1) Are the Skins for real?
For real? They need to win a few more games to prove they're for real, though the win at Philly was a good place to start. However, what is clear is that they're better than last year. They're a confident group and quietly said all summer they'd be better than people thought. It beat last year when the goal was Super Bowl or bust. What's been impressive is that they've won games after losing two starting offensive linemen.
2) What's been their secret to success to a 2-0 start?
Defense and big plays on offense. The defense held Miami to 13 points and played well in sudden change situations. They allowed yards against Philly, but held the Eagles to four field goals. Some of that was Donovan McNabb's ineffectiveness; some of that was good defense. The Redskins' defense is much faster and that added speed is noticeable all over. Linebackers Rocky McIntosh and London Fletcher are fast and decisive; they fly to the flat to help on short routes and prevent long gains. Rookie safety LaRon Landry can play in the box and has done a good job in cover 2. He's fast enough to cover in the slot as well. Offensively, Jason Campbell may never be the most accurate passer, but he does throw the deep ball very well and it's resulted in several big plays in two games. Plus they run the ball effectively with Clinton Portis.
3) How much has Joe Gibbs been a factor in their quick start?
He picked the roster so from that standpoint he helped improve the talent level. They're more physical and I think that stems from his philosophy. He also sets the tone, as any head coach does. However, his caution nearly cost them a touchdown against Philly. The older he gets, the more cautious he gets. Against the Eagles, they had a second down on the 16 with 14 seconds left and no timeouts. Rather than take a shot at the end zone, he opted for a field goal. An Andy Reid time out gave him more time to think, and he allowed them to go for a touchdown -- and Campbell delivered.
4) How much progress has Jason Campbell made?
Jason has slowly improved in many areas. His mechanics are much better and he doesn't wind up as much as he did even last year. His footwork is better, allowing him to throw more in rhythm. He's throwing the out route better, with the ball often arriving right after the receiver cuts. And he's slowly improving at not eyeing receivers all the time. Campbell still needs to improve his accuracy and he, like most young QBs, makes a couple bad decisions a game. But he is improving.
5) Is there a better secondary in the NFL right now?
I hope so. I think the Redskins have a good secondary, but I'm not sure it's the best. Then again, I haven't seen a ton of games so who really knows. It's hard to stamp LaRon Landry as an elite player after only two games (though I think he will be there eventually). Sean Taylor covers a lot of ground and is capable of big hits, but he's a sloppy open-field tackler and, so far, has not created many turnovers like an Ed Reed. When healthy, corner Shawn Springs is very good, but Carlos Rogers still has a lot to prove. The coaches say he's been good; I want to see more. He plays the run great, but he hasn't proven he can be a corner worthy of No. 1 status in coverage. When Springs misses, the corners don't play as well. They have good corner depth with Fred Smoot and David Macklin. So it has potential to be an excellent secondary, but the best? They need to make more plays first.
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