Continuing our off-season conversations with NFC East bloggers, today we chat with Kevin from 'Hogs Haven,' SB Nation's Washington Redskins blog. If you missed our chat with Bleeding Green Nation, it's here.
Here is my Q&A with Hogs Haven.
Big Blue View: Thinking back to watching the draft, when the Redskins turn came in the first round it seemed they could not get the Brian Orakpo pick in the commissioner's hands fast enough. Why were they so excited to get Orakpo?
Hogs Haven: The Skins had their own internal ranking of players and Orakpo was in their top 5 overall picks, so when he was still there at #13, it was a no-brainer. The Redskins desperately need a strong-side linebacker and a solid 3rd down pass-rusher, so Orakpo fills that hole perfectly. The funny thing is, last year, the Redskins offered their 1st and 3rd round picks of the 2009 draft to the Bungles for Chad Johnson, and Cincy rejected it. THANK GOD for that.
BBV: There was a lot of discussion about the Redskins moving up to get Mark Sanchez. My pal Rick Snider (DC Examiner), who covered the 'Skins for years, chose Sanchez in the BBV mock draft. A two-part question:
a) Are you disappointed that the Redskins weren't able to make a move for Sanchez?
HH: I am not disappointed in the least bit. All of the Redskins Super Bowls were won with a different QB. The anchor of those wins were our offensive and defensive lines. Everyone wants us to solidify those, so once we do, we think Jason is more than adequate to get the ball in the end-zone.
b) Do you think Jason Campbell is a franchise quarterback, or are the Redskins going to have to look elsewhere for a long-term answer at that position?
HH: Well, this is certainly his last year to prove it. The Skins averaged a dismal 16.6 points a game last year, yet Campbell's completion numbers were good and his interception total was best in the league. He has improved every year he has played, so fans are still optimistic he can step up this year.
BBV: Assess the Redskins' draft. Your favorite pick? Was there a choice that was a real head-scratcher?
HH: Orakpo is the obvious pick. We blogged about wanting him 2 months before the draft since the Redskins were the 4th worst defense in sacks.
BBV: The Redskins made a big splash with the free-agent signing of Albert Haynesworth. Have they improved enough to pass either the Giants or Eagles in the NFC East and become a playoff team?
HH: Absolutely, but a few things need to happen first. The Skins had the 4th best overall Defense last year before Haynesworth and Orakpo. With those 2 wreaking havoc, the sacks and turnovers will increase, which will put our O in much better field position. The Redskins defense kept them in so many games last year. The other major component is that the three 2nd round picks from last year HAVE to step up. Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, and Fred Davis have all been working non-stop over the off-season, so whether they start or not makes a huge difference. Their athletic ability is outstanding, but their nagging injuries is a big concern.
BBV: What, in your mind, is the biggest hole the Redskins have not addressed this off-season?
HH: I think the offensive line. The Skins were the 10th most sacked team. They added Derrick Dockery to the left side, which certainly helps, but the right side of the line is still suspect. The coaches feel there are some young guys ready to step up, so we'll see what comes of it. Training camp can't come soon enough for us so these questions can get answered.
Thanks to Kevin for answering these. Remember, play nice with the Redskins' fans.