The Inaugural 6 Pack
1. Peaceful Exchange of Power
Once again, the Washington Redskins have completed a smooth transition of power.
The old Schottenhiemer family is out in D.C. and Steve Spurrier is in as the new Head Coach. Almost as importantly, Marvin Lewis was hired as the Skins Defensive Coordinator. While Spurrier's offense has received the majority of the off season media attention, Marvin Lewis' defense has all the makings for a defense of historical proportions.
2. The best LB corps in history?
Say the word,"linebacker." Say it three more times and you've got the best linebacking corps to ever wear the Burgundy and Gold. Jeremiah Trotter came over from the Eagles, the Eagles Defensive MVP last season. Jessie Armstead, a leader on and off the field, joined the Redskins by way of the Giants. Even sweeter than taking two key players from division rivals, is the fact that they now join LaVar Arrington to complete the revamped linebacker corps. Marvin Lewis' system revolves around aggressive linebacker play. Armstead, Trotter and Arrington are ready for action.
3. The Man Forgotten: Stephen Davis
While opponents scramble to find old Florida Gator game films and attempt to diagram assignments against the Redskins pass attack, one person has gone largely unmentioned... Stephen Davis. After being snubbed by the Pro Bowl voters in 2001, Davis will no doubt be a part of Steve Spurrier's attack. Davis earned his yards last season when everyone in the stadium knew he was going to be handed the ball. Opponents won't be able to constantly stack the line against the run as in years past. Davis may find himself in the open field more often than ever before, as opponents flood their secondaries with additional defensive backs.
4. From clipboard holder to starter.
Former clipboard holder, Sage Rosenfels will be given his first opportunity to start an NFL game against the San Francisco 49er's in Osaka, Japan. Rosenfels has shown flashes of ability and by all rights should have been given an opportunity to play in 2001. Instead, Rosenfels will make his first
start, in a new offense, with a new head coach, half way around the world. While the butterflies dance around his belly like bowling balls, he may just prove to be a bona fide NFL Quarterback. The 49er's have no idea what to expect from the Redskins new offense, nor Rosenfels. This first test is a huge one for Rosenfels - don't bet against him.
5. Gardener: Reminds Me of Another Story
Something about the Daryl Gardener situation reminds me of a time a few years ago when the Redskins were considering a one-time Cincinnati Bengal. This player was said to be an underachiver who played hard at times and took plays off at other times. His teammates and coaches became disenchanted with him. "Big Daddy" Dan Wilkinson carried all of that baggage with him to DC. Since then, Wilkinson has been the most consistent performer on the Skins defensive front. Now that Gardener has become a Redskin, he has proven leadership and a kindred sole waiting for him everyday. Gardener certainly has the potential to match everything Big Daddy has done for the Skins - perhaps even more.
6. AFC/ NFC Forecasts
Every off season I look over the entire roster, draft, schedule and staff for every NFL team. This year was no different. Back when nobody believed the Rams would ever contend for a title - I said they were going to contend for their division title. Last season, I also forecasted the Patriots would win their division. This year is no different. Look for the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC Central over Pittsburgh. Look for the Indianapolis Colts to win the AFC South, over Tennessee. And last, but certainly not least - look for the Washington Redskins to win the NFC East, over the Philadelphia Eagles Perhaps even more importantly, the Redskins will end years of humiliation at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys with a huge victory!
This article was released on 2002-07-29.
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