Originally Published: September 2, 2010
Jeff Fishbein/Icon SMI JOHN CLAYTON QB RANKING (9): After several productive seasons in Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb brings big-game experience and an 86.5 career passer rating to Washington.

Expert Picks (Consensus: 4th)

Intelligence Report

Five things you need to know about the Redskins:

1. This defense will cause more turnovers under Jim Haslett: There's been a lot more emphasis on stripping the ball in training camp. Brian Orakpo will still get his sacks, but this season he'll also be looking to separate quarterbacks from the ball. The loss of safety Kareem Moore for four to six weeks hurts, but the Redskins should be able to cover for him with Reed Doughty or Chris Horton. I think LaRon Landry is going to be a different player at strong safety under Haslett because he'll be able to play closer to the line of scrimmage. It always looked ridiculous to see him about 30 yards off the ball. It's time for him to make good on all that potential.

2. This will not go smoothly for Donovan McNabb -- at first: If McNabb was missing preseason games with the Eagles, I wouldn't be worried. But he needs more repetitions with Mike Shanahan's version of the West Coast offense. He never really found a great rhythm in training camp, so I'm not sure he'll be able to flip the switch against the Cowboys on Sept. 12. The Redskins are thin at receiver and talented at tight end. They have a lot of running backs, but most of them peaked about four or five years ago. It will take McNabb a little while to ignite this offense, but it will eventually happen.

3. Albert Haynesworth's not going to make it through the season: Hey, at least I waited until the third item. I don't think this is going to end well with Haynesworth and Shanahan -- and it's not as if I'm going out on a limb. This is a stubborn player whose ego exceeds his talent level. Shanahan will have to send him home (suspension) at some point in this season. I really believe that. And the Redskins won't miss him that much on the field. His constant complaining and desire to wear a baseball cap during practice will become too much of a distraction. I think some players would just as soon get it over with before the season begins.

4. It's put up-or-shut up time for Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly: Vinny Cerrato, the man who drafted these two wide receivers in the second round, isn't around to make excuses for them anymore. Kelly was placed on injured reserve after pulling his left hamstring and Thomas hasn't been consistent enough to move up the depth chart. When Anthony Armstrong is keeping you off the field, there's a problem. Shanahan doesn't owe these guys anything. They have talent, but they will no longer be coddled. It's ridiculous that Joey Galloway is starting for an NFL team at age 38. What, was Michael Westbrook not available?

5. Trent Williams will struggle, but he'll be fine eventually: Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will have to help McNabb in a lot of ways. He'll need to call plays that get the ball out quickly because Trent Williams and Jammal Brown are going to be slow out of the gates at left and right tackle. McNabb has never known what it's like to have a consistent running game, but he's about to find out how much it can help. No matter which of the geezers Shanahan keeps on the roster, at least one of them will put up respectable numbers. We learned that from Shanahan's time in Denver.

-- Matt Mosley, ESPN.com

Scouts Inc.'s Fabulous Five


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