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Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13-- My final week, time for final thoughts

So as I head into the final week of shows on Redskins Radio, it's dawning on me that I won't be talking about the Redskins constantly for a living.. So, while I'm sure this blog will broach what's happening in Redskin Land, this week (while I'm still payed to do so), I might as well vamp on the five major aspects of the team, O, D, Teams, the front office and coaching..

Call it a few parting thoughts..

Lets talk offense today..

The genuine needs remain a true #2 wide receiver and depth along the offensive line.. At WR, I still believe Santana Moss has the propensity to be an eltie receiver. He may be running out of years to prove that out, but his speed and hands (although there were some hairy moments with his hands a season ago) make him practically uncoverable.. The issue has always been and always will be his ability to stay healthy.. Moss dealt with groin/hamstring and ultimately heel issues last year.. Moss took it easy this off-season choosing to lay off the workouts for a few months, focussed on his wedding instead and got himself as he put it "out of shpae." His "out of shape" isn't a you or me "out of shape" but his body needed a break, hopefully it pays dividends come this fall..
Antwaan Randle-El in my opinion os overpayed. This is not to suggest I don't like him as a compliment to Moss, but I have felt for a couple of years now that Randle-El needs to be moved back into the slot. There he can be moved with pre-snap motion to elicit what wuld hopefully become a mismatch.. Randle-El can run and throw as well making him dynamic but despite having what I'd call an adequate year as a number 2, he remains a better option as a three.. His punt returning has a lot left to be desired..
James Thrash is a tremendous competitor and in spot duty can help on offense but is no longer a viable number 3.. Anthony Mix is big and has potential.. Jerome Mathis figures to make this team if the Skins don't use a high pick on a wide receiver.. I expect one of the top two picks to go for a WR..

TE Chris Cooley is only getting better. A well liked force in the locker room, and now anchored in for the long termw ith a new extension, Cooley might become the best TE in the NFC soon.. I like his back-up Todd oder who has surprisingly good hands. Not much speed, but you can try to squeeze a ball into in.. He isn't fast, not particularly big, but all the same will make a play here or there for you..

At Fullback, Mike Sellers is a freak and there is nothing wrong with a few freaks on your team.. At 270 but can run like a skill player, Sellers has a unique blend of natural ability.. What I'd like to see Sellers stop doing is his annual moaning about carrying the ball.. Has Sellers make big plays running with it consistently, I'd get it, but his delusion about being a rusher has become tiresome.. That said, he can be a tremendous blocker and is an asset in the locker room, it's just time he realzied that the ball is in good hands with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts.

At running back, Clinton Portis to me is a step below top 5 or elite status.. He's a top ten back to me who could ascend into the top five with one improvement in his game.. He needs to become a better pass receiver.. Portis hands are suspect and he appears at times uncomfortable in space.. The best backs to me are the ones who can be used as dump off options and the Redskins have yet to rely on Portis that way consistently..
There is one other spot I'd like to see Portis improve, hios goal line rushing.. Big time backs don't get stopped consistently inside the five.. While Portis is good, he hasn't been great exemplified by the team choices at times last year to give Betts or Sellers shots inside the five..
Portis however is an aggressive pass blocking and giving the right crease is a home run hitting back.. He's still young and with hopefully the knee and shoulder issues behind him, I'm expecting a big year out of him in the new offense..
Ladell Betts is a perfect back-up.. Better then Portis between the tackles with a more decisive approach and minor shiftiness.. He's not a home run hitter like Portis, but should Portis go down for a couple of games, Betts has proven he can carry the load..
Rock Cartwright is a good number 3, but like Sellers, should lose some of the delusion that if he got his shot, he'd be a Portis..

At quarterback, I still remain hopeful of the promise and progress of Jason Campbell.. He has all the tools, big arm, can run, thinks on his feet, has the inate feel for the game, players love him.. Now he has to start winning.. The worst thing that happened to Jason was Todd Collins coming in off a ten year hiatus and winning four games to make the playoffs.. If he can't replicate a playoff run, then it will appear a 37 year old immobile quarterback would have been a better option.. The bottom line is winning and Jason while promising has yet to provide that.. But Jim Zorn may be the right guy at the right time.. Campbell needs help better managing a game and getting the ball out quicker.. This new offense will demand quicker decisions.. Campbell's athleticism howveer meshed with a proven system could be dynamic.. I think it's safe to say Campbell is more athletic then Zorn Protege Matt Hasselbeck.. So should a play not feel right in timing, Campbell has an option to run or make a play with his arm Hasselbeck may have been uncapable of.. It's a big year for Jason to prove he's ready.. It's year four and it's time to start showing an ability to lead, and that means winning..
Collins is an ample back-up but is older and is learning a new offense himself.. He is not a long term solution at the position..
The Redskins will use a late pick to draft a young quarterback to groom..

