To start this article off: I am not a Skins fan. I never have been and never will be.
Nonetheless, I really love what the Redskins did in the off season.
The Skins, who finished the season 8-8, and fourth in the NFC East, easily made the most noise in the 2009 NFL off season.
Signings of All-Pro nose tackle Albert Haynesworth, superstar corner back DeAngelo Hall, and star guard Derrick Dockery capped off a great off season for the Redskins. Drafting Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo in the first round of the draft helped the cause, too.
Lets not forget the All-Pro running back that was already on the team, Clinton Portis. Portis, at age 27 and in his prime, will look to carry the load for the Redskins.
Also, another Pro Bowler on the Redskins' roster is Chris Cooley. Cooley, a tight end out of Utah State, has been selected to the last two Pro Bowls, and started every game at tight end for the Redskins in the last four years.
There's one under the radar star that most people forget about. LaRon Landry, the 2007 NFC Pro Bowl alternate, made 65 tackles and forced two fumbles last year for the Redskins.
So we have all these stars on the Redskins, as well as some that were unnamed. Now how's the general doing?
In a division with super stars by the names of Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb, and Eli Manning, Redskins' quarterback Jason Campbell often gets overlooked.
In the midst of trade talks this spring, Campbell started all 16 games for Washington this last year, threw for 3245 yards, and threw more than twice as many touchdowns as interceptions. Campbell also holds a Redskins record for most consecutive throws without an interception, with 252.
Though head coaching great Joe Gibbs retired two seasons ago, new Redskins head coach Jim Zorn has filled his shoes nicely. An offensive-minded head coach, Zorn led the Redskins to just one less win than Gibbs did in his last season, but Zorn surpassed many expectations that were given to him.
So not only have the Redskins improved this off season, but many teams have also fallen short in their progression.
The Cowboys, who were third in the NFC East last year with a 9-7 record, lost their best wide receiver in Terrell Owens. Owens, though not necessarily an offensive leader, will make a huge difference for the Cowboys, since defenses won't have to double team him.
Another wide receiver problem in the NFC East is Giants' wide receiver, Plaxico Burress. Burress, who was suspended by the Giants until the end of the season last year due to illegal gun charges, will certainly be a key factor to the Giants' success this season. Media will follow him wherever he goes, and Burress was also mentioned in trade talks this off season.
The Eagles had a good off season. They filled up their needs in the draft with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, and corner back Ellis Hobbs.
Overall I can see another very tight race for the NFC East division title this year. My predictions will be:
Redskins - 11-5
Eagles - 11-5
Giants - 11-5
Cowboys - 9-7
With the Redskins winning the division title, and both the Eagles and Giants getting in the playoffs as with a Wild Card birth. This season in the NFC East has the potential to be just as good as last year's, if not better.