Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

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CFB Week 5 and NFL Week 4 Picks!

October 1, 2010

Football Fiends-

All the picks will be in this one post because I am about to start a site migration off wordpress.com and onto a private host. Site SHOULD, if all goes well experience absolutely no downtime.

CFB Week 5

USC over Washington

Texas over Oklahoma

NC State over VA Tech

Notre Dame over BC

LSU over TN

Georgia over Colorado

ASU over Oregon State

FSU over UVA

Alabama over Florida

Iowa over Penn State

Nevada over UNLV

Oregon over Stanford

South Florida over Florida Atlantic

UCLA over Washington State

TCU over Colorado State

Mississippi over Kentucky

NFL Week 4 Picks

Atlanta over San Francisco

Jets over Buffalo

Cincinnati over Cleaveland

Green Bay over Detroit

Tennessee over Denver

Seattle over St Louis

New Orleans over Carolina

Pittsburgh over Baltimore

Houston over Oakland

Indy over Jax

Philly over Washington

San Diego over Arizona

Bears over Giants

New England over Miami


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The Official Gridiron Goddess NFL Week 2 Picks

September 17, 2010

Week 2 abysmal score 7-8

HA HA HA Oh Man did I ever stink up the joint with last week’s picks. WOW. A truly atrocious 8-8 was my Week 1 record. Let’s hope week 2 is better!

The Official Gridiron Goddess NFL Week 2 picks

Chiefs over Browns

Packers over Buffalo

Ravens over Bengals

Steelers over Titans

Dallas over Chicago

Panthers over Bucs

Cardinals over Falcons

Vikings over Miami

Rams over Raiders

Houston over Washington

Seattle over Denver

Chargers over Jags

NE over Jets

Colts over Giants

Saints over 49ers

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Put ’em in the Hall: The Ken Anderson Edition

September 16, 2010

This is a new series of columns written by the one and only, Oh No Romo. The series hopes to go over some of the names on the 2011 Preliminary Nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So enjoy!

by Oh No Romo

Ken Anderson belongs in the Hall of Fame! I’ll say it, no problem at all. Any quarterback that can take the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl surely deserves a spot in Canton.

Ken Anderson

When you hear the name of Ken Anderson, most people my age don’t really know who that is (He retired before I was born, if that’s any indication).

While Boomer Esiason might be more well-known for his time with the Bengals, it’s Anderson who owns all the Bengals career passing records. Anderson leads the team in passing yards (32,838), touchdowns (197), wins (91) and completions (2654).

The Bengals drafted Anderson, from Augustana College in Illinois (D-3 BABY!) in the third round of the 1971 NFL Draft. The draft included such quarterbacks as Dan Pastorini (of Houston), Archie Manning (New Orleans) and Jim Plunkett (New England, but best known for his time with the Raiders).

His draft class also includes Hall of Famers like John Riggins (6th overall pick), Jack Youngblood (LA Rams), Jack Ham (Pittsburgh) and Dan Dierdorf (St. Louis Cardinals). In fact Anderson was selected in front of Lynn Dickey and Leo Hart, who only played three games in his career.

Anderson played 16 seasons in total, all of them with the Bengals. You don’t see many quarterbacks play their entire career with one team. But if it’s any indication of how long Anderson’s played, Brett Favre played 16 seasons with the Packers.

Anderson, went to four Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro once. His All-Pro season, 1981, was all the season he took the Bengals to their first ever Super Bowl. Anderson was fifth in the league in passing (3,754 yards) and third in touchdowns (29), both were career highs. He even threw the fewest interceptions in the league, for players starting the entire season.

After a terrible game in week 1, throwing two interceptions against the Seahawks, Anderson passed for 252 yards and two touchdowns in the win against the Jets.

Anderson’s best game that season came against the Browns on November 29. He completed 80 percent of his passes and threw four touchdowns (two of them to Cris Collinsworth) in the route against Cleveland, 41-21.

Cincy clinched the division with a 12-4 record. It was their first playoff appearance since 1975. (They tied for first in the AFC Central in 1976, but lost both games to Pittsburgh).

The Bengals took care of Buffalo in the Divisional round, 28-21. It was a balmy compared to the conditions they’d play the AFC Championship in.

In subzero temps, the Bengals froze Air Coryell and the San Diego Chargers, 27-7. Anderson passed for two touchdowns, but the Bengals kept the ball on the ground for the most part. Besides, who really wants to catch a football in -30 wind chills?

