UNDER THE RADAR . . .
Even without the 911 Anniversary-fueled emotion that will permeate FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon, this will be an unusual Opening Day for our Redskins. The labor situation notwithstanding, the Burgundy & Gold had a solid offseason, retooling quietly at a HUGE number of positions. Retooling quietly with quality players on both sides of the ball has not been the modus operandi in past years, but it served us well during the frenzied days of early August.
Solid pieces, such as Josh Wilson, Barry Cofield, OJ Atogwe, Stephen Bowen and youngster Ryan Kerrigan, will bring some much-needed grit to the Defense and should work well in Coach Haslett’s scheme, while losing a few other players, such as Albert Haynesworth and Carlos Rogers, should factor into the “Addition by Subtraction” equation.
On the Offensive side of the ball, additions Tim Hightower, Jabar Gaffney, Donte Stallworth, Chris Chester, and more “Addition by Subtraction” with the elevation of Rex Grossman to the starting QB role, have made the Offense that Kyle Shanahan wants to run a bit more formidable.
The preseason only cost us one injury, but it was a pretty big one with Rookie DT Jarvis Jenkins being lost for the year with a knee issue. LaRon Landry is still out, but is on the mend, so he should be back before too long.
The injury bug has bitten this week’s opponents pretty hard, though, with multiple starters already being lost for the year. The losses in their secondary will hopefully give Rex some open targets to hit. Chris Cooley is a game-time decision as of this writing, but it is time to get Fred Davis more involved anyway. The WR Corps has been retooled and should be a strength this year, with plenty of depth anchored by Santana Moss. I look for big things from Jabar Gaffney as he is a “move the chains” kind of guy. The big addition, however, is Tim Hightower, who is just the kind of back that can and will excel in Coach Shanahan’s Offense. He is on MY fantasy team, that’s for sure!
The Giants still have some weapons on Offense, with Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Amhad Bradshaw; but the killer in the past has been bruiser Brandon Jacobs. Our Defense is a lot stouter than in years past, though, so I am looking for a great start to the season.
I think we start off this season - - a season in which no one outside of our sphere expects us to do anything - - with a Division win . . . something that has been hard to come by recently!
HAIL! ...................................John Priddy
AVAILABLE OPENING DAY!