Dan Snyder has opened his checkbook and spent liberally on both coaches and players this off-season. But will it work?There is no doubt that the Washington Redskins were not only very active in free-agency, but that they scooped up the free-agents that best fit their franchise.
Instead of the aimless aquisition of talent that we saw being driven by Snyder in his first year or two as owner (Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Jeff George, etc.) we are now seeing a real plan behind who is brought in and who is not.
Consider for a moment the wide receiver position. They needed another serious downfield threat to enable Santana Moss to get open. If this was 2000 Snyder would have insisted on T.O. and damn the consequences, simply because he is the most talented player available. The 2006 plan is much more prudent: sign Randle-El and trade for Brandon Lloyd. Now your targets include Moss, Randle-El, Lloyd, and Cooley (and don’t forget the signing of Fauria and that David Patten is still on the roster). Add to that the veteran passing of Brunell and the solid running game of Portis behind a capable O-Line and the Redskins start to look really scary on offense.
Defensively, they have signed two players: Andre Carter and Adam Archuletta. Carter is a pass-rushing DE who can also play linebacker. Archuletta had a good rookie season in St. Louis and has since tailed off some, but it’s likely he could regain his early form in Gregg Williams’s system. He is still a young player with lots of potential. This defense was already very solid and will continue to be so despite the loss of Lavar Arrington.
The team managed to re-sign most of the role-players on both sides of the ball, which is almost always a good thing and shows that there is a plan, a direction in which the team is going. The Ramsey trade illustrates this, too. They could have kept him there as the backup until his contract ran out, and probably ended up with a QB controversy between him and Jason Campbell. Now there is no muddied water; instead there is a clear-cut decision that defines the situation.
Now add to all of that a coaching staff that is the envy of the entire league and you start to realize the potential this team has. They have went from doormats to contenders in the space of two years. But we’ve all heard this tune before. They look great on paper, but will they show up in the regular and post-season? As they say, “That’s why they play the games.”