Washington Redskins: Predicting the Position Battle Winners

Adam HankinsCorrespondent IJune 9, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21: Safety Reed Doughty #37 of the Washington Redskins is taken off the field injured after making an interception against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on December 27, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Mike Shanahan has made it clear from the beginning that he prefers to have competition at every position. And who can argue with his philosophy?


Competition brings out the best in players and it was something that was sorely lacking from the Redskins last year.


The following is a breakdown of some of the key position battles and their likely outcome:


Position No. 1: Running Back Portis vs. Johnson vs. Parker


As of now, the starter's position looks like a lock for Clinton Portis. His familiarity with the zone blocking scheme gives him the edge over Johnson. The early word on Parker is that he is well behind the other two, so he doesn't look to be a factor in this two horse race.


If Brian Westbrook is signed soon, he will eventually have an impact on the running back rotation. But for now, Clinton Portis looks like he has regained his form, and the competition from Larry Johnson has definitely motivated him.


Position No. 2: Free SafetyReed Doughty vs. Kareem Moore vs. Chris Horton


This is a close one to call. With Chris Horton's injury concerns, the starter at the beginning of the season will either be Moore or Doughty. While Moore has an edge in overall athleticism, Doughty is an extremely smart and tough player.


Coming off last season's career high of 91 tackles, Reed Doughty will start next to Laron Landry for the season's opener. Despite breaking his hand in OTA's, Doughty continues to prove himself as the most solid piece of the secondary.


Position No. 3: Tight EndChris Cooley vs. Fred Davis


Fred Davis proved in 2009 that he is the real deal, a pass-catching threat that can be a major factor in the offense. On the other hand, Cooley is also a proven commodity and he has the edge over Davis in being able to learn Shanahan's offense more quickly.


Chris Cooley will be the starter in the beginning of the 2010 season, but look for Davis to become a larger part of the offense as the season progresses. While Cooley will start, Davis will probably get an equal share of the pass-catching opportunities.


Position No. 4: QuarterbackDonovan McNabb vs. Colt Brennan


Just kidding.