As the Rams prepare to face off against the Redskins, looking for their first win but wary of the new wrinkles Jim Haslett brings to their 3-4 defense, Eric Schmidt of RedskinsPost.com and I exchanged some Q&A. Yesterday, he posted my answers to his Rams questions; today, he gives us the scoop on all things Redskins.
Ross Tucker was one of the very few who foresaw a good year for the Redskins, predicting that they would win the NFC East. How surprising is their start (1-0 in the division, nearly 2-0 overall), and do you think they are legit contenders?
Redskins Post: No, I do not. While the Redskins have a solid defense, this team is lacking at the wide reciever position. Santana Moss is okay, but when your #2 receiver is Joey Galloway and you have predicated an offense based on short passes to tight ends, you are not going to go far in the playoffs, let alone reach the playoffs. All one has to look at is the players the Redskins brought in this offseason to surround Donovan McNabb with, Willie Parker? Larry Johnson? they are both gone now. The Redskins in my opinion should win 7 games this season.
In two weeks we've seen two seemingly opposite performances by the Redskins offense... Which one was the fluke? Or were there specific matchups that bode particularly well or poorly for the Redskins offense?
Redskins Post: I think the Redskins fall somewhere in between on offense. They aren't as poor as we witnessed on opening weekend and they aren't going to be throwing for over 400 yards every game either. That Houston Texans game just got out of control after the Redskin defense couldn't shut down Schaub and company. That was a crazy game on Sunday, and sometimes those types of games just manifest themselves, for example, look at last years Arizona Cardinals/Green Bay Packers playoff shootout. It's almost as if the energy from the game transcends any defensive scheme. I definitely expect to see a more balanced offense this week, I've got McNabb pegged at about 265 yards passing.
Albert Haynesworth has stolen all of the spotlight from what looks like a pretty strong Washington defense. What has his contribution been, and who else deserves more of their share of the credit?
Redskins Post: Albert Haynesworth. I am so sick and tired of writing about him. At one point this summer I simply referred to him as the defensive tackle which would remain nameless. He showed up to camp out of shape, claimed he had some mystrey illness and has contributed nothing to the Redskins defense. He was inactive last week with an ankle injury.
I think he has a head injury, it's firmly planted up his backside.
He is a cancer for the Redskins and I cannot believe the Redskins continue to keep him on the roster. Perhaps they are hoping that some team needs a DT before the October trade deadline but the fact that his former coaches, Jeff Fisher and Jim Schwartz don't want any part of him tells you just about all you need to know about Haynesworth.
Clinton Portis' yards per carry have been going steadily downward over the last two years, is he in the twilight of his career or is there still plenty in the tank for Shanahan?
Redskins Post: No. I think Portis is at the end of his ride in the NFL. Remember, Shanahan drafted Portis when he was in Denver, then traded him after a great season. I don't think Shanahan is sold on Portis, as I mentioned before, if he was why did they bring in Willie Parker and Larry Johnson. The Redskins offense has to seem ironic for McNabb. All the while McNabb was in Philadelphia, he complained about not having playmakers on offense, once the playmakers arrived, he gets shipped to Washington where he has to start all over again.
Final score, etc.
Redskins Post: I think this game is going to be closer than many folks think. I've seen portions of the first two Rams games this year and this is not the 2009 version of the St Louis Rams. I think Washington comes away with a road win, but closer than many might expect. Redskins 23- Rams 19
Many thanks to Eric for his time and his responses, and be sure to check out his work.