Rolling through the NFC East in our interview series, we have Kevin Ewoldt from SB Nation's Redskins blog, Hogs Haven, to answer some questions about his team. Continue reading for some good, concise information about the Skins.
Jon: Heading into the 2010 season, what were your expectations for the Redskins?
Kevin: The Redskins roster was such a mess when Cerrato was shipped out. Chris Samuels retired. There was no RT, no RBs, no pass rush, Haynesworth....I predicted 6-10 and it came thorough. Even with McNabb, which gave us all hope, we knew it was a re-building year...and it's clear we still have at least 2 more years to go before being competitive, but there is tangible progress being made.Jon: How did you feel about Shanahan as a head coach before and after the 2010 season?
Kevin: I felt good before. He hasn't had the best track record with drafts picks (especially defensively), but we just wanted football operations to be run by someone competent. I'm still optimistic, but it was hard living through 2010 where Shanahan routinely lied to the media and fans (fake illnesses with Haynesworth, cardiovascular endurance with McNabb, etc), but when you see the Redskins turn 5 draft picks into 12 and bring in that much youth. There's no argument to be made against that.
Jon: Who is likely the starting quarterback heading into the 2011 season? What is the verdict on McNabb?
Kevin: Grossman will be the starting qarterback. McNabb, most likely, will get released right before the September 1st deadline where his huge contract kicks in.
Jon: What was the cause of the Redskins defensive problems and what do the Redskins need to do to improve it?
Kevin: I've spoken with several defensive players, and they all say the same thing. It's about knowing the playbook and your assignments. If one guy misses his gap or coverage, the whole play falls apart.
The Redskins have never been a 3-4 defense in the history of their franchise, so the mistakes were heavy and often. The last 5 games of the regular season, the Redskins defense actually started to play well, which is a great sign year 2 will be better. It was also a major blow that the Redskins don't have a legitimate Nose Tackle, arguably the most important player in a 3-4. Ma'ake Kemoeatu never recovered from his Achilles injury from the previous year and played with a hurt shoulder. That was obvious as the Redskins ranked 32nd in rushing against up the middle and Kemo was often pushed back 5 yards off the snap by the Center alone (NT's should demand at least one guard too).
Jon: What is your opinion on the Redskins draft? Do you like their picks? What is your favorite pick? Are there any picks that you dislike?
Kevin: I thought the Redskins got a A. I would have liked to see them draft a nose tackle over Jarvis Jenkins, but all across the board the Redskins drafted high character guys that were never injured. Half of the players they drafted were team captains, a common thread in Belichick's drafting. My favorite pick is wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. A tall WR that runs a 4.43 and broke all of University Miami's receiving records. That sounds more like a 1st round pick than a 3rd round pick. Great value there.
Jon: Finally, what do the Redskins need to do in free agency to nab a playoff spot?
Kevin: They must address the right tackle position. The Redskins currently have zero on their active roster now. I expect them to sign (former Shanahan Bronco) Ryan Harris. I'd love to see a Guard added as well, and Davin Joseph (Pro-Bowler at Tampa when Bruce Allen was there) is also a free agent.
I would like to thank Kevin for taking the time to answer my questions. And for more information on the Washington Redskins check out Hogs Haven on SB Nation.