The dream would stop for the Bengals as despite a three touchdown performance (one rushing) by Anderson, the Bengals fell to the 49ers, 26-21. The MVP of the game was 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. Maybe you heard of him? Apparently, Montana was kind of a big deal! He does those Sketchers commercials now.

The next season, Anderson set the NFL record for completion percentage in a season with 70.55 percent. Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke the record last season with a 70.62 percent completion rate. However, when Anderson set the record, 1982 was a strike shortened season. But that shouldn’t take away from the consistency of Anderson.

Anderson also holds the third highest completion percentage in a game (minimum 20 attempts) in NFL history. Anderson completed 20-of-22 passes against Pittsburgh in 1974. Kurt Warner and Vinny Testaverde are ahead of Anderson.

Anderson wasn’t able to replicate the success of ’81 and ’82. He started only two games in 1985 and retired after the ’86 season.

Anderson is currently 25th All-Time on the NFL career passing list. Had Kurt Warner played another season, he would have passed Anderson. He did finish ahead of his ’71 Draft counterparts, Pastorini, Manning and Plunkett.

Anderson’s 197 touchdown passes (32nd best all-time) puts him ahead of the three quarterbacks mentioned. He’s also ahead of the likes of Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Joe Namath, all Hall of Famers.

His career completion percentage of 59.3 percent is 40th best all-time. However, that puts him ahead of Dan Fouts, Warren Moon, Bart Starr,  Fran Tarkenton, Johnny Unitas and John Elway. And again, they are Hall of Famers.

I could probably talk about this subject until I am blue in the face. But there’s plenty of evidence out there to prove that Ken Anderson is a Hall of Famer. He’s been a finalist twice. Hopefully, he’ll get his shot this year.

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Gridiron Goddess’ NFL Week 1 Picks!

September 7, 2010

WOO HOO Football Fiends!!!

Football season is finally, completely here. As of Thursday both College and the NFL will be in action. I will be IN New Orleans for the NFL Kick-Off because, well, that is how I roll. So, picks are going up early this week and I’ll check back in on Sunday. (Cause Saturday night is USC’s home opener and well, you know how that goes…)

The Official Gridiron Goddess NFL Week 1 Picks

Saints over Vikings

Giants over Panthers

Atlanta over Pittsburgh

Cleveland over Tampa

Denver over Jax

Indy over Houston (the new home of my future husband Matt Leinart)

Miami over Buffalo

Chicago over Detroit

Titans over Raiders

New England over Cincy

Arizona over St. Louis

San Francisco over Seattle (sorry Pete Carroll)

Green Bay over  Philly

Dallas over Washington

Jets over Ravens

San Diego over Kansas City

Be sure to watch the NFL Kick-Off Pre-game show with Dave Matthews Band. You just might see me in a Chargers t-shirt and my friend ‘Nole Chick rocking a Bucs jersey. We’re part of the pre-selected audience!

Happy Return of the NFL Weekend!

-Your Gridiron Goddess

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Guest Post: Walker Sports 2010 NFC South Preview

August 19, 2010

Walker Sports NFC South 2010 Preview

by Dumont J Walker III

Brett Favre has returned to the NFL, and all is right with the world of football. Now, if September 12, would hurry up and get here, we can get this season underway. Till then you’ll just have to settle for this NFC South Preview.

New Orleans Saints: A great man once said, “To be the man you have to beat the man.” For the New Orleans Saints, that’s exactly the case. They are sitting atop the mountain, and until someone can knock them off they will remain there. The obvious thing to talk about when looking at the Saints is Drew Brees, and the high powered offense he leads. Brees has undergone an amazing transformation during his time in the NFL, from underrated, to one of the best in the game. You can expect with Sean Peyton calling the plays that Drew Brees will once again be lightning up NFL scoreboards, and torching opposing DB’s with his lethal passing. The key to success in 2010 will be the most overlooked part of the Saints offense, their running game. Last year New Orleans used a group of running backs to get this job done, and you can expect it to be more of the same in this year. Reggie Bush of course will gardener the headlines and make the electrifying plays, but the real treat this year will be when Bush mans up and starts taking carries between the tackles.

