Well….after a grand 6-10 record [hey we actually improved!!]….it is time to analyze.
Joe Gibbs in now one year into his second term at the second highest office in Washington
Friday will mark the one year anniversary of Joe Gibbs being re-hired as head coach. In that year…there has been some good….and some bad. Some were seen…some went unseen. The most seen good thing was the dominance of our National Defense. A unit that has seen 5 difference defensive coordinators in the last 5 years finally gelled. And that was pretty much without LaVarr Arrington for most of the season. We brought in some great additions like Grffin, Barrow, Springs and Washington [unlike those Deions and Bruces of past Snyder years]. We pressured…we stuffed….and we played hard despite the offensive inabilities. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams may ultimately be the MVP of the team.
Chris Cooley celebrates a TD
The draft was a pretty good thing. Sean Taylor is a stud! To be a safety in a blitzing defense is tough….and Taylor did quite well. I guess it was good we didn’t go after Winslow, huh?? Chris Cooley was quite effective as an H-back. Blocked well….and was quite effective as a redzone option.
Despite our record….we were never really blown out. We stuck with Philly [twice] and Pittsburgh. We really could have won those games against the Ravens, Giants, both Cowboys games and Packers. If we actually could finish any of those games…..we’d be 11-5 and looking at a playoff birth. If we even closed half of them….we’d be in that 8-8 fight for the playoffs.
Will Ramsey remain the Skins starter in '05?
Which brings me to the bad. Offense. We scored just 240 points this season. BAD! Mark Brunell…a way too high priced free agent…was a complete bust. And we kept him in too long before handing the keys back to Patrick Ramsey. Still, Gibbs couldn’t run his kind of passing attack…as we had no deep theats [no Ricky Sanders]…just Spurrier’s short plunk guys. With no passing game…Clinton Portis wasn’t as effective. He gained some yards…but as fantasy players will tell you, he was never really sniffed the end zone.
The 700-man coaching staff had their issues early. We had problems getting plays into the QB with that “new fangled” QB-earpiece. We challenged obvious plays and didn’t challenge the ones we should’ve. And we had a few times where we ran out of time at the end of the game. We committed too many penalties [many of them delay of games] and made some really dumb decisions.
There won’t be the normal Redskin off season signing party. The opposite may be true. Fred Smoot may be gone due to his asking price. So may Chris Samuels and Rod Gardner. With the #9 pick in the draft…they may look to add some OL or WR help [Braylan Edwards, anyone?]….which means more guys canned. The team is staring at some horrible cap issues after next season [2006 and 2007] which may force them to cut guys like Samuels and others [BRUNELL!!!!].
Samuels, if he doesn't take a paycut, may have played his last game in DC
Next year’s schedule is kind of interesting. We, of course, have the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles on the slate….and all have question marks heading into the off season. We get the both the NFC and AFC Wests next year in the rotating play. The NFC West doesn’t have any “power teams”, so to speak. We have the Niners and Seahawks at home. The Niners were 2-14 this year…and Seattle may lose Hasselbeck and Alexander in free agency. The roadies will be against Arizona and St. Louis….the desert and a dome. As far as the AFC West goes…we welcome Norv Turner back [maybe] with Da Raidahs….and Marty Schottenheimer back with the Chargers. Those two pre-Spurrier coaches. We have to go to two tough venues….Mile High and Arrowhead….to face the Broncos and Chiefs. We get to face off against our fellow basement brethren….the Bears [H] and Buccaneers [A] for the second straight year, just in a different place.
So, not a really hard schedule….and with some fine tuning and an idea of what the team looks like….we could make that push which we’ve been predicting for the last 6 years.