Thank God for Brad Childress.
Leave it to Chilly to come along and screw up so Mike Shanahan looks crazy instead of plain dumb. After trading a third round pick for Randy Moss, Brad Childress announced his intention to release the Hall of Fame bound wide receiver.
This, of course, is the problem with not completely sucking this year; the Redskins at currently at .500, which puts them 15th in the waiver wire order. The two teams that seemingly have the most interest in bringing him in are the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams, who are both ahead of the Redskins in the waiver wire selection.
Suffice it to say, without a true number one receiver, the Redskins offense has sputtered in the kind of offense Kyle Shanahan wants to run. In Houston, the younger Shanahan had Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.
Here, he has the kind of quarterback who is able to make the throws (even though lately he's been eehhhhhh...), but he doesn't have the big play, physical, tall wide receiver that can stretch the field and make those plays.
Santana Moss has been the number one receiver in Washington since he arrived from the New York Jets, and is the most reliable receiver on the team. He's still fast and will still fight for the ball, but as the number one guy, it's been hard for him to succeed, as he regularly faces double coverage; not an ideal situation for a guy his size.
Chris Cooley is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, but faces a lot of the same problems; teams are double covering him on plays. When he's one on one he's as good as anyone and tough to bring down. The problem is, he's not one on one very often.
Anthony Armstrong was one of the biggest surprises of both the preseason and the regular season; he made several big plays that vaulted him into the starting line up of the Redskins. But teams have wised up to him; he's not the best guy in press coverage, and he's getting double covered deep now as well.
And Joey Galloway...I'm not a ginormous hater of the guys as others have been. But clearly Galloway isn't putting the fear of God into defenses.
Adding Randy Moss to the Washington Redskins instantly changes Kyle Shanahan's pass first offense (even when we should be running) from sputtering to dangerous.
Randy Moss doesn't run a whole lot of routes, but he does stretch the field as well as anyone in football today. He's still got some speed, and in the NFC, I don't think there are many corners that'd be able to cover him one on one.
Opposing defenses couldn't bring the kind of pressure they wanted at Donovan McNabb as they'd have to respect Randy Moss, and if there's one guy who can push a ball down field to Randy Moss with a flick of the wrist, it's Super 5.
Those bootlegs and rollouts become a lot more deadly when you have a guy like Donovan who can make plays out of the pocket and with Randy Moss stretching the field.
This allows Santana Moss to get back to the position he belongs; in the slot. Like Randy did for Percy Harvin in Minnesota, Randy Moss may not get a ton of passes thrown his way (though McNabb is certainly better that Favre as far as being able to get the ball down field goes), covering Randy Moss means Santana Moss (Moss Brothers, anyone?) can use the speed his still position to catch the ball short and get up field for positive yardage.
It's the best of both worlds—if McNabb has Moss one on one against a corner, he can push it up field and let Moss do what he does best—score touchdowns. If teams roll coverage to Randy Moss and put a safety over the top, that leaves the field open for Santana Moss to catch it and get up field. Even in his 30s, Santana still has big play ability.
It alleviates pressure off Chris Cooley as well. As a great pass catching tight end, and as someone who clearly has chemistry with McNabb, it would allow for more plays with Cooley, even if you send Cooley deep.
Anthony Armstrong would take Joey Galloway's spot; if you're going to cover Randy Moss, and you're going to cover Santana Moss, and you're going to put a linebacker on Chris Cooley, that reopens the field for Armstrong's big play ability.
If teams are playing back to defend against the pass, it also helps open up running lanes for Ryan Torain and Clinton Portis (when he's healthy, which indications are he will be very soon).
Suddenly the Redskins receiving core goes from being one of the most consistently mediocre to being pretty damn formidable.
Or maybe, just maybe I need some good news after this insane week.
Is it time for the Redskins to play Philly?