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State of the Redskins - Training Camp Preview
David Dorey
July 31, 2009
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This series of analysis on the 32 NFL teams takes a look at where teams have been over the last three years for each position - where they have ranked in the most notable categories and the hard statistics produced. This is to give a view of each team heading into training camp and what they most likely need to improve on this season and where their strengths lie that likely won't need any changes. Ending each team review is a brief summation of what to watch in training camp in August to uncover those developing situations that you can take advantage. Combining where teams have come from and what they have done in free agency and the NFL draft gives you the very same thing that NFL coaches are looking at as they attempt to improve their team for 2009.
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Training Camp Opens: July 29
Head Coach: Jim Zorn (2nd year)
Stadium: FedEx Field  Surface: Grass
2009 Schedule   2009 Roster   2008 Statistics   2008 Record: 8-8

QB Carries Rush YD Rush TD Pass Comp Comp % Pass YD YPP Pass TD Int Rank YD Rank TD
2006 36 146 0 468 272 58% 3086 11.3 18 10 23 21
2007 44 186 1 522 317 61% 3588 11.3 17 11 15 23
2008 47 258 1 506 315 62% 3245 10.3 13 6 24 27

Quarterback - Despite some speculation, the Redskins neither drafted nor acquired a free agent quarterback and will be returning Jason Campbell as the starter again for 2009. He hasn't proven to be any difference maker but at least he makes few mistakes. When Jim Zorn became head coach last year it was hoped that it would have a positive effect on Campbell but the Redskins passing attack remained one of the worst in the league - it even got a little worse with Campbell playing his first 16 game season.

RB Carries Rush YD YPC Rush TD Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD Rcv TD Rank YD Rank TY Rank TD
2006 427 1875 4.4 13 115 90 78% 736 2 9 7 13
2007 446 1675 3.8 14 116 85 73% 680 2 14 10 8
2008 425 1755 4.1 10 88 64 73% 518 1 10 14 24

Running Backs - The Redskins got a solid effort from Clinton Portis last year when he rushed for 1487 yards on 342 carries but Portis has publicly squabbled with the coaching staff and there is a question as to how full-time he will be for 2009. Portis took the lion's share last year with Ladell Betts only rushing 61 times but once again there is conjecture that Betts will be more involved this year to relieve Portis and keep him fresher for late season. Of course this has been said most every year that Portis has been in Washington and the four seasons he remained healthy all had over 325 rushing attempts. Even a more noticeable increase in Betts use in the preseason cannot be considered any guarantee that any roles are going to change. Betts had his glory year in 2006 but otherwise has been little used in his career and is already 30 years of age.

WR Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 248 123 50% 1682 13.7 10 29 23
2007 284 166 58% 2132 12.8 7 22 30
2008 285 159 56% 1856 11.7 11 26 21

Wide Receivers - This has long been a below average set of wideouts and while the Redskins tried to address it in the 2008 NFL draft, the results were no different. Devin Thomas (15-120) and Malcolm Kelly (3-8) were complete nonfactors as rookies and Santana Moss (79-1044, 6 TDs) once again led all receivers thanks to catching a few bombs early in the season. Antwaan Randle El (53-593, 4 TDs) had yet another ho-hum season. It would be a huge help for the team to see this unit catch a spark with the second-year players but until Campbell shows progress himself, this is just going to be a below average group.

TE Target Rcv Catch % Catch YD YPR Rcv TD Ranks YD Rank TD
2006 101 61 60% 756 12.4 7 11 7
2007 123 74 60% 888 12.0 9 8 5
2008 131 94 72% 926 9.9 2 9 24

Tight Ends
- The new offense installed last year continued to use Chris Cooley as a receiver and he had a career best 83 catches for 849 yards but on only had one touchdown. That's all. He had averaged seven touchdowns per season since his rookie year in 2004 but the new offense just did not rely on him near the goal line. Another impact was Campbell playing a full season and using Cooley on short routes but not in the red zone. Cooley's value remains high in a reception points league but has taken a hit in all others with a lack of scoring opportunities.

Training Camp Fantasy Angle - The second season of the new offense should see at least incremental improvement in the passing game but there is no reason to expect any major advancements. Notable will be the play of Devin Thomas who should improve and meet some of the expectations he was drafted with while Kelly would do well enough to just be seen on the playing field. Again - there is plenty of speculation that Portis will have his role reduced so that Betts can get more work but that has just never happened in the past or even last year when Portis was tired and banged up near the end of the year. Zorn hasn't ignited this offense yet but it is only his second season. It is worth keeping track of in case the unexpected does happen.

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Ease of Schedule for Quarterbacks
Ease of Schedule for Running Backs
Ease of Schedule for Receivers
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