Gregg Williams was ran out of Washington by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, and he has landed happily in the Big Easy, where he has built one of the most fierce defenses in the NFL. The Saints defense is all about applying pressure to the quarterback. The Saints attack and blitz, with wreck less abandon and inflict mental and psychological damage on opposing QB’s. The idea is to traumatize the opposing QB enough. And eventually he will make a mistake. Don’t think it works? Just look what the Saints defense did to two future Hall of Famers in Brett Favre and Kurt Warner in during last year’s post season. The Saints defense plays boarder line dirty in the way they attack a quarterback. They want to get their hands on a QB, and put him in the dirt as much as possible. This is a great tactic, and as long as opposing teams continue to grant the Saints access to their QB’s this defensive philosophy will work.

Atlanta Falcons: You can add the Atlanta Falcons to the list of sheik teams that NFL writers love to talk about. Matt Ryan had a bit of a sophomore slump last season, I use that term loosely, and in his third year he ready to emerge as an elite quarterback in the NFL. Helping Ryan out this season will be tailback Michael Turner who will return to the normal rotation after spending a good chunk of last season on the bench with injuries. There is no doubt, that a big reason behind Ryan’s drop in production was the result of not having his Pro-Bowl caliber running back behind him. While the Falcons will be happy to have Turner back in the mix of things, he is not the only weapon Matt Ryan has at his disposal. The Falcons have one of the great emerging receivers in the league in Roddy White, and they also have arguably the best tight end of all time in Tony Gonzalez. To sum things up, the Falcons have the offense to produce and you can put me on the record for stating the Atlanta Falcons will make the Wild Card this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs were the youngest team in the NFL last season, and while I’m not positive about it, I’m pretty sure Tampa Bay is close to that mark once again. Nonetheless, the Bucs got a chance to “blood” a lot of their young players last season. None more so than rookie quarterback Josh Freeman who was forced to leave for the NFL a year early after a coaching change at Kansas State. While showing plenty of rookie inexperience last year, it was Freeman who got the Bucs their first win on the 2009 season in an amazing come from behind win against Green Bay. Freeman would go on to lead the Bucs to three wins during his rookie campaign. Not Big Ben taking the Steelers to the Super Bowl, but impressive considering how bad Tampa Bay was during the early part of the season. Freeman showed glimpses of promise last season. There is no doubt he has the physical tools to be a playmaker in the NFL, the question is can he adapt to the speed of the game, learn how to read the complex defenses that will be thrown at him?

Raheem Morris had a rocky first year as a head coach. However, starting the season 0-8 will do that to you. As the season progressed it appeared that Morris was able to get a grasp on what was going on, and how to manage games. Morris is a defensive guy, and he drafted a powerhouse in Gerald McCoy in the first round of the 2010 draft. While I’ll save the Warren Sapp compression till McCoy actually plays there is no doubt he will add a big impact to the Bucs defensive line and their pass rush. If Morris can get the Tampa Bay defense to playing like they did in the early part of the 2000’s it’s possible they can pick off a few extra wins, and with some help, maybe flirt with the .500 mark.

Carolina Panthers: It wasn’t too long ago that the Panthers were perennial playoff participants, and Super Bowl contenders, but that was before Jake Delhomme fell off the tracks. After a disastrous year, Delhomme is out, and the Panthers are looking to usher in a new era at quarterback. The problem is they aren’t exactly sure who will lead that era. Dallas Cowboy castaway Matt Moore stepped in late last season to replace Delhomme and picked up four wins for the club. However, that was not enough to give him the starting quarterback job outright. Thanks to a crashing draft stock, former Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen fell into Carolina’s lap and the Panthers have themselves a good old fashion quarterback controversy.

While it’s most likely that Matt Moore will start the season as the Panthers starting quarterback, one has to expect he will be on a short leash. Anytime there is a hotshot young quarterback standing on the sidelines, he instantly becomes the fan favorite as soon as the starter throws a pick. I never believe that a team that finds itself in this situation can be productive on the field. The starting QB is constantly looking over his shoulder wondering when he will get the ax. Once the young backup comes in, far too often they are not ready to step into the starting role and find themselves playing behind the 8-ball.

Adding to the Carolina Panthers problems for the 2010 season is a lame duck coach in John Fox. Ownership in Charlotte has let it be known they are not looking to renew the longtime coach’s contract. However, they were reluctant to let him go after last season. Now baring a Super Bowl appearance Fox will not be back for 2011.

