Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams' offseason needs. Up next is the team with the sixth overall pick in the draft, the Washington Redskins.
2006 Results: 5-11 (4th in NFC East)
2007 Projected Cap Status: $111,008,000 or $2.008 million over the Cap (includes Thrash restructured deal)
2006 Season Recap:
The Redskins finished the 2006 NFL season with six interceptions and six fumble recoveries, that was three less than what had been the record for fewest takeaways in a 16-game season. The Redskins had 19 sacks; the previous franchise low was 25, and a Gibbs coached team had never won fewer than six games in a season until 2006. Injuries played a big part of the problems they faced last year. Clinton Portis was hurt while making a tackle during the pre-season and missed a big chunk of the season, Pierson Prioleau was lost for the year on the first play of the regular season, Shawn Springs played hurt when he played, and Warick Holdman was the only starting LB not nursing nicks and bruises after the bye week. The 2006 season wasn’t all doom and gloom with the emergence of Jason Campbell late in the season. Once Campbell was inserted in the lineup both the offensive and the defensive play picked up. Ladell Betts proved to be a back that could step in and carry the load. The Offensive line lived up to the “one of the best O-lines in the NFL” tag as the season went on. These positives did not account for too many wins but it gave hope for the future.
1. Defensive Line:
DT Kedric Golston was productive as a rookie but needs to improve, DE Andre Carter led the team with six sacks but had trouble with the run, The Redskins need a solid, run-stopping tackle to line up next to Cornelius Griffin and need to add a speed rusher on the outside. Phillip Daniels will be thirty-four and it is starting to show. The defense will be much better by adding quality young talent here.
2. Defensive Back:
The defensive backfield was destroyed by injury in 2006 and exposed a true need at both cornerback and safety, depending on the status of Shawn Springs at least one position needs to be address if not both. The defensive staff needs to figure out a role for Adam Archuleta, who rarely played after the bye week other than on special teams
MLB Lemar Marshall's play slipped compared to the 2005 seasons and he may be more productive at WLB. This would make fixing the run defense the top priority in the off-season and may have to be the focus in both free agency and the April draft. The offensive line may have made the Redskins one of only three teams to finish in the top 10 in ypc and fewest sacks per dropback but they lacked depth at Guard and Tackle and should address this in the latter rounds of the draft. Jason Campbell appears to be the QB of the future but a young QB for the practice squad should be considered as well as competition at kicker and punter. CB Nate Clements and LB London Fletcher-Baker will both be free agents and both served under Greg Williams when he was in Buffalo. The top priority should be to re-sign guard Derrick Dockery to keep the offensive line together. Popular choices for that 6th pick are Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch, Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson, and Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams.