Washington Redskins 2008 Season Preview

Leading up until the regular season, there will be team capsules brought to you of every team in the NFL. These capsules will serve as a primer for the NFL regular season opening up. Today we examine the Washington Redskins.

Was Jim Zorn a good choice for the ‘Skins head coach?
It was certainly worth a shot and Zorn will bring a nice breath of fresh air with him. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Gibbs was a legend that will go down in history as the greatest Redskins coach in history in my opinion. But it was time for him to go.

Zorn was a former quarterback and the organization is hoping that he’ll be able to bring signal caller Jason Campbell along as a franchise QB. Zorn is going to get some leeway but he’s not going to get several years to do this. This is a playoff team and Zorn is going to have to show he can win in this league or he’ll be out quick. There’s better men to work for than Daniel Snyder.

Is Clinton Portis entering the twilight of his career?
Portis rebounded from an injury-riddled 2006 to run for 1262 yards last season. He did it in the memory of his fallen teammate Sean Taylor. Portis is a very likable and colorful player. He’s also going to start showing some tread on the tires this season. At age 27, he’s amassed 1710 rushing attempts and 205 receptions in his career. That is a lot of touches by age 27. If Portis can have a year similar to last year, where he was running like he was 22 again; the Redskins will have a shot at pulling some surprise victories in this tough division.

What kind of year is this for Jason Campbell?
This guy really should have succeeded no matter what. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, a great arm, and he works hard. He’s also had 4 offensive coordinators in four years. That is just disastrous for a young QB.

Campbell put a stretch together last season before injury that was very impressive, including a big statistical game in Dallas where they nearly pulled off the upset. Still, Campbell has hit snags in his career for various reasons, and it’s puzzling. Things are going to start to slip away from him in Washington if he doesn’t start to deliver some solid and consistent play. He’s not a young pup anymore. He’ll be 26 this season and has just 22 TD and 17 INT to his career stat line. Campbell needs a big year and needs to show the organization and fan base that he’s going to be their long term solution at QB. There’s something that tells us that he’s going to do it and be just fine.

The Bottom line for the Hogs
The Redskins are in a division with the world champions (Giants), the supposed 2008 world champions (Cowboys), and a team that some have said could be the world champions (Eagles). There’s not much association with the Redskins as world champs, but stranger things have happened… I guess. They’ve got a solid foundation on both sides of the ball. The acquisition of Jason Taylor will help a veteran defense that does enough to win usually. The offense needs to be consistent and they must find a target that is consistent other than Santana Moss and Chris Cooley. Look for Devin Thomas to become a dependable favorite target of Campbell.

Overall an 8-8 season wouldn’t be a terrible thing considering who they’ll be forced to play. That is about what we expect them to do as they’re in a transition year.

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