2004 Washington Redskins Season Preview

<b>Head Coach: </b>Joe Gibbs (140-65) <br><br> <b> Last season's record: </b>5-11&nbsp;<br><br> <b> Last Playoff appearance: </b> 1999<br><br> <b> Key matchup(s):</b> Nov.21 @ Philadelphia, Dec. 26 @.Dallas

09/12/04 Tampa Bay
09/19/04 @NY Giants
09/27/04 Dallas
10/03/04 @Cleveland
10/10/04 Baltimore
10/17/04 @Chicago
10/31/04 Green Bay
11/07/04 @Detroit
11/14/04 Cincinnati
11/21/04 @Philadelphia
11//28/04 @Pittsburgh
12/05/04 NY Giants
12/12/04 Philadelphia
12/18/04 @San Francisco
12/26/04 @Dallas
01/02/05 Minnesota
Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs walks along the sideline. Gibbs could be the biggest free agent signing for the Redskins.
Getty Images/David Maxwell
Star Power: LB LaVar Arrington ( 6-3 245 ), RB Clinton Portis ( 5-11 205 )

Notable Additions: HC Joe Gibbs, S Sean Taylor ( 1st round draft choice ), QB Mark Brunell, RB Clinton Portis,  LB Marcus Washington, DT Cornelius Griffin, CB Shawn Springs

Notable Subtractions: CB Champ Bailey, RB Trung Canidate, LB Jessie Armstead, LB Bruce Smith

Offensive Overview: Head Coach Joe Gibbs will bring back basic football. The offensive line has already taken one hit with OT Jon Jansen being injured, but Gibbs will emphasize games are won in the trenches. Look for QB Mark Brunell not to be forced to win games, but manage a balanced offense. RB Clinton Portis and WR Rod Gardner will be beneficiaries of "back to basics". Look for Portis to be a top back in the league, and have a real shot at the Pro-Bowl. Gardner and Lavernues Coles will finally have a chance to show their skills. Actually having a run game, will give this team the balance in needs to move downfield in the vertical passing game. 

Defensive Overview: Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams has many talented players to work with, getting them to work together will be the most difficult task. LB Lavar Arrington needs to have a breakout season for the rest of the defense to feed from. The defensive line is a question mark, but with Williams approach, the line may be better than many expect. Look for CB Fred Smoot to have a solid season, and CB Shawn Springs to get tested early and often. Overall the defense is something that nobody has a clear idea in what to expect, including the coaches. Watch the play makers rise up due to Gibbs leadership.

Special Teams Overview: A Gibbs led team will have its 1/3 working hard.  PK John Hall and P Tom Tupa are reliable, but the team could lack in coverage. Many new and young players on coverage duties will be a weak link to success early. Look for coaches to change up frequently until they find something that works. Games could be lost because of this.

The Redskins will be over .500 and could challenge for the top slot in the NFC East. Dallas will be in the early lead, but the Gibbs driven team will rise by seasons end.

TheInsiders.com 2004 NFL Football Preview
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