With the majority of the Washington Redskins roster now in place for 2010, what can fans expect in the upcoming season? The following five predictions about what might happen in 2010 are optimistic, but very possible.
No. 1: Donovan McNabb Will Pass for More Than 4000 yards, More Than 25 Touchdowns, and Lead a Top-10 Offense
Believe it or not, Donovan McNabb has never passed for more than 4000 yards in one season in his entire illustrious career. That is somewhat shocking, considering he played in Andy Reid's pass-happy offense. So, why would he do it in 2010?
Donovan McNabb now plays in Kyle Shanahan's offense, and offense in which Matt Schaub passed for 4,770 yards and 29 touchdowns last year. The Houston Texans were the No. 1passing offense in the league last year, and Kyle Shanahan's genius played a major role in that happening.
Some might say the Texans' success last year can be attributed to Schaub and Andre Johnson. In part, that's true. But don't underestimate Kyle Shanahan's schemes in that success.
Donovan McNabb is arguably a superior quarterback to Matt Schaub. If McNabb elevates the play of the Washington receivers, and if players like Devin Thomas and Fred Davis take major strides forward this year, this Redskins offense has major potential.
No. 2: Clinton Portis Will Rush for More Than 1,200 Yards
It's no secret that a lot of people have lost faith in Portis' ability to run effectively. But make no mistake, Portis has enough gas left in the tank to have at least one more spectacular year.
Part of Mike Shanahan's plan behind bringing in Larry Johnson and Willie Parker was to give Portis some motivation through competition. Through some of his statements, Portis has already indicated that he has received this message loud and clear.
Clinton Portis will once again excel inside the zone blocking scheme of Mike Shanahan. He has a chip on his shoulder, and he's out to prove to everyone that he can still run with the best.
No. 3: Albert Haynesworth Will Have Eight sacks, Many Quarterback Hurries, and Will Be Dominant Against the Run
Did the Redskins ever really have any intention of trading Albert Haynesworth? Mike Shanahan has said that he would not trade him.
So, where did all the rumors come from? It's possible that the Master Motivator Shanahan wanted the Haynesworth rumors to be leaked, in order to tick off Haynesworth. If so, mission accomplished.
Albert Haynesworth can't be happy about "almost" being traded, and all of the talk about how he is an overpaid bust. But, one thing is very true about Big Al: he plays best when he's mad.
Haynesworth is mad now, and his mindset right now is probably to prove something to the Redskins and the rest of the NFL. He's still capable of being the most dominant player in the league, and this year, he'll earn his paycheck.
No. 4: The Redskins' Defense Will Be Ranked in the League's Top Ten
Jim Haslett is an angry man, and he will make the Redskins defense angry. Haynesworth is already angry, and he will be a key cog in an aggressive unit, but other players will step up as well.
Brian Orakpo will thrive as a 3-4 linebacker and will have another 10+ sack season. Laron Landry will be moved to his more natural position of strong safety, and with his added weight (230+ lbs.), he will be stout against the run. London Fletcher will put up another 100+ tackle season.
The Redskins defense will definitely be ranked in the league's top ten this year, and don't be surprised if it is ranked in the top five.
No. 5: The Redskins Will Finish 10-6, Second in the NFC East, and Will Make the Playoffs
Behind Kyle Shanahan's offense firing on all cylinders, and Jim Haslett's stout defense, the Redskins will finish with a respectable record in 2010. They should finish second in the NFC East, behind only the Dallas Cowboys (it hurts me as a Redskins fan to say that).