s history. It’s the ultimate twist that the scheme hinges on defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.

For the first time in the Snyder era, the Redskins may have actually concocted a veteran-laden roster capable of instant success. Yet, they’re at the mercy of the one veteran who embodies every mistake this franchise has made. Haynesworth is talented beyond belief. But he’s a selfish reprobate who seemingly only competes when there’s money to be made. Despite already banking $32 million from this club, Haynesworth eschewed off-season team activities – including a mandatory minicamp – and publicly derided his two-gap role in Haslett’s scheme. (He also complained about his role last season in now-retired coordinator Greg Blache’s scheme.) The Redskins knew what they were getting when they made the ex-Titan the highest-paid defensive player in N.F.L. history. Now, they can’t get rid of him.

The only choice is to carry on. After all, the future is now. Unless, of course, the past is too much to overcome.

...
click here for rest of article
Not much new, but a good (and fair) summary..
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

Why does no one talk about Torain when they talk about our running backs? Shanny was going to start him in Denver before he got hurt.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

haha...ouch, one of the more searing negative articles I've read about the Redskins' rebuilding process.

Oh well, nothing to say except that hopefully this guy will be added to the list of believers after this upcoming season.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

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Why does no one talk about Torain when they talk about our running backs? Shanny was going to start him in Denver before he got hurt.
You know I talk about Torain

Bartel and Torain....we'll rule the world Lotus!
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

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Originally Posted by rbanerjee23 View Post
haha...ouch, one of the more searing negative articles I've read about the Redskins' rebuilding process.

Oh well, nothing to say except that hopefully this guy will be added to the list of believers after this upcoming season.
Yeah, that was rough. The worst part is that it seemed to be well-researched and hard to argue with. Then teams have seemingly come out of nowhere to have great seasons before so maybe it will happen again.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

or at the mid point of this season Rbaner.

He does mention Torian in the longer version of the article. He believes that he will be the teams leading rusher.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

Wow. Well what can you expect? No one is going to go out on a limb and say the Skins will finish second in the division.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

Or first for that matter, especially writers in N.Y., Philly, and Dallas.........

I think we have earned the right to be overlooked. Hopefully we will buck that trend this year.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

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You know I talk about Torain

Bartel and Torain....we'll rule the world Lotus!
Muwhahahaha!

I've said it before and will again: I think I'm rooting for Torain more than any other player.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:38 PM   #10
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

It's kinda hard to argue against this article. While it is nice to know that the front office has improved and a moron like Vinny is not running the show, there are a lot of things that need to fall in place in order for our team to succeed.

I must say though, that I was surprised to not see any criticism on the change of defensive scheme to the 3-4 (or maybe I miss it). Once again though, I'm hoping for the best.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #11
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

I agree Ruh, it is difficult to argue against the article but it seems rather generic in following the Skins-bash formula of writers. Point out Snyder's shortcomings as an owner, talk about the age of the team (ignoring that the Saints were one of the NFL's oldest teams last year-age is overrated), talk about the middling WR group being less than what McNabb had in Philly, talk about the OL weaknesses from '09 and of course the obligatory Haynesworth commentary. Blah, blah, blah.

I'd love to see a national writer talk about the value of a winning pedigree with Shanahan and McNabb and the positives they bring. Talk about how even in the midst of the Zorn debacle the team was in all but about 4 games last year so there is talent here.

It also amazes me that Portis, Johnson and Parker are 'worn down' but no-one mentions Marion Barber & Brandon Jacobs fading badly the past 2 seasons. Felix Jones is fast but fragile and what has McCoy proven in Philly? Nobody will confuse our trio with young and spry but are they ready for the retirement home like most writers seem to think?

The article isn't wrong factually nor is it overly biased against us, just kinda lazy.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

It's wrong from the first line. Snyder is taking a new hands-off approach. Losing Vinny was also a huge change for the organization.

Shanahan and Allen are transforming this team, addressing needs that were long ignored (O-line, True Franchise QB) and making changes we've never seen before (3-4 defense).

This is a path we've never traveled down before. Sure, there is the alleged similarity to the "Over the Hill Gang", but not entirely, as we have a good young core of young players as well as experienced. Where we could not fill gaps with rookies and young talent with upside, we've plugged with proven vets.

Of course, it is the NY Times, tough to take their sports analysis seriously. It's also easy for any media source to just recycle the same annual arguments and insults against the Redskins and Dan Snyder. If they were REALLY paying attention like we do as fans, they'd see a completely new path and attitude at Redskins Park.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

Season starts we look good all these reporters will change there story and say I told you they were going to be good nobody polices them. Lets see how we look in Pre-season then lets talk.

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Old 07-22-2010, 03:16 PM   #14
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

It's a good read. Addresses concerns while also acknowledging positive changes. I mean they do say they expect us to be the most improved team in the division, but we have a long climb up.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:43 PM   #15
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Re: Washington Redskins 2010 season preview (NY Times)

Hey...at this point, I don't want people to prognosticate 10-11 wins and then have teams gearing up for us. I would rather we take this year as a learning opportunity and sneak up on some squads who aren't expecting it.

At this point (given all the changes), it's better to be a dark horse than the frontrunner
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