Behind Enemy Lines: Vikings vs. Redskins

VikingUpdate.com editor Tim Yotter joined us to answer a few questions about the team that he covers.


Troy Williamson

WarpathInsiders.com: Some Redskins fans don't believe that if Shawn Springs is missing from the lineup it will hurt the Redskins much because the Vikings don't have a very strong group of receivers, having lost Koren Robinson and Nate Burleson. Take us through the first few receivers on the Vikings' depth chart and tell us what Gregg Williams has to worry about from each of them.

VikingUpdate.com: Burleson would have been an ideal West Coast receiver, and he should be for the Seahawks, while Koren Robinson was expected to be the deep threat even though he really didn't get into much of an offensive groove last year. But, with the new system Brad Childress is bringing from Philadelphia, Troy Williamson and recently signed Todd Pinkston are the deep threats, while Travis Taylor is more of the precise route runner. However, Pinkston has his obvious flaws (as Redskins fans probably know), but Williamson appears to be getting pretty comfortable catching the ball underneath and making yards after the catch. It appears that he could be in a prime position to break out in his sophomore year. Taylor led the team in receiving yards last season and tight end Jermaine Wiggins just somehow finds a way to get open. Marcus Robinson is an excellent jump-ball man who is valuable in the red zone. So, while they won't be as explosive as they were in years past, the Redskins will have to consistently keep the passes in front of them and be good tacklers.


Fred Smoot

WarpathInsiders.com:: If the Redskins could have kept one player that they lost over the past few years, it would have been Fred Smoot; he was a fan favorite and the members of the media loved him as he was always good for a quote. With the injury and the Love Boat problems, it wasn't too great a first year in Minnesota for him. How's Smoot been doing so far this year and does he seem to have his career back on track?

VikingUpdate.com: After the Love Boat, he quit talking to reporters last year, but he started up again this spring. He said he wasn't going to give the Redskins bulletin boards material, and he didn't on Wednesday. Instead, he continued to express his love for the Washington organization, Daniel Snyder and Joe Gibbs. I believe that is a genuine appreciation he shows. At the same time, he asked why fans wouldn't hate him during the game because "I'm the enemy." On the field in 2005, he had a very rough year, getting torched by Carolina's Steve Smith, but he also didn't get any help during that game. He was hoping that adding some more weight would keep him healthy, but he had a rib injury in the preseason and is questionable. All signs point to him playing Monday night, but he knows he needs a rebound year. It remains to be seen how he fits the Vikings' new "Tampa-2" defense.


Erasmus James

WarpathInsiders.com:: Name the one Viking that most Redskins fans probably have never heard of that has a chance of making a game-changing play on Monday night.

VikingUpdate.com: Fans have probably heard of most of the offensive players, so to fit that criteria I'll go to the defensive side of the ball. In this new defense, the ends have been given much more freedom to rush the passer and create a turnover. While their starters, Kenechi Udeze and Erasmus James, are both first-round draft picks, they aren't that well-known to a casual NFL fan. This could be their breakout year. Behind them is a fourth-round rookie, Ray Edwards, who has a chance to be very good with some more experience. So I'd say one of the defensive ends could fit the bill..


Brad Childress

WarpathInsiders.com:: How has the Vikings fan base taken to new coach Brad Childress? How would you characterize him--cerebral, disciplinarian, player's coach, emotional?

VikingUpdate.com: Nobody really knows what to think of him. He's a pretty guarded individual, which I think is very intentionally created and appreciated by some in the organization after the openness of Mike Tice. He isn't a yelling disciplinarian, but he has the players' respect as someone who is trying to restore accountability. Outwardly, he is far from emotional, but I think he has a strong desire to succeed, be organized and pay attention to many, many details. If he wins, the fans will embrace him. If he doesn't, he tendency to withhold information will lead to quicker criticisms.


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