In a nutshell the Carolina Panthers are a mess, which is a shame because there is still a lot of talent on that team. Deangelo Williams is entering a contract year and you can bet he will have another solid season. The same can be said for backfield running mate Jonathan Stewart. It’s a shame that two of the league’s best running backs have to languish on such a tepid team; it must be what Steven Jackson feels like out in St. Louis.

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Guest Post: Walker Sports 2010 AFC South Preview

August 16, 2010

AFC SOUTH

by Dumont Walker III

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are still the top of the AFC South and that’s not easy considering the AFC South has my vote for the toughest division in the NFL. Last year Peyton Manning nearly cemented his legacy with a second Super Bowl victory, instead he is still toiling away looking for another ring. If Peyton wants to change his fortunes in 2010 one has to think the Colts will improve their running game. It wasn’t long ago that Indianapolis showcased a well balanced offense, where the passing game was based off of play action, that was generated through a reliable ground game. Last season the Colts struggled to generate any consistent offense on the ground. As a result Peyton Manning lost a large chunk of his arsenal. That won’t get it done in 2010.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Colts aren’t a stand out unit, but they are talented enough to get the job done. Dwight Freeney is still a stand out pass rusher in this NFL, despite losing a step as he’s aged. Of course the same old story with Indianapolis is will Bob Sanders be healthy this year? Last year Sanders sat out the majority of the year thanks to an arm injury. He was limited to just two starts, during that time Sanders recorded 6 tackles and 2 interceptions. The bottom line is, when Sanders is in the game, the Colts defense is one of the best in the NFL.

Record: 13-3
Houston Texans: This is their year, and I mean it this time. I feel like every preseason I’m all amped up about the prospects of the Houston Texans, and in 2010 they will finally deliver and make the playoffs for the firs time in franchise history. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shannahan may be gone, but the Texans offense is still potent and dangerous. Andre Johnson is the best receiver in the league that no one talks about. This year he finally breaks through and reaches Chad Ocho Cinco and Randy Moss notoriety levels. If Johnson is going to become a household name in 2010 he is going to do so from catching plenty of passes from Matt Schaub. 2009 Schaub made a name for himself amongst fantasy owners when he lit up the league with his passing talents. This year Schaub will turn those gaudy passing numbers into victories on the field.

In the past people have been high on the Texans, but they simply were not ready to take the next step and become a playoff contender. Last season, Houston had the talent to become a playoff team, but they were not mentally prepared. Every time Houston found themselves in a tight game, they came up short because they were unable to execute under pressure. These miscues come as a result of a team that’s not used to being under the spotlight. In 2010 the Texans will lean on the experience of previous years to guide them through the tough times and into an AFC Wild Card game.

Record: 10-6

Tennessee Titans: It’s practically a crime that Jeff Fisher has not been able to bring a Super Bowl to Tennessee, he truly is one of the great coaches of our time. This year alone Fisher has had to deal with a slew of off the field issues that include Vince Young getting into fights at a strip club, USC coach Lane Kiffen stealing his coaches, and his star tailback Chris Johnson threatening a hold out. Despite all of those distraction, the Titians have everyone in camp and on time.

Last season Chris Johnson lit the league on fire when he rushed for 2,000 yards. As a result many people are expecting Johnson to come through with another monster year, Johnson himself is predicting that he can break the all time single season record. This blogger, does not believe that is possible. Chris Johnson is a great back, but rushing for 2,000 yards on consecutive seasons is near impossible, especially for a small back. Johnson will have a good season if he can top the 1,500 yard mark.

The Titans are still a dangerous team, who will hover around the .500 mark, and cause plenty of problems for the rest of the AFC South. However, a run into the post season will be near impossible. The division is just too tough.

Record: 9-7

Jacksonville Jaguars: There’s not a lot to say about the Jaguars. Yes Maurice Jones-Drew is a stud as a running back, but that’s not enough to elevate this team. The glaring issue with the Jacksonville Jaguars is their quarterback. David Garrard is a serviceable quarterback, but his time as a starter in the NFL are long gone. He simply does not posses the tools to make the plays on a regular basis. As a result, the Jaguars are always playing with a half a deck on offense.

The good news for Jaguar fans is MJD is one of the best in the game, and he will get his 1,300-1,400 yards on the season. With stats like that, it should be enough to keep Jacksonville competitive in all of there games and give them a chance to win a few. Unfortunately for Jaguar fans, MJD alone is not enough to get the Jags above .500 or into the playoffs.

