Washington Redskins: Younger, Quicker and Faster, but Tough Division Awaits
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These aren't your father's Redskins, ladies and gentlemen. The names, faces and even positions are changing. Just look at the quarterback, John Beck is as new as it gets when it comes to one of the toughest jobs in the Nation's Capital. They may not call it a makeover but that is exactly what it is and that is okay. It was time to shake things up again at Redskins Park. A 6-10 record isn't good for anyone especially the coach, the fans and the District of Columbia.
I'll give General Manager Bruce Allen and Coach Mike Shanahan credit for trying something new. I don't know if it will work but anything better than last season would satisfy the hunger of a rabid fan base desperate for a return to the glory years.
Beck represents the biggest question of all. The NFC East is a beast of a division. The Philadelphia Eagles have loaded up with high priced talented free agents. We all know the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants are going to be a challenge. Beck has talent and confidence but is he the kind of player who can handle the pressure of the NFC East?
Another change is 11 year fullback Mike Sellers is working out with the tight ends. This could be a sign that he has lost his job. Second year fullback Darrel Young out of Villanova looks like he's ready with his size, athleticism and ferocity. The job might be his, if he convinces Shanahan he can handle the blocking duties. Sellers has been impressive at the position for many years but change has come to the Redskins.
Do you want another new name? Tim Hightower from the Arizona Cardinals. He's another running back who joins Ryan Torain in the backfield. Torain will probably get the starting nod if he recovers from his injury, but you never know. Hightower is a local kid coming home and may have more incentive to shake it up. Torain was on the team last year and finished the season as the starter, but in reality his experience is lacking because he is a 24-year-old kid out of Arizona State by way of Butler County Community College.
I guess we will see a new face at wide receiver because Shanahan invited so many wide receivers to camp, one of them backed out because of the crowded field. Veteran Santana Moss re-signed, so it's assumed he might keep his starting slot. Maybe, but maybe not, nothing is guaranteed. Brandon Stokley told the Redskins thanks, but no thanks when he found out several others had also been invited to an already large group of receivers.
Receivers like Donte' Stallworth, Aldrick Robinson, Jabar Gaffney and Niles Paul might become household names this winter. Make no mistake about it folks, change has come and that is a good thing. There is so much change that security guards stopped Beck at the entrance to Redskins Park because they didn't know him. That is what I call real change!
Going young is all the rage in professional sports these days. If owners could bottle the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder plan they would jump on it immediately. The Redskins are betting that all of these youngsters are ready to perform.
Will The Redskins Make the Playoffs?
The Redskins have produced a lot of optimism with the influx of twenty something players. People are talking about them and it seems skeptics are willing to give Shanahan the benefit of the doubt. After all he brings a lot of credentials to the table. If Shanahan thinks the "Burgundy and Gold" need more youth, people will give him a chance.
Why not? They have to make a move somewhere. Building around fresh faced talent might be the way to go. Sprinkle in a few free agents and lets see what happens. It's a new approach worth checking out.
You'll need a copy of the roster when the season begins. Donovan McNabb, Albert Haynesworth, Carlos Rogers and company have left the building. Those are big names with big salaries and many thought they would be with the team for many years but that isn't going to happen.
Hopefully this year Shanahan can focus on getting the Redskins and his group of youngsters back to the playoffs. Yeah I said it. Playoffs. Washington D.C. is in need of a surprise. Fans in this part of the country deserve a return to the good times.
One thing about having young players in camp and on the roster, is that you'll likely see less drama. Most of these players are a year or two removed from college or on their first NFL team. All they want to do is play football. That kind of attitude that translates into success if you have the talent. The Redskins have talent on both sides of the ball. Now it's a matter of producing results.
Fans won't have to worry about watching Haynesworth huffing and puffing on the sidelines two minutes into the game. They won't have to worry about Shanahan sparring with his quarterback. Lastly, they won't have to worry about the running back complaining and trashing his fullback.
I think the young players at Redskins Park have a shot this year. I think they want to prove the naysayers wrong. I think they're also tired of losing. The fans certainly are. It's a new day at Redskins Park. With new faces, new names and a new approach. The question is, will the Washington Redskins produce new results?
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