Redskins: New coaches, same star(s)
July 17, 2008
The Redskins might not have signed a big-name free agent this offseason, but that doesn't mean they didn't make a major change.
After leading Washington to the second playoff appearance of his second era with the team, head coach Joe Gibbs elected to retire. In his place is Jim Zorn, who was originally hired to be the team's offensive coordinator (that job eventually went to Sherman Smith). Sure, he doesn't have the name-value of Steve Spurrier or, well, Gibbs, but those experiments didn't exactly yield spectacular results, did they?
Zorn will inherit a team that, while not a powerhouse, does have a few solid options at the skill positions. The cornerstone still is running back Clinton Portis, who rushed for 1,262 yards and 11 TDs last season. Signal-caller Jason Campbell is not quite as reliable, but Washington is committed to him being their quarterback of the future. Campbell is coming off season-ending knee surgery (he dislocated a kneecap in Week 14), but he will be the starter despite the impressive performance of journeyman Todd Collins down the stretch last season.
Campbell's favorite target will likely be tight end Chris Cooley, who's been a picture of consistency over the past three seasons. Wide receiver Santana Moss figures to play a prominent role as well, as Zorn has said he'll be involved in the deep passing game.
It's no secret that the fantasy value of Washington's players hinges on their ability to grasp Zorn's West Coast offense and Campbell's ability to develop into a competent quarterback. If those two things don't happen, it could be a long, low-scoring season in the Nation's Capital.