Guest John Keim, Editor Warpath Insiders Magazine - WarpathInsiders.com
Be sure not to miss Part 1 of this interview with John
London Fletcher has been labeled as too small to fit the prototypical mold at linebacker. Do you think his size really affects his play as much as some people claim? How has he performed this season?
John Keim: His size limits him, but it can also help him. For example, it sometimes seems as if ballcarriers can't see him, allowing him to fill holes well. But he is not good at taking on blockers and his size forces him to sometimes run around blocks, taking him out of plays. He's performed exceptionally well. His speed is very good. The Redskins will occasionally line him up a little deeper than normal, giving him a better chance to elude blockers.
Quarterback Jason Campbell appeared to have a pretty solid year going until he played Arizona (12/18 for 95 yards and an interception). Did Campbell just have a bad day, or was Arizona's defense that good? How has Campbell fared over the season?
Keim: The play-calling was very conservative and that didn't help him. He's had some dropped passes the past two weeks; but the Redskins did not take any shots downfield vs. the Cards. They wanted to win with their defense and it nearly cost them. Overall, he's performed well. He's poised and is making plays when needed. His arm is excellent and he's an accurate deep thrower. He's far from what ails the Redskins' offense.
Who's the most valuable player on offense and the most valuable on defense for the Redskins?
Keim: Sean Taylor is the MVP of the defense. I love Fletcher, but Taylor is the most talented player and is having the best year. He gives them a presence in the secondary and with five picks he's a threat every game to intercept a pass. He dropped three possible picks vs. Green Bay. This past offseason, Taylor lost weight, got more serious about his study habits and his play has improved.
The Patriots have given up big chunks of yardage on the ground when teams wanted to run the ball. The problem has been New England's big leads force teams to pass to get back in the game. What is the strength of the Redskins offense and can they play catchup if they need to?
Keim: The strength should be their running game, but it hasn't been. Right now, it's hard to say what their strength is because they've been so inconsistent. Can they play catch-up? It would be hard given their OL. The more they have to pass block, the worse they'll become. When Jason throws 30 or more passes, the Redskins are 0-5. They pass block better when they're not one-dimensional.
Prediction for the game?
Keim: Hard not to like the Pats. I do think the Redskins will play well, especially on defense. But I think the Redskins' offense isn't good enough to spring a road upset against a team like New England. The Redskins' D could have a great game and still give up four touchdowns. I like the Pats, 28-16.
Prediction for the Redskins Season?
Keim: I had them at 7-9 and I might go to 8-8. However, because of the OL injuries, I'm reluctant to move them off that record. They've made big strides, but the injuries along the line will prevent them from going where they want to.
Top Three Teams in the NFC?
Keim: Dallas, New York Giants and the third team would be Green Bay; there's a lot to like about the Packers, but without a running game I don't think they can go far. It just shows you the state of the NFC. Two of those teams would not make the playoffs in the AFC. Chicago could sneak back in there after last week. But it's a weak group.
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