All it took was ONE DAY for ESPN’s Mark Mosley to start hedging his bets.
All it should have taken was a quick look at the fact Washington lost 7 games by less than a touchdown last year…that they always have a chance to beat their division rivals (because that’s the way it is in the NFC East)…and they’ll play the AFC South next season and will surely benefit from Mike and Kyle’s familiarity with Houston, Albert’s knowledge of Tennessee, and their ability to compete against the largely one-dimensional attacks of Indy and Jacksonville.
The additions of Maake Keomeatu on the D-line, the conversion of Brian Orakpo in the new alignment and the addition of quality depth in the secondary and in the offensive backfield mean this team is poised to go to the next level. The Bengals went from 4-11-1 to 10-6 and a Division Title with Carson Palmer at the helm. The Redskins should have similar expectations. The Giants and Cowboys cannot be expected to pose a tougher challenge than the Steelers and Ravens.
Good to see Mosley get that hedge in early. The problem is that the first piece was written as if he’d neglected to even look at the Redskins roster or to weigh the impact of how they will operate on offense. The Redskins are going to feature three experienced backs in Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker. Each one has faced different challenges over the past few seasons, but none of them should be concerned with hitting the wall in Week 16. The Redskins should have one of the most dominating rush attacks in the league in 2010. Mosley spent so much time attempting to minimize the impact of this trade that he ignored the return of Chris Cooley and maturation of Fred Davis until today.
Doesn’t Mosley know that the last thing a defensive end wants to face is a zone-blocking, two tight end offense featuring all of those backs and Donovan McNabb or any elite mobile QB running play action? Apparently not. Mike Shanahan coached a Top 10 offense in Denver for a DECADE. His son just converted Michael Vick’s perennial backup into the leading passer in the entire league. And, the Redskins defense has been ranked in the Top 10 for 8 of the past 10 seasons. Do you really think the wheels are going to fall off with the addition of elite offensive coaching, play-calling and execution? Really?
GOLD STAR QUESTION: By how many games did the New Orleans Saints improve when they added Sean Payton and Drew Brees?
RED STAR QUESTION: By how many games did the Atlanta Falcons improve when they added Matt Ryan and Alex Gibbs?
Both New Orleans and Atlanta made the playoffs. Perhaps all that can be said about Mosley and the Redskins playoff chances is that he denied it was possible before he thought it might be “kinda-sorta” possible.