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NFC East Beat Writers Series: Redskins

Welcome to Day 2 of our series on the NFC East, where we speak to the beat writers in the division and ask them to evaluate their teams.

On Monday, we broke down the Giants.

Today we talk to Jason Reid, who covers the Redskins for The Washington Post.

Five things the Redskins need to worry about:

1. Albert Haynesworth. The guy doesn't want to be here. If they keep him here it can be a distraction and if Mike Shanahan tries to break this guy, he might break. This team doesn't want to go into the season with any drama like last year. If he's not here, then who plays nose tackle?

2. Wide receivers. A lot of concern at this position with Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly. These guys are not the long-term answer here and Kelly wasn't impressive during the OTAs. Santana Moss is 5-9 and they signed an old Joey Galloway.

3. 3-4 defense. These guys were a top 10 defense five of the last six years in a 4-3 scheme. Why change it? I'm not sure they have the personnel for a 3-4 right now. The safeties will have a different role in it as well.

4. Linebackers. The outside linebacker opposite Brian Orakpo is an issue. Andre Carter is better in the 4-3. In San Francisco he struggled to play outside backer in their 3-4 scheme. Lorenzo Alexander is making another position change. He's played defensive tackle, to defensive end and now outside linebacker.

5. Daniel Snyder. He turned everything over to Bruce Allen and Shanahan and that's a good thing. But what happens if the team struggles -- four playoff teams in first six weeks of the season -- what would he do? Would Snyder then get invovled?

Five things not to worry about:

1. Donovan McNabb. A proven winner, who is an elte quarterback. He's won big games in this division and he commands the respect of the locker room. Jason Campbell couldn't do that.

2. Tight end. Chris Cooley is coming off an injury and should be in good shape. Fred Davis showed a lot in the second half of the season last year. Both of these guys are threats. Very talented group.

3. Brian Orakpo. You can say the Redskins don't have the personnel to run a 3-4, but they do have one major piece: An outside pass rusher in this guy. He's going to be a real force in this defense and the key to its success.

4. Offensive line. It was pretty bad last year, but it received some upgrades with the additons of Jammal Brown (right tackle) and Trent Williams (left tackle). Artis Hicks and Mike Williams are two players who should make things better this season. The changes were long overdue for this franchise.

5. Mike Shanahan. This guy has been successful. He's got two Super Bowl rings to back up what he says and with Snyder giving up control, this is the man you give it up to. Jim Zorn was a nice guy, but Shanahan has the resume the players will respect.