Thursday, January 6, 2011, 3:22 p.m.
By Rich Tandler
REDSKINS PAGE REDSKINS VIDEO
After the Washington Redskins regular season ended on Sunday, the players scattered to their offseason homes, and fans got into their usual January mode of contemplating next year. The coaches, however, barely took a breather before returning to work.
What we do for the next few days, is coaches go back, write up their position players, and they will put them in a pecking order; strengths, weaknesses, starters, backups, ascending player, descending player, Mike Shanahan said.
We think that we can give the coaches a few days off. Today and on Monday we will go through the Redskins roster and put players into the proper spot on the matrix of ascendingdescending and starterbackup. Today, well take a look at the offense.
LT Trent WilliamsAlthough he hit the proverbial rookie wall late in the season and has to develop consistency, Williams will anchor the line for years to come.
LG Kory LichtensteigerLichtensteiger was the object of scorn and ridicule after replacing the popular Derrick Dockery in the starting lineup for the third game of the season. However, as the season went on his play improved. To be sure, it didnt improve much beyond adequate but the Redskins are going to have to work with some players who are just a guy as they try to rebuild.
RB Ryan TorainTorain was the teams leading rusher despite spending the first two games of the year on the practice squad and missing four and a half games due to a hamstring injury. He didnt always run to the right spot and its possible that with film study and experience he could improve on that. And, of course, he needs to be able to stay on the field.
TE Chris CooleyMaybe, like Grossman, Cooley is at his peak and is treading water. But hes swimming in a much nicer pool than Rex so well rate him as ascending.
WR Anthony ArmstrongHe averaged 19.8 yards on 44 receptions and it appeared to many observers that he could have averaged more if he hadnt had to wait on a lot of deep passes. An impressive rookie season for the 27-year-old Armstrong.
RG Will MontgomeryHe got in there late in the season and played pretty well. But he seems better suited for reserve and spot starter duty than to being a full-time starter.
RB Keiland WilliamsHe filled in well as a starter while Torain and Clinton Portis were out, averaging 4.0 yards per carry and doing a nice job in third-down pass protection. Williams will be at least a competent role player going forward and it wouldnt be shocking to see him as the starter at running back at some point.
TE Fred DavisDidnt get a whole lot of opportunities this year but Davis certainly is a capable backup.
Descending startersRT Jammal BrownHe still may have a few productive years left in him and he may be worth a modest contract with incentives. But it seems very unlikely that he will see a Pro Bowl invitation as he did with the Saints in 2006, when Brown also was a first-team All-Pro, and 2008. That puts him in the declining category.
C Casey RabachThe Redskins could decide to squeeze another year out of Rabach as a starter but many think that would be a mistake. He frequently was manhandled by opposing nose tackles and the quickness that let him block well on the second level is fading away.
RB Clinton PortisWhile some think that he could return in a reserve role, it says here that he is done with the Redskins and maybe done in the NFL.
QB Donovan McNabbIt seems that Andy Reid knew what he was doing when he dealt McNabb within the division. Or maybe it just isnt a good fit of a player to a team and a system.
WR Santana MossMoss isnt washed up. He is coming off of a solid season with over 90 receptions for over 1,100 yards. However, he isnt a threat to match the 1,400 receiver yards he racked up in 2005 so he has to be considered past his prime. Moss is on a decline, but its a slow, graceful one.
FB Mike SellersHe will be 36 when the 2011 season starts but fullbacks can play until near the age of 40. He may have lost a step, several, in fact, but at 268 pounds he still can clear out a hole and put a scare into a defensive back after catching a pass in the flat.
G Artis HicksMontgomery beat him out and thats really all you need to know. Injuries caught up with him as the season wore on and he demonstrated that he is what he was for most of his time in the league, a reserve utility lineman.
G Derrick DockeryIt may not be fair to put Dockery, 30, into the declining category. However, he isnt a fit for the Redskins zone blocking scheme and it doesnt matter whether or not he can still play on a power blocking team. Dockery clearly does not have a future with the Redskins.
T Stephon HeyerWhen the high point of a tackles season is not screwing up during about half a game a guard, as Heyer did during the Tennessee game, its perhaps time to find another tackle. Unfortunately, he has not future at guard in a zone blocking scheme; his size and lack of mobility preclude that. At tackle, hes still the sack and penalty creating machine that hes always been.
QB Rex GrossmanThere is not a category for treading water but that is where Grossman seems to be. He is not better, no worse than the guy who got run out of Chicago in 2008 despite being the quarterback of their 06 Super Bowl team.
WR Roydell WilliamsHe played a quarter of the offensive snaps (270 of 1,043) and caught eight passes for 109 yards. Enough said.
Did not play enough for evaluation: FB Darrell Young, RB James Davis, TE Logan Paulsen, WRs Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks