How much do you know about the Redskins? No, how much do you really know? As a Rams fan I don't know much, other than that while we've been sliding into to oblivion the Redskins fans are swooning at their team's recent giant-killings of the Cowboys and the Eagles, division rivals. Only the defending champion Giants have defeated the Redskins this year.
In an effort to get to know more about the the Rams opponents - and Al Saunders former employer - Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post's Redskins Insider was kind enough to answer some questions for us as we shift gears from coaching changes and paradigm shifts at Rams Park and jump into preview mode for this week.
Is the success of the Redskins this season as surprising as some have made it out to be?
Oh yeah. Given all the uncertainty about the front office, the head coach, the QB ... and the fact that the NFC East ain't exactly, well, the NFC West (just keeping it real) there were certainly reasons to think this team might be in transition for a while. And especially after the Giants clocked them in Week 1. Since then they have been a different team.
Jason Campbell strong performance is well-noted, but who are the under-the-radar guys that have been key in the team's season thus far?
Well, on offense the stars have played like stars - Chris Samuels, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, recently Chris Cooley. Center Casey Rabach is a stud and always gets overlooked and on defense kids like 7th round pick Chris Horton, and versatile reserve lineman Demetric Evans have been huge (Evans filled in for Jason Taylor while he was out).
Does the defense even need Jason Taylor, other than the marketing benefits?
I actually like Evans starting, since he plays the run so well and can also move inside. I think Taylor at this stage of his career, and given his varied recent injuries, and the kind of calls Greg Blache makes, is best suited as a kick-booty rush end in the nickel. I'm not sure about his ability to play the run 40-odd snaps a game and teams were certainly trying to test him and run right at him when he was starting.
I think for the long term, in what could be a long season, I'd sprinkle him in on passing downs for now.
Will Washington or New York win the division title?
I don't think you can pick against the Super Bowl champs, at least not until they lose a game.
Clinton Portis said Campbell was still the "fourth-best" QB in the division. Portis being Portis? Trying to motivate?
That's Clinton being Clinton. He and Jason have a good relationship and all of the guys who have been here for any amount of time know to take a lot of what Clinton says to the media with a grain of salt.
Speaking of Portis, who's your favorite Portis "character?" Which one would make the best character to craft a screenplay around?
Not sure I have a favorite, but I always thought Coach Janky Spanky was the un-sung hero of the bunch. As for a screenplay, yikes. I'd say a 15-minute youtube clip would be about as far as you could milk it.