Record: 7-9

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Guest Post: Walker Sports NFC East Preview

August 13, 2010

Football Fiends!

Please give a warm Gridiron Goddess Welcome back  to Walker Sports with their fantastic NFL Previews. Up first, the NFC East!

NFC East

By Dumont J. WalkerIII

Baseball used to be this country’s pass time, but now it is football. And while college football is amazing with all of its pageantry, it is the NFL that is the king amongst American sports. With a new NFL season just around the corner, there is plenty to talk about and discuss. This is the first installment of our NFL preview series. Since Walker Sports is located in the Mid-Atlantic territory, we will kick things off by talking about the NFC East.

-Teams are listed by predicted finish.

Dallas Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys are on everyone’s radar going into this season, and there’s plenty of reason for that. Last year, Dallas finally got over their 12 year playoff drought, and won a game in the Wild Card round against division rival Philadelphia. This season Tony Romo and company are looking to take the next step and play in the Super Bowl.

Tony Romo told Cowboy fans at a pre-season pep rally they were going to make the Super Bowl. If he wants to make good on that offer the Cowboys need to improve on their mental toughness. On the field Dallas has all the weapons. On offense Tony Romo has matured into the natural leader and on the field general. Surround Romo is a virtual Pro-Bowl list of talented running backs and receivers. One of the most interesting story lines coming out of Dallas this preseason is the competition between Felix Jones and Marion Barber. Jones has put on some muscle and is looking to take over as the primary back if he can prove durable enough. Marion Barber dropped a few pounds this off season and is looking faster and stronger than he ever has. Toss in the emergence of Tashard Choice and the Cowboys have three talented backs that can step in and be a feature player on any given down.

The Cowboys are also stacked at the wide out position. Roy Williams seems to have been motivated by the arrival of rookie Dez Bryant. Williams has looked sharper and faster during training camp than he ever has. Last year’s breakout star Miles Austin is still cemented as the team’s number one receiver, and now that he has dumped distraction Kim Kardashian, he is ready to play football. If Dez Bryant can overcome an early season ankle injury there is no doubt he will have an immediate impact and add a great deep threat.

On defense, the Cowboys finished the season ranked second and they have all the key players back. If the Cowboys want to improve on their mental toughness, they can look no further for help than Keith Brooking. The linebacker found a second life last year and became the emotional leader of the Cowboys. Brooking is a master of the 3-4 scheme and he is the ultimate pro, providing leadership for Ware and Spencer. If there is a question about the Cowboys it is in their secondary, and they continue to look for an answer at the safety position. Expect Wade Philips to dial up plenty of blitz packages, and rely on his front seven to create pressure, and protect a shaky secondary.

Philadelphia Eagles
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Donovan McNabb is gone, and Kevin Kolb is calling the shots for the Eagles. There is no doubt the flow of the Eagles offense will be affected. However, the move is consistent with the youth movement Andy Reid has put in place. DeSean Jackson is the new play maker and the deep threat. LeSean McCoy has stepped in to become the new feature back and replace the departed Brian Westbrook. If all of these young players can mold the Eagles could become the sleeper team in a weak NFC.

On the defensive side of the ball, there is no doubt the Eagles suffered a setback with the lost of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. While Philadelphia still blitzes a lot, and they try to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks, it was evident that the defense did not carry the same bite in 09 as they had in previous years. The dirty little secret about the Eagles success over the last decade was their defense. When the Eagles are able to dial up effective blitz packages, they can shut down anyone. But, when those blitz’s fail to generate pressure and knock a quarterback off their rhythm, they just serve to create matchup problems in the secondary that end up hurting the Eagles. For an example of what an ineffective Philadelphia defense looks like, look no further than their final two games of last year against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas was able to use their massive offensive line to create huge holes and they countered Philadelphia blitz’s by utilizing a wide variety of draw plays.

While I have the Eagles ranked second in the NFC East, I could easily see them falling behind the New York Giants, and maybe even the Washington Redskins. In the end, the 2010 Eagles are a 9-7 team if they can get everything to go their way.

