1. Jim Zorn.
It's hard to find any player who doesn't enjoy playing for Jim Zorn right now. But even before the season started players genuinely liked him and wanted to play for him. He doesn't act as if he invented the game, but he does demand a certain level of commitment. But it's the passion and intensity that he has that excites some players. Also, his plays are working. That helps, too. A lot.
2. Versatile secondary.
The Redskins have a major edge over many teams because of their secondary. They've excelled at finding players who are capable of playing more than just one position, which enables them to put safety Kareem Moore in the slot as a corner for example. Also, it gives other teams pause. The Redskins do not line up their safeties in the same spot each time, so if they line one up on the line offenses have to ask: are they blitzing, dropping or just playing the run? They've done an excellent job at broadening their players' skills and it pays off in creative alignments.
3. Right tackle.
Our choice to start at right tackle vs. Philly is Jon Jansen. Not sure what the coaches will think, but it was interesting to hear what Zorn said about Jansen on Monday. He praised his play, but also mentioned how he got walked back a few times. In other words, that bothered him. We'll just say this: the same thing has happened to Stephon Heyer, but hasn't been pointed out. We also know that the Redskins ran as much to the right side as they did to the left in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over Dallas. There's more trust with Jansen in the run game than Heyer.
4. Casey's gaffes.
And now we know: Casey Rabach said Zach Thomas told him he tripped. The officials saw it differently and flagged Rabach for holding. All Rabach could do was shake his head about it Tuesday. But he did say he wasn't worried that he had cost his team the game. Why? Because he was confident in what they could still do. Says a lot about the growing confidence on this team.
5. The road ahead.
We'll now find out how the Redskins handle prosperity. Listen, if Brian Westbrook doesn't play, the Redskins have a strong chance of being 4-1 with St. Louis, Cleveland and Detroit up next. Can this team handle success? As long as it pays attention to guys like London Fletcher it will. Here's the thing: there's no way they've mastered this offense yet. The trust between Zorn and Jason Campbell continues to grow. There's a real bonding going on between those two. That can only mean good things down the road. Now, does that mean a playoff run is still headed this way? Don't know. But it does mean there's lots of room for improvement.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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