The O-Line: Chris Samuels has been a rock for the team for going on a decade, and minor injuries don't stop him from playing.. I've never felt Samuels was elite, but his pro bowl selections suggest other wise form his peers, I'm hoping we get anothe good 3-4 years out of him.. They need to considering the lack of depth..
Pete Kendall figures to be the starting left guard, at 35 with arthritic knees, this is probably the last run for Kendall, once again another sign of necessitated depth..
C Casey Rabach is a smart player, who is the only member of the unit under 30.. He should remain a long term soltuion at the position..
G Randy Thomas is a monster when he is on the field, the problem is keeping him on the field.. After losing large poritions of one season with a broken leg and another with a torn triceps, keeping Thomas healthy appears almost impossible.. There is a lot of wear and tear on him but there is no doubt he is the most versatile and aggressive lineman the team has, IF he can play..
T Jon Jansen is heading toward what I believe is a pivotal year for him.. He must remain healthy and he must perform well or it is my beliefe that this will be his last season in Washington.. Some are arguing, the renegotiated deal between he and the team is the only reaso n he will be back for 2008.. Once nicknamed "The Rock" for his long stretch of games played without missing due to an injury, Jansen has long since been reliable,.. He missed a season with a torn achilles, another with a broken foot and good portions of another with a variety of ailments.. After ten years with the Skins, there has been few better representatives of this team and I applaud Jon for that.. All you can ever ask for from a player is that he will work hard, he will play hard and he will not embarrass you off the field.. Jansen does all of those things in the highest regard.. He often was the first to lead the team onto the practice field, sometimes among the last to walk off.. No one enjoyed game day more then Jansen and off the field, Jansen has constantly been trying to do broadcasting gigs to up his profile in DC and nationally.. I like Jon very much, but reality is when you are advanced in age and unreliable on the field, changes come.. This season, Jansen not only must prove he can stay on the field, he must prove he can be adequate on it as well or we might be seeing the last of one of the most likeable players of this era..
Depth is a huge issue.. The team wants T Stephon Heyer to get in the weight room and build some lower body strength.. When he is ready, he will supllant Jansen.. There is an obvious lack of depth at every other position.. The team will draft an interior lineman.. They will once again come next off-season need to address the age and durability of the line.. Right now, all Joe Bugel can do is keep his fingers crossed he won't have the issues he had a year ago, but this line is one year older with no answers behind them.. It's the biggest risk the team is taking, hoping band aids hold together a line that's very good when together..

OK men..


Blogger Covering The Redskins said...

I pushed publish without running a spell check.. You'll see a lot of erroros in this one.. My bad!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Alex Chilton said...

'my bad'?
1. you're too old to say that
2. it stopped being funny five years ago.

nice run down on the O.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Bram - Congratulations on your new job at ESPN! DC is proud of you, but you will be missed...especially by your loyal listeners of Redskins Radio who rely on your "yin" to Larry's bizarre "yang".

Tell the Skins they need a fan perspective on the Redskins Lunch program...I'll do it!

7:25 PM  
Blogger ruffin said...

"I'm hoping we get anothe good 3-4 years out of him.."

Very nice. Always good to see a homer ("we") for the Chocolate City in Bristol.

12:22 PM  
Blogger mwainva said...

I cannot figure out how you have managed to pull the wool over so many peoples eyes for so long. I am thrilled that you will be moving on...I have always wondered how the heck we could get you out of town with the local ties that you have. Your takes suck, you sensationalize everything, you contradict the meaning and intentions of quotes taken from players on your own station, and you end your sentences with prepositions.

What is ESPN thinking in taking on your squealing *&(^? Hopefully you are working with the magazine, but either way our exposure to you will be limited which is a blessing. Unfortunately, you will probably be fired and end up back here sooner than later. Mark my words.

9:58 AM  

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