New York Giants: It’s hard to believe that it was only three seasons ago that the Giants went on a miracle run and knocked off the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl, and seemingly were on their way to creating their own dynasty. How quickly the winds of change blow within the NFL, altering team’s fortunes. The biggest difference in the Giants is their offense, and the disappearance of their rushing attack. When New York is at their best, they feature a two or three headed rushing attack that can punish a defense however they want. In 2009 that attack went silent and so did the Giants. Brandon Jacobs was the epitome of a NFL power back when he broke out in 2007 and 2008. However, it appears that after receiving a contract extension the big back has lost some of his direction. In 2009 Jacobs only ran for 835 yards, and averaged a puny 3.7 yards a carry. All of this while weighing in at a hefty 270-280 pounds. Compounding the ineffectiveness of Brandon Jacobs in 2009 was the drop of in production from speed back Ahmad Bradshaw. After averaging 5.3 yards a carry in 2008 Bradshaw appeared ready to step into spotlight for the Giants, this is why they released running back Derrick Ward, but Bradshaw regressed in 2009. He was only able to compile 778 yards on 163 carries. Not bad, but nearly the production you want from a guy who was expected to transform into a feature back.

The Giants must find a way to run the ball, and take some pressure off of Eli Manning. While proving to be a good and reliable quarterback, he is not Peyton. The Giants cannot afford to put Eli in positions where he has to throw the ball 40 or more times a game and hope to make something happen. This is especially the case when his go to receiver is Steve Smith (not of the Panthers).

The offense was not the only unit to fail the Giants in 2009; the defense can take plenty of blame for New York missing the playoffs as well. What was once the best defensive line in football injuries and pure lack of production has left the Giants defensive line in shambles. Justin Tuck must play better in 2010. When he is at his best, he is nothing short of controlled chaos on the defensive line. Along with Osi, Tuck has to increase his production in 2010. Right now the Giants are also banking on the emergence of second year rush linebacker Clint Sintim to provide that extra spark they may have been missing in 2009.

Much like the Eagles, the 2010 season can go in either direction for the Giants. There is no doubt they will split one or two of their series in the NFC East and then hope for the best with the remainder of the schedule. What is in their favor is the NFC is weak overall and if the Giants can hover around the 8-8 or 9-7 mark they will keep themselves in the Wild Card mix.

Washington Redskins: It’s the beginning of a new era in Washington DC, and if you’re a Redskins fan that is the news you’ve been waiting for over the last ten years. For the first time since Marty ball left the district, the Redskins have a head coach who knows what he is doing, and has a plan to build on (sorry Joe Gibbs). Mike Shanahan has taken over as the Redskins head coach, and he wasted no time in putting his mark on the organization. Out is former first round draft pick Jason Campbell, in is Pro-Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb. It’s pretty obvious that McNabb is an instant upgrade at quarterback. He is a grizzled veteran player who has seen just about everything there is to see in the NFL. He should also have a chip on his shoulder since the Eagles thought so little of him they traded him to a division rival. According to reports already emerging from Ashburn, the biggest obstacle for Donovan McNabb in 2010 will be adjusting to and learning the language of a new offense. Mike Shanahan has placed the over under at two years. Too bad, Donovan may not be around that long, but that is another story.

While the change on the offensive side of the ball is obvious in Washington, the changes on the defensive side of the ball could prove to be the game changer. Jim Haslet has stepped in as the new defensive coordinator for the Burgundy and Gold and he is bringing the 3-4 defense with him. This is a change in philosophy from the 4-3 that Washington has run forever. The interesting twist in all of this is Washington was a solid defensive team last season. They were simply left on the field too long because of an anemic offense. The advantage of the 3-4 is it should generate more pressure and in turn force more turnovers, something the Skins have lacked in recent years. The 3-4 also allows second year star Brian Orakpo to showcase his exceptional athletic ability by moving him to rush linebacker and allowing him to blitz up to 70% of the time.

There are a lot of question marks surrounding the Washington Redskins. One thing I do know is this is a better team than last year, simply because they will be more organized and they have leadership both on and off the field. That being said, there are a lot of moving pieces that the Burgundy and Gold are trying to fit together in a very short amount of time, and that does not always yield the best results. In addition, Mike Shanahan has employed some hard discipline tactics, see Albert Haynesworth, while that’s good for a new coach to establish himself, it can also create tension. The Redskins still have strong personalities in their locker room, many of whom are happy to fall in line during the pre-season, and when the team is winning. But if the team takes a nose dive, those same hard handed tactics could backfire.

The key thing to remember with the Redskins is they went 4-12 in 2009, a 7-9 season is a vast improvement and getting above .500 is damn near a miracle.