Washington Redskins: NFC East Championship 2009 Blueprint & Rants

James TurnerCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2008

LET'S GET IT! Man, its been awhile since I've last written an article on here, and I'm so motivated to speak on what's been going on. All I can say is this Fall 2008 has been a memorable one. Lots of life-defining moments and also life-defining football games were the top of my action, especially with the ladies. But enough about me. Let's get to the topic at hand.

I've read hundreds of Washington Redskins articles, watch a lot of Redskins Nation and SportsNite, listen to Fox Pregame with Jimmy Johnson, "Charismatic" Strahan, Howie Long, Curt Menefee, and my favorite broadcaster, Terry "Steelers King" Bradshaw, PTI, associates and friends from my college and my best friends, who are Cowboys, Giants and Eagles fans, and more importantly, my mother.

Despite all the negative comments I've heard about the Redskins I've come to understand that a lot of football fans who hate the Redskins literally hate the Redskins. I hear more people talk trash about the Redskins more than any other team in the league.

Maybe it's because I live in the D.C. Metropolitan area or something, but I hear the Redskin bashing all the time. The truth of the matter is that we're still one of the best teams in the league despite our 8-7 record.

We may not be in the playoffs but our defense is among the elite this year. It's been in the top 10 all season and went into the Eagles game ranked fifth. Now we're ranked fourth. Our offense may not have produced at the end, but our defense is ranked higher than some of the great teams that are in the playoffs. And we all know that offense scores points but defense wins games. And the Redskins showed a lot of defense this season despite being one of the smallest teams in the league.

When we put our emotions to it, we can tear down any team in the league. But the Redskins always seem to beat them damn selves. They have done this for over 15 years now, and they always seem to knock their own heads off. When we lose big games it's usually because of lack of execution or emotion on our end. We just have to turn this around next year.

But wait a minute...

There's always next year. And just for the record, I never once considered the idea of firing Jim Zorn this year. A lot of Redskins haters and even Redskins fans were calling for the team to cut on our young rookie head coach.

How dare you all? This goes out especially to the supposedly diehard Redskins fans. Real Redskins fans are always optimistic and that's how we take life. Being a Redskins fan makes you take pride in what you believe in.

We believe even when no one else believes in us. And Jim Zorn is the man who's going to take us there. And I said this back before the season started but here it goes. "Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, Jim Zorn, will bring home a Super Bowl back to the DMV district. And all praise will happen in D.C."

Again, I can give you reasons why we will at least reach the Super Bowl sometime during Jim Zorn's reign here in Washington. Like most coaches, Jim Zorn knows how to win football games. He just hasn't been consistent with his game-time coaching this season. This is his first year coaching on any level. QB coach doesn't really count.

Being an offensive or defensive coordinator is coaching. QB coach you just work with the QBs all practice. That's what Jim Zorn was for seven years in Seattle and some years in Detroit. He did call plays one game in Detroit but that is ancient history.

We have a lot of improvement we have to do this offseason. We all know this. Zorn is the man who will need to be the man to make big decisions this offseason. If the Redskins are going to succeed next year and get to the top of the NFC East at the least, Daniel Snyder and Vinny Cerrato will need to let Zorn run this offseason, especially with the draft picks, and let him turn this team around.

We don't really need to get rid of anyone. Clinton Portis should stay and he and Zorn will get along a lot more during the offseason. I can see them hanging out during the break. Build a friendship with your teammates is the way to building a serious trust amongst the organization. Zorn is a genuine man who would be the type of coach who brings a genuine joy to this team that it never really possesses consistently.

I mean Joe Gibbs is as genuine man as a coach can be, but he didn't connect with the fans physically. He did a great job at building the Redskins' character during his reigns in Washington, and he can bring the fight out of any player on any given day. He really reached out to the team spiritually.

And that's the only difference between Jim Zorn and Joe Gibbs. Zorn connects with the team physically and mentally at times. He's gotten the emotion out of them early in the year and lost their emotion for a couple of games but they regained it last Sunday against Philly. I can't say he connects with them spiritually like Gibbs, but he connects with them genuinely like Zorn-like.

If he can build on their rookies, Devin Thomas, Malcome Kelly, Big Fred Davis, Sensational Chris Horton and even Marcus Mason, who they should keep on the team next year, we can do some great things. They need to develop, and Zorn will get them there. Zorn will work on enhancing this offensive line. I don't think the defensive line needs too much change. They just need chemistry.

Jason Taylor was thrown in there last second and he's a game changing DE so they need to run that defensive line through him. London Fletcher can still lead the defense but Taylor should be able to be second in line and become leader of the defensive line. He can make adjustments when they are in formation. Taylor is a great leader and with him and London Fletcher can bring this defense as a top five, maybe even top three next year.

I personally would love to have the No. 1 defense in the NFL at the end of next season. So that's how the defense is only going to get better because Taylor and Carter will work great with each other after getting more acquainted with each other.

We don't need any more receivers. We need to put Santana Moss as the slot receiver and let Thomas and Kelly be the starting receivers next year. Jason Campbell needs two tall receivers for his tall frame so he can afford to throw some high balls and let those rookies make plays on them.

If that doesn't work, then Santana would be flying out of the slot—where he's always been most dangerous throughout his football career and not starting receiver—and burn any inside defender and safety. That leads to more deep plays to Santana from the slot. This will help make Campbell more calmer and help his vision better. That whole offense needs a change in the depth chart next year.

We can handle all that right there during the offseason. Then, we're going to have draft picks so maybe we can get a young DT or an athletic OT. We're good at cornerbacks. They need to build a chemistry, too. I say keep them all next year if you can. No need to change up that defense. Landry is the playmaker too along with Horton. Campbell is still the man we need at QB.

Personally, I would love to see Colt Brennan out there. But I like him at the No. 2 QB right now and just pick up whenever Campbell goes down and he will unleash the ball to those receivers. Campbell will still be maybe a two-TD passer a game. We're going to pass the ball more to. Set up the pass so it can open up the holes for Portis. Start the game more fast pace into the no huddle and get Campbell flowing early. We don't need a dominant offense but just enough to keep the defense rested and always into the games.

I'm betting anyone now that next year the Washington Redskins will be the odds-on favorite to get to the NFC Championship Game next season. We're going to be a much more focused, talented, and determined team. We want a ring.

Once the Washington Redskins themselves come to realization on how good they can really be, we will run the NFL next season. And not just for a half season either. We're going to be a tough team to beat every single game. The team has had their drama pass for now. We'll get through this offseason together just like one big dysfunctional family. That's all the Redskins Nation is. Very dysfunctional but loving just like any diehard sports fan.

Simple JT