Kickoff is less than 24 hours away and I while I am intensely excited for games to finally count, I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, Yay football. On the other hand, if the Redskins play like they did in the preseason against Jacksonville and Carolina it go down for real and mean that they really are worlds away from where a successful team should be to, well, succeed. I have my doubts about the OLine, the WRs, the secondary, and Jason Campbell. I love the guy and I believe he has what it takes to be a good QB in the NFL, but he just can't seem to catch a break with the fans. I can't count the number of times I have done my best to get people to give him a chance to prove himself only to have them say he sucks or he isnt cut out for the big time, whether it be for lack of skill, intangibles or general intelligence.
The hot topic these days is Colt Brennan. There are far too many people willing to throw away an entire season just to see Brennan play based off of his preseason performances. Newsflash, preaseason football means nothing. Brennan was playing against no namers who may or may not have made their squads. Sure he made them look worse than they are but that doesn't exactly translate to him being better than Campbell in real game situations. He has yet to see the field in a 100%, full speed, full contact, regular season game and people are saying he would lead the Redskins to the playoffs or whatever. To those people, I am sorry because someone clearly obsconded with your sense of reality. Rookie QBs are not NFL ready until at the very least their 2nd year. You could throw the Ben Roethlisberger argument out there, but he stepped in on a team that was already built for the run and he just did well enough with the passing game to win and ultimately capture a Super Bowl. But the Redskins are not built for anything right now. They are in a new system and are bordering on having and OLine breakdown, what with Jon Jansen being demoted and everyone else making their final ascent to the top of the hill which they will soon be over. I don't even want to talk about how little confidence I have in Santana Moss and Antwan Randle El right now.
The West Coast Offense runs a lot of short routes, and while that may play to their strenghts as quick receivers who can stretch short plays into homeruns, but a good deal of those short routes would be across the middle, which is big man territory. I highly doubt that either of those guys are going to want to go over the middle as much as the offense demands. Their size limits the routes they can run throughout the course of a game and a season. I give them both credit for their toughness, but they are not built to go over the middle. Chris Cooley is, but he will be blanketed by defenses because they know Campbell likes him as a target. The defense, for the most part, doesn't concern me. I do have a few questions about the secondary though. Can Shawn Springs recreate last seasons high level of play again? Can Fred Smoot return to the Fred Smoot the Redskins drafted originally? Is Carlos Rogers fully healed and able to play at a high level? Is Reed Doughty going to work out? Is LaRon Landry going to build on his rookie season or have some sort of regression? Too many questions for one season opener.
I can say that I fully expect Clinton Portis to play a huge role in the game. He may have only managed a lowly 3.9 yard average last season, but he never once gave up on a play. He lined up every down, and every carry he was stonewalled on, he just came back and pushed a little harder. He had a little under 1300 yards and 11 TDs and given how criticized he was after his injury riddled 2006 season, he proved he can last the season with the physical pounding he takes as a Redskins running back. I will be happy when any of the questions or doubts are answered or put to rest because the longer they hang around, the longer I worry that this is going to be an absolute travesty of a season. We'll see in 18 hours or so, though won't we?
Prediction: Redskins 23 Giants 20