Strength: The Redskins are deep in the defensive backfield, just as they were last year.
They hope to benefit more with the presence of DT Albert Haynesworth up front. DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers are legitimate starting corners. Hall is a playmaker thanks to excellent instincts while Rogers had an excellent season until he lost playing time late in the year. Considering he'll be a free agent after the season look for inspired play. LaRon Landry is a big-time hitter with terrific speed. Chris Horton is a smart player who makes plays even while out of position. The depth at both spots is adequate.
Weakness: There aren't a lot, but the depth could be better.
Fred Smoot has been a fine player, but his play slipped last season. After him, there's nothing proven. Reed Doughty is an OK backup; he's experienced and that helps. Kareem Moore has a chance to be a good backup, but he needs to stay healthy. Landry needs to make more plays
Key question: Is Hall worth the money?
He was a bust in Oakland, partly because he did not fit into their system. We don't buy the whole resentment factor, at least not all of it. When guys play well, others are not resentful. Simple as that. But it was clear that he could play at a high level because he did it while in Washington. He has a knack for making plays because of how he positions himself. That will cost him at times20as well. They lost versatility when they let Shawn Springs go so Hall has to compensate by getting his hands on the ball.
The verdict: The secondary will again be a strength of the team.
Landry should take a step up as a player, if he gets the mental side down. Horton works hard and is smart, a good combination. And there's no reason to believe that Hall and Rogers will not play as well as last season. If Rogers holds onto a few more passes he's a Pro Bowler; that's not a lot to ask given that he was in position to make those plays – it has to start with that. The depth is a concern, unlike last season. If something happens to either Hall or Rogers, there could be issues.
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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