courtesy of ‘Danilo.Lewis|Fotography’
The story of the 2010 Washington Redskins needs no retelling. If the images of McNabb sulking on the sidelines and Haynesworth rolling on the ground aren’t burned into your memory then you weren’t paying attention. It can be argued that the issues with McNabb were partly his being taken out of comfortable surroundings and then feuding with the Shanahans. What cannot be argued is that McNabb threw a career high in interceptions with 15 and his lowest number of touchdowns since 2003 with 14, and his 77.1 passer rating was his worst since his rookie season in 1999 when he had a passer rating of 60.1. At the age of 34 Donovan McNabb had the worst season of his career, and he found himself benched for Rex Grossman in the final three games.
The main issues with the Redskins in 2010 were the same as they have always been. They continued to try and be the off-season champs with the trade for McNabb and stuck with Albert Haynesworth in the 3-4 defense despite his objections that he was not that type of player. Haynesworth swore that by working out with his personal trainer he would be ready for the 2010 season, but he failed multiple fitness tests and missed time in training camp. This season the Redskins do not have a McNabb, Portis, or Haynesworth, but what they might have is a team. The 2010 Redskins were seen as a disappointment more because of the expectations than the results. The team finished with the record the talent dictated it should.
The Redskins have made it a habit to ignore problems at the bottom and middle of the roster and to try and go for the big splash. The Redskins never wanted to put a team on the field. They wanted a collection of stars they hoped would play well together and cover up shortcomings at non-glory positions like the offensive and defensive line. When the big name signings and trades failed the Redskins ended up left with nothing and struggled through season after season. This off-season the Redskins took a different approach. They traded 35 year old defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday to the Cardinals for 24 year old running back Tim Hightower. In 13 games started for the Cardinals in 2010 Hightower averaged 4.8 yards a carry and 46 yards a game with an average of only 9.6 carries a game. A league average running back average 4.2 yards a carry in 2010. With a normal workload of between 20-25 carries a game Hightower could provide a vast improvement to the Redskins running game.