Redskins Wisely Tone It Down This Offseason
Team-By-Team Offseason Roundup
Troy Vincent, S
Christian Fauria, TE
John Hall, K
David Patten, WR
Free Agents Lost:
Derrick Dockery, G
Kenny Wright, CB
T.J. Duckett, RB
Mike Rumph, CB
Warrick Holdman, LB
Adam Archuleta, S
Free Agents Re-Signed:
Vernon Fox, S
Ade Jimoh, CB
Todd Yoder, TE
Free Agents Added:
London Fletcher, LB
Fred Smoot, CB
Ross Tucker, G
Omar Stoutmire, S
Jason Fabini, T
David Macklin, CB
Derrick Blaylock, RB
Jerametrius Butler, CB
Rd. 1 (No. 6 overall) LaRon Landry, S, LSU
5 (143) Dallas Sartz, LB, USC
6 (179) H.B. Blades, LB, Pittsburgh
6 (205) Jordan Palmer, QB, Texas-El Paso
7 (216) Tyler Ecker, TE, Michigan
It was a quiet offseason by the Washington Redskins' standards.
That's a good thing, in this case.
The big move that the Redskins needed to make was made during the season last season, when Coach Joe Gibbs made the quarterback switch from veteran Mark Brunell to youngster Jason Campbell. After that, the wise thing for the Redskins to do was to keep everything else the same, at least as much as they could. That's what they did.
Now the offensive players have had some time to settle into coordinator Al Saunders's system, that after Gibbs--perhaps unnecessarily, with the team coming off a playoff season in 2005--turned over control of the offense to Saunders last year. Gibbs reclaimed some measure of control over the team's offensive identity late last season, pledging to get back to the run-first approach that produced three Super Bowl titles in his first go-around as the club's coach. With Campbell, the Redskins should be able to do the things that Gibbs's teams did on offense to be successful: Run the ball, and throw it deep. The club kept tailback Ladell Betts off the free agent market by signing him to a contract extension beforehand; Betts and Clinton Portis give the Redskins an effective one-two rushing combination.
Guard Derrick Dockery left for a big-money contract with the Buffalo Bills in free agency. That hurts the offensive line but certainly doesn't dismantle it. The Redskins were more careful then usual in free agency, picking up linebacker London Fletcher and cornerback Fred Smoot early and, more recently, adding cornerbacks David Macklin and Jerametrius Butler. The team now has some depth at cornerback, and Fletcher is a solid tackler to anchor the defense. The sixth overall pick in the draft perhaps should have been used to address a more pressing need on the defensive line, but it's difficult to quibble too much with selecting a player as talented as LSU safety LaRon Landry.
The Redskins have a long way to go after stumbling to a 5-11 record last season. But you can fix a lot in this league if you fix your quarterback position, and the early returns on Campbell as a starter last season seemed to indicate that the Redskins are on their way to doing that.
By Mark Maske |
June 8, 2007; 10:33 AM ET
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