2010 Washington Redskins Season Preview

Things are finally starting to look up in the 2010 Washington Redskins Team Preview. With several key moves, the signing of Mike Shanhan to coach the team, and the trade for Donovan McNabb to run the offense, it would appear that the Redskins have some key elements in place to build future success.

If it had simply been a standard trade to finally bring mercy to Donovan McNabb, perhaps it would have come with less fanfare, but there was nothing routine about it. The Eagles dealt their best quarterback in franchise history to the rival Washington Redskins, essentially daring him to return and beat them twice in 2010. McNabb was the crown jewel in a rigorous offseason by the Redskins, completely revamping the roster to compete in the brutal NFC East. New head coach Mike Shanahan is also in, bringing instant credibility with his two Super Bowl championships.

But not everyone has been overcome with joy on Shanahan's arrival. Washington's $100 million defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth missed voluntary camps in June to protest Shanahan's 3-4 defensive scheme, which puts the onus on him to produce more with less. Haynesworth was told the Redskins would stick to a 4-3 scheme - a lineup that puts another tackle next to him to alleviate some of the attention from the offensive line - during his tenure. Team officials have had to manage his displeasure during the summer, but things could turn south quickle.

Washington makes an intriguing group for the 2010 NFL Season, because of how many positions feature toss-ups and how great it's potential is if everything clicks. And 'Skins fans can use any uplifting news. As the Dallas Cowboys keep getting better, and the Eagles and Giants brace for an uncertain future, Washington may be able to make a move in the division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Redskins only won four times in 2009, ranking 22nd in total offense and 10th in total defense. If they can improve offensively with McNabb, they could likely contend for a wild card spot with a tough defense. 2010 Washington Redskins Coaching Staff & ChangesAs noted above, the Redskins are one of the half dozen teams to change signal callers, but finally have the big fish they were looking for. After settling for Jim Zorn in 2008, owner Daniel Snyder threw his best line at Shanahan, who will be back on the sidelines after a one-year sabbatical. Shanahan has 146 regular season wins, which is 17th-most all-time. With John Elway, the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls in '98-'99, but failed to return to the championship in any ensuing year.

Shanahan has a reputation of blossoming running backs, illustrated by the emergence of backs like Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell and Reuben Droughns under his system. If he has any more of that magic left, it could be good news for Clinton Portis, who had a few of his best years as a Bronco under Shanahan.

Shanahan's offense has ranked in the top-5 in nine of his 14 seasons. 2010 Washington Redskins Key Free Agency Acquisitions & LossesAcquistions
QB - Donovan McNabb traded from Philadelphia Eagles
QB - Rex Grossman from Houston Texans
RB - Willie Parker from Pittsburgh Steelers
RB - Larry Johnson from Cincinnati Bengals
WR - Joey Galloway from New England Patriots
OT - Jammal Brown from New Orleans Saints
DE - Adam Carriker traded from St. Louis Rams
DE - Vonnie Holliday from Denver Broncos

QB - Jason Campbell traded to Oakland Raiders
WR - Atwaan Randle El to Pittsburgh Steelers
OL - Chris Samuels to Retirement
OG - Randy Thomas to Free Agency
RB - Rock Cartwright to Oakland Raiders
RB - Ladell Betts to Free Agency
DE - Renaldo Wynn to Free Agency 2010 Washington Redskins NFL DraftRound 1: Pick 4 - OT, Trent Williams (Oklahoma)
Round 4: Pick 103 - OLB, Perry Riley (LSU)
Round 6: Pick 174 - TE, Dennis Morris (Louisiana Tech)
Round 7: Pick 219 - WR, Terrence Austin (UCLA)
Round 7: Pick 229 - OG, Erik Cook (New Mexico)
Round 7: Pick 231 - OT, Selvish Capers (West Virginia)
2010 Washington Redskins QuarterbacksOut is Jason Campbell, who was mercilously taunted by Washington fans for his inconsistency, and in is Donovan McNabb, who received similar treatment in Philly. He, however, was on the butting end for all the wrong reasons. In McNabb, the Redskins finally get a dependable, winning quarterback who has been to five NFC Championships. McNabb left the Eagles as the team's career-leader in yards (32,873) and touchdowns (216).

He threw for 3,553 yards and 22 scores last season, leading Philadelphia to a wild card berth. He is aging, and will be throwing to a far inferior receiving corps to his last one. And it doesn't help that Antwaan Randle El went back to his former flame, the Pittsburgh Steelers. But even an average season of 2,915 yards and 19 touchdowns would be a welcomed upgrade for a fan group that hasn't seen a quarterback with a season rating of 90 this decade.

Behind him is another wild card Rex Grossman, who appears to be in line to grab the back-up position. Grossman hasn't started a game since 2008, and hasn't thrown for more than 200 yards since Week 13 of 2007. Behind him will be three-year veteran Colt Brennan, the former sixth-round pick out of Hawai'i.

