Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Redskins regular-season wrap-up
By Matt Mosley
Arrow indicates direction team is trending.
Final Power Ranking: 26
Preseason Power Ranking: 17
The Donovan McNabb experiment in Washington never panned out.
Biggest surprise: That Mike Shanahan didn't make much progress. Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen were supposed to restore order to Redskins Park, but at times, they just added to the chaos. It wasn't a huge surprise that the Redskins finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs. But it was surprising that what should have been the strength of the team, the defense, could be so bad at times. In retrospect, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett would've been better off with a 4-3 scheme that fit his personnel for one season. The Redskins didn't put consistent pressure on the quarterback and the safeties were a mess once LaRon Landry had to be placed on injured reserve. I guess Landry would qualify as one of the pleasant surprises. He was on pace to head to the Pro Bowl after his fast start. Haslett kept him near the line of scrimmage where he could cause more damage.
Biggest disappointment: The Redskins sold their fan base on this idea of star quarterback Donovan McNabb leading the organization to new heights. Instead, McNabb had an awful season by his standards and couldn't find common ground with Mike Shanahan or his son, Kyle. I realize Albert Haynesworth got a lot of attention for his standoff with Mike Shanahan, but McNabb was ultimately the bigger story. His inability to flourish in this offense was a huge disappointment for the Redskins. It's probably an indictment of both Shanahan and McNabb.
Biggest need: The Redskins need help at pretty much every position, but obviously you have to start with quarterback. Surely Rex Grossman isn't the answer heading into 2011. Shanahan will focus on the quarterbacks declaring for the draft. I think he'll take a long look at Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, who lost to Ohio State on Tuesday night. After quarterback, you have to address this offensive line. They have their left tackle in Trent Williams, but now it's time to fill in some other spots. Artis Hicks isn't going to cut it as a starter at right guard, and the Skins definitely need a new left guard.
Team MVP: Let's go with wide receiver Santana Moss. His numbers weren't off the charts, but he still put his body on the line week after week and made plays for McNabb and Grossman. At a position that features a lot of divas, Moss is the consummate team guy.
Worst moment of the year: Everything changed once Mike Shanahan yanked McNabb from that game against the Detroit Lions. The Redskins tried to come back with a contract extension, but that turned out to be window dressing. The Redskins have left themselves an easy out with McNabb. Now it will be interesting to see if there's a market for the veteran quarterback. If the Skins can land a fourth-round draft pick for McNabb, they'll be doing well.