I've been off BR for awhile. The Skins haven't given us much positive fodder to mono-blog about.
But each season brings new opportunity, a clean slate and the potential to discuss how we can make our team better!
While we approach each season with a homer's mentality, clouded by fandom and blind passion for a uniform we've never donned, each of us "know" how to make our team hoist that Lombardi trophy next year.
The first the obvious: What will the Skins do at QB? I'll tell you what they shouldn't do, sell the farm for a new tractor (no, I don't work on a farm).
The Skins beat three playoff teams this year, they played well against solid squads like the Colts and made fundamental improvements as they integrate new programs on both sides of the ball.
They did, however, make stupid coaching decisions and knucklehead errors in all three aspects of the game; they didn't, moreover, show faith in the leadership they traded away a second round pick to acquire.
Kyle Shanahan showed particular interest in anyone besides Donavon McNabb, which brought more chaos to a team that isn't deficient in that particular area.
What is the Redskin's #1 Free Agent concern for 2011?
Nothing can be done until the CBA is finalized, but we won't get better than a fifth round pick anywhere else, we could possibly get a fourth from a couple of QB strapped clubs or use him to move up a few picks in earlier rounds.
Re-sign Grossman, and draft a QB on Day 2.
Next is absolutely essential!
Offensive line play was BAD! Not bad in a got outmuscled by strong defensive fronts bad, but bad as they didn't know where they were bad.
Starts with Rabach. I've said this before 2009: I don't know why Rabach was the only holdover of a bad OL, but he really has to go. He can't read protection, he sometimes doesn't know who to block.
We need to address C in the worst way.
There is potential for second round gold with Stefen Wisnewski from Penn State. He's the No. 1 Center on the boards this year. A four-year starter at Penn State, he is smart, athletic, tough and seems to be a damn good kid. Character would go a long way with this squad.
Protecting a bad quarterback with a suspect offensive line means weapons have to be all over the field to be successful offensively. Unfortunately, the Redskins have a couple of really good TE's, but no proven RB that can stay healthy and one terrific slot receiver filling a No. 1 receiver slot.
They would have to move up to get AJ Green, but they could maybe move back a few and still get Jones or Baldwin. All three have huge upsides.
The Skins could wait until Day 2 or 3 and pick up a Tori Gurley.
They can't stop there, though; now is the year to be aggressive in free agency or the trade market—even if it means giving up picks.
Available via free agency could be Braylon Edwards (RFA-Jets), Antonio Bryant (UFA-Bengals), Steve Breaston (RFA-Cardinals), Miles Austin (RFA-Cowgirls), Malcolm Floyd (RFA-Chargers), Vincent Jackson (RFA-Chargers), Brandon Lloyd (UFA-Broncos), Brandon Marshall (RFA-Dolphins), Brad Smith (RFA-Jets) and Kevin Walter (UFA-Texans).
Imagine Vincent Jackson, Kevin Walter, Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong—that would make McNabb, Grossman, even Ryan Leaf a better QB.
Look for Walter to happen sooner rather than later with his ties to Kyle Shanahan. Adding a Sidney Rice (Vikings), Brandon Marshall or Lord willing, Vincent Jackson would make the Skins automatic contenders.
Haynesworth or McNabb could be trade bait for Rice.
Finally, OLB and DL must be addressed.
Elvis Dumervil (RFA-Broncos) would without a doubt be worth pursuing, however, its unlikely the Broncos let him go.
Thomas Davis (RFA-Panthers) could be an option if he could learn the 3-4, but Banta-Cain (RFA-Patriots) or Larry Foote (UFA-Steelers) would be better fits for the defense, as would Barrett Ruud (RFA-Falcons), DeMeco Ryans (RFA-Texans) or Joey Porter, who was released by the Cards.
Addressing OLB would move ONE-MAN GANG up to DE where he can stuff the lanes.
Also, make peace with Fat Albert. He's the best option available and cheap now that the upfront money is paid. He showed flashes of brilliance in several games this season. Let's see what next season holds after he watches BJ Raji and Ziggy Hood move around that DL and make plays this post-season.
The team needs to be built around a nucleus of good players, which the defense has, but the offense is without.
Fletch, Rak, Laron, DeAngelo, even Carlos Rogers, Reed Doughty and Rocky Mac are solid pro starters who make plays every game. Kevin Barnes could step up big next season in the nickel.
The offense, however, outside of Santana and Cooley, has no weapons. Fred Davis could be used more with Cooley in the backfield, but Armstrong is a deep threat good for 40 catches a season at most.
And while Trent Williams looked good his rookie year, everyone else was suspect at best along the offensive front.
Hopefully, the Shanny-Allen combo will make smart moves this offseason and make long-suffering fans, like yours truly, remember the good ol' days.