2010 Washington Redskins Quarterback Depth Chart
QB - Donovan McNabb
QB - Rex Grossman
QB - Colt Brennan 2010 Washington Redskins Running BacksClinton Portis saw two of his best years in the NFL with the Denver Broncos under Mike Shanahan's offensive system that appears to do miracles for running backs. Portis averaged over 1,550 yards and 14 touchdowns from 2002-03, before ultimately shipping off to Washington. Since then, there have been mixed results, showing flashes of brilliance coupled with injury-plagued seasons.

Portis only played in eight games in 2009, gaining 494 yards and scoring once. As an insurance policy, Washington scooped up free agent Larry Johnson, who looked surprisingly fresh with the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half of '09. Johnson was one of the premier running backs in the NFL three years ago, but fell into an uncontrollable funk in Kansas City and was ultimately dispatched.

Johnson has 6,219 career rushing yards, and the 2010 Washington Redskins would enjoy seeing Johnson add to that total by doing a good job spelling Clinton Portis, something Washington has lacked in recent years.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Running Back Depth Chart
RB - Clinton Portis
RB - Larry Johnson
RB - Willie Parker 2010 Washington Redskins Wide ReceiversAs much of a toss-up Washington has at quarterback and running back, nothing will be more crucial to it's success as the receiving corps. Led by Santana Moss, the Redskins have one potential Pro Bowler followed by a handful of Robins fighting for the sidekick role. The likely no. 2 man is Devin Thomas, a second-round draft pick out of Michigan State.

Behind him is Malcolm Kelly and rookie Terrence Austin. Kelly had 347 yards and zero scores in '09.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Wide Receiver Depth Chart
WR - Santana Moss
WR - Devin Thomas
- Malcolm Kelly
WR - Marko Mitchell

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Tight End Depth Chart
TE - Chris Cooley
TE - Fred Davis2010 Washington Redskins Offensive LineWashington took a big hit on the offensive line this spring, losing perennial Pro Bowler Chris Samuels to retirement and Mike Williams to illness.

Williams was informed he is out for the entire 2010 Washington Redskins season due to blood clots near his heart. To compensate, the Redskins took Trent Williams with the fourth overall pick in last June's draft and will plug him in at left tackle immediately.

Shanahan also pulled off a trade with the New Orleans Saints for tackle Jammal Brown.

The Redskins already ranked 27th in rushing, and will need to pull some magic tricks to improve.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Starting Offensive Line
LT - Trent Williams
LG - Derrick Dockery
C - Casey Rabach
RG - Mike Williams
RT - Artis Hicks2010 Washington Redskins Defensive LineAlbert Haynesworth is the unquestioned leader on the defensive line as long as he behaves. He is the most talented and highest-paid member of the group, and will have to settle for playing in a tougher 3-4 defensive base. Haynesworth will garner a lot more attention from blockers, an issue he is unhappy about, but will still have to perform to keep management happy.

The Redskins had the 16th-ranked rush defense last season, and it wasn't because of the second level (both linebackers Brian Orakpo and London Fletcher made the Pro Bowl).

Joining Haynesworth on the line is re-signed nose tackle Kedric Golston, who had 34 tackles last year, and left end Phillip Daniels. Washington also signed end Adam Carriker, who hasn't played since 2008.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Starting Defensive Line
DE - Phillip Daniels
NT - Albert Haynesworth
DE - Kedric Golston2010 Washington Redskins LinebackersAs noted above, the Redskins had their shortcomings on defense, but linebacker wasn't one of them. London Fletcher reached his first Pro Bowl in 2009 by finishing second in the league with 142 tackles, and two sacks. He also had a fumble recovery and an interception.

Sophomore Brian Orakpo was a solid candidate for Rookie of the Year with 11 sacks and looks to be even better suited for the 3-4. He is a versatile linebacker who also pass rushes well, and should rack up double-digit sacks again according to most 2010 Washington Redskins Season Preview.

The Redskins had the fifth-highest sack total in the entire league in '09.

With the 3-4 system, the Redskins will implement more linebackers, allowing Rocky McIntosh, Andre Carter, H.B. Blades and Robert Henson to all have an impact.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Starting Linebackers
OLB - Brian Orakpo
- London Fletcher
ILB - Rocky McIntosh
OLB - Andre Carter2010 Washington Redskins SecondaryIf not for the New York Jets, the Redskins would have an argument for best secondaries in the league with LaRon Landry at safety and DeAngelo Hall at corner.

Hall has 26 career interceptions and tackled 58 runners last season. Landry had 90 tackles, a sack and an interception. He got better at the end of the season, too, coming up with double-digit tackles in two of the last four games.

Washington had the eighth-best passing defense in '09, allowing only 19 touchdowns.

For good measure, Shanahan also brought in Phillip Buchanan, who may have already seen his most productive years in Tampa Bay but bodes well as a back-up.

Projected 2010 Washington Redskins Starting Seconday
CB - Carlos Rogers
CB - DeAngelo Hall
SS - Chris Horton
FS - LaRon Landry

2010 Washington Redskins Preview