2008 Redskins Report Card

Another season is in the books for the Washington Redskins. It was a season of highs and lows and it seemed to fly by especially fast this year. In the end they finished where they started, a very “medium” 8-8. Some would say that with a new coach an 8-8 or 9-7 season was to be expected, I would disagree. This was a playoff team in 2007 and nearly every piece of the puzzle, both coaches and players alike, were back. That coupled with a 6-2 first half should have meant a playoff birth. Oh well, there’s always next year. Here’s my final grades for the Skins, from the top to the bottom.

Dan Snyder – B-
Good things,
He didn’t have his private jet flying all over the place spending big $$ on free agents last offseason. He didn’t keep Gregg Williams around to be the head coach, and was able to keep Greg Blache from retiring. Honoring Sean Taylor with induction to the ring of honor was a nice touch. He also provided some enjoyable YouTubes.
Now for the bad,
His loyalty to Vinny Cerrato has not provided the Redskins with the front office structure they need to be successful (ie Vinny needs to go.) The Zorn pick for Head Coach is still debatable, especially if Jim Swartz is a successful head coach next year. Cowboys, Eagles, and Steeler fans taking over Fedex was embarrassing, the marketing department should have been proactive in not allowing this to happen

Vinny Cerrato – D

The draft was a debacle, aside from Horton and Brennan, nice pickups late in the draft. DeAngelo Hall was a nice addition mid-season, but then everyone knew he would land in Washington. Everything else sucked. Jason Taylor was a huge bust. Cerrato’s choice of a Punter actually cost us a game or two! Lets see what Vinny has in store for us this offseason.

Jim Zorn (Head Coach) – C

At this point I like Zorn better as a head coach than an offensive coordinator. He seemed to run a tight ship and appeared well prepared from the start of training camp. Too much info given to the media about in house stuff. His public spat with Portis was not handled well. The Skins were 2-6 in the 2nd half. Hail maroon and black.

Jim Zorn (Offensive Coordinator) – C-

The offense had a few moments where things were clicking but not many. The rushing game was strong (using the same plays from Gibbs.) Play calling was poor and Zorn sometimes appeared lost. Red zone offense was terrible. Offense ranked near the bottom of the league in scoring and yards. Zorn needs to get much better or delegate more.

Greg Blache – B

He led the 4th ranked defense in the NFL. Got the defense to play well thru injuries. Coming back next year, but several coaches may not. Only gripe is the defense didn’t seem to make stops or big plays when needed.

Quarterbacks – C

Campbell only turned the ball over 7 times and improved his QB rating and completion percentage for 3rd straight year. But, the improvements are baby steps, not giant strides. QB’s with less experience are playing better and leading their teams to the playoffs. It’s time so start seeing improvements in the W department. Collins took only a handful of snaps. Colt Brennan is like the new chick in school. Everyone wants to date her because they think she’s hot. The truth is, she may not be hot, she’s just new. However, Colt should get extra snaps and game time in preseason next year to see what he can do.

Running Backs – B

Portis had a Pro Bowl season, was 4th in the league in rushing and played thru various injuries. He did say several negative things publicly about his coaches and teammates in the media, and for the first time I have concerns about his character. Betts was serviceable as his backup and Cartwright played little. Sellers had a Pro Bowl season was a beast as a blocker. If we could just take back one play.

Wide Receivers – C-

Moss had a 1000 yd season and is still a game changer. However, he dropped to many balls and seemed to disappear from the offense for several weeks at a time. Randle El would have good numbers for a 3rd WR, which he should be, but he’s our 2nd. Thrash contributed little. Thomas showed glimpses of promise but overall did not do much. Kelly is a disaster to this point.

Tight Ends- B

Cooley posted career highs in receptions and yards on his way to his 2nd consecutive Pro Bowl selection. Zorn needs to use him more down field (deep post, post corners) and in the red zone. Yoder played well when called upon. Boozie Davis came thru with a -3 yd reverse.

Offensive Line – C-

Strong running game averaged 130 yds per game, 8th in the NFL. Kendall probably stood out along with Samuels (when healthy.) Pass protection was poor and the line is getting old. This unit has to be a priority in the offseason.

Defensive Line – C

Played well against the run. This line is made up of serviceable NFL players, no studs. Golston, Montgomery, Alexander, Griffin, and Evans are all good players. Carter and Taylor provided little pressure on the QB, and combined for only 66 tackles and 7.5 sacks. We need a difference maker on this unit.

Linebackers – B-

Fletcher was awesome and is the heart of the defense, he was robbed of the Pro Bowl. Mcintosh played well. I’m worried that Marcus Washington will never be the same again. HB Blades played decent filling in both inside and outside spots. If Jason Taylor comes back, I would like to see him moved around more and used like he was in the Eagles game.

Secondary – B
Springs was banged up again and will be gone next year. Rodgers played better, but still can’t catch. I hope he catches a 1,000 passes a day in the offseason. Smoot is a solid #3 CB. Hall played decent, but he tackles like my 4 year old. I think we need to resign him, but don’t get crazy doing so. Landry is tough, but needs to cut out the stupid penalties. Horton showed flashes and could become a solid player.

Special Teams – D
Yuck. The Punters were terrible. Randle El was horrible returning punts. Suisham was ok early, but got cold at the worst time of the year. Coverage teams were so-so. Cartwright does a fine job returning kicks.

I guess if you average these grades together you’d come out with a C average. A medium grade indeed. Certainly better than I fared in High School and College, but not what I’d have hoped for from my team. Like I said earlier, there’s always next year see you in Miami!

Cheers and Hail

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