It’s time for the Washington Redskins Quarterly Review. When we did the first review, the team was 2-2 and despite the bad signs from the offense, there was a glimmer of hope for Redskins fans. Since then, however, Washington has seen the team lose four straight games, falling to 2-6 and into the NFL sewer. Management has stripped Head Coach Jim Zorn of his play-calling duties and handed them over to a former offensive coordinator who was calling bingo games for senior citizens and five years into his retirement. It says something about Zorn’s play-calling abilities that Sherman Lewis has done at least as well as Zorn did.
The defense has managed to hold on as a respectable unit despite more than a few lapses in rush defense and an under-achieving secondary.
Quarterback: A lot of people have fallen into the trap of blaming Washington’s woes on Jason Campbell, but the numbers don’t back it up. Campbell has a passer rating of 86.5, which is not great, but is respectable. His passer rating is higher than big-name quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler and just behind Matt Hasselbeck and Kurt Warner. Campbell has had to deal with a leaky and injury-ravaged
offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 25 times, 3rd worst in the NFL. It’s true that Campbell does leave some plays on the field, but he also makes plays with his arm and feet that many quarterbacks could not if they faced such a consistently heavy pass rush. Campbell is also a stand-up pro who doesn’t whine about his poor offensive line and receivers and didn’t make a fuss about being benched for a half against the Kansas City Chiefs. If Redskins fans had to watch the next 8 games with Todd Collins, they would have a much greater appreciation of Campbell. GRADE: B-
Running Back: It’s clear Clinton Portis is no longer an elite runner in the NFL. He’s currently 15th in the league in rushing and not on pace to rush for 1000 yards, even if he played in every game for the rest of the season, which he probably will not. His 4.0 ypc is the lowest of any back in the top 15 in rushing yards and apart from one long rush against the awful KC Chiefs, he never breaks big gainers. He’s lost his cutback speed, his second gear and some explosion through the hole. It’s not clear if Portis has been healthy since early November of last season, but with as much tread on the tires as he’s had in the last 5 years, it may be unreasonable to expect him to be fully healthy ever again. Ladell Betts is a good 3rd down receiving back who will start this week if Portis [listed as doubtful] cannot play due to a concussion. Betts has not had a good season running the ball until last Sunday against Atlanta. When he gets 15+ carries a game, though, Betts can be a productive runner. Mike Sellershas celebrated a new, bigger contract by having a terrible year. Sellers’ pass and run blocking has regressed horribly and it has become hard to justify his presence on the field. GRADE: DRead it all at
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