Craig Johnson. 17th September, 2005 - 12:58 am
The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry has been said that the fire has been somewhat dissolved. Well, if you talk to any Redskins fan I am sure that they will tell you that the most hated team in the NFL is still in fact Dallas.
To say that this rivalry is not the same must mean that you have forgotten that Dallas has won 14-of-15 games in recent history. For me anytime that I see a fan wearing a Dallas shirt I make sure that I don?t hold the door for them. My question to the experts is, ?If the fire is dissolving then why do I get the feeling of boiling blood going through my veins when I think of Monday night?s game??
Why do I wish to hear newly Cowboy quarterback Drew Bledsoe get called ?Drew Bleed-soe?? Why do I want the Cowboys defense to get scored on more times then Kelly Bundy? I will tell you why. The rivalry is still there and a new one is starting except, defensive head-man Gregg Williams and his defensive unit will give the next 15 games to us.
Through 2001 and 2003 Williams was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills and the quarterback there was Bledsoe. Who would be a better fit for the Redskins right now when getting ready to face Bledsoe? Williams schooled him and after Monday night he will rule him. For the Washington defense this is the week to prove that you are the best. This is the week to paint your face and call yourselves warriors. Hello, is anyone out there? LaVar, Sean Taylor, Phillip Daniels, Marcus Washington, is anyone on that defense listening to your beloved fans? Kick some Cowboy behind and ignite this rivalry! Let?s take a look at the 2005-2006 Washington defense that will help the Skins go 11-5 with or without Ramsey as the quarterback of the offense.
Defensive Line: This is a spot on the defense that a few years ago looked like there was nobody home. The defensive end position is a bright spot. Daniels starts his second year with Washington but has yet to play to his potential mainly because of injury, but if he can stay healthy he will be huge in pass rush. On the other end will be Renaldo Wynn who has spent three successful seasons with the Redskins, but has been unable to receive the help he needed until now. Up the middle will be Cornelius Griffin who also starts his second year with the Redskins. Griffin has already proven what he can do last year starting all 15 games that he played in and compiling 96 tackles and a team high 15 tackles for a loss. Next to him will be Joe Salave?a, who will provide enough quickness to interrupt plays in the opposing teams backfield.
Linebackers: This is where the Redskins have spent most of their money in the past few years. Some have been great pickups and some have looked like they would rather be converted into punters and kickers. The captain label may or may not rest in the lap of LaVar Arrington but he will be the energy of the entire defense. Arrington had a disappointing season last year that saw him spend most of his time inactive due to a knee injury, but he is back and ready to return to the pro bowl caliber he known for. Washington was a huge pickup from Indianapolis a year ago. Tallying 130 tackles which 102 of those were solo tackles and 4.5 sacks last year was enough to get him to his first of many trips to Honolulu. Skins also added a little more depth to this unit when they plucked Warrick Holdman off the free agent list this summer. Holdman who played five seasons in Chicago and last year in Cleveland, has the potential to be the leader on most teams but will be a great addition to this unit. The surprise in this unit has definitely been the emergence of LeMar Marshall who filled in nicely when Arrington went down last year. Marshall will play a considerable amount of time and when asked he will come up big.
Cornerbacks: Following lineups that have included Darrell Green and Champ Bailey make it tough to play this position and be liked in Washington. Shawn Springs who played his high school ball in the D.C. area at Springbrook High school, has proven that he has all the tools to be a weapon for us. Last year Springs led the team in interceptions with five and also in sacks with six, and will once again be dominating this year. Walt Harris will move up to the second spot filling the void of Fred Smoot. For this nine year veteran starting will not be a new thing as he already has 115 starts throughout his career. But it will be neither of these two who will be playing with all eyes on them, it will be the first round draft-pick, fifth overall Carlos Rogers. Rogers fits in nicely with this crew and after much needed playing time Rogers will have Skins fans saying ?Fred, who??
Safety: Matt Bowen broke out the season last year in a blaze of glory only to have an injury in week five on a special teams play sideline him for the remainder of the season. For many Redskins fans the health of Bowen is a big concern, because they know he has great potential. Pierson Prioleau comes over to the Redskins from Buffalo and is very familiar with Williams, which will give him the potential to be the starter throughout the season. If he is unable to perform to his ability then it will be Ryan Clark who fought hard to see his name slide up the depth chart. But the man of this unit is none other then second year man Sean Taylor. Taylor has proven that he can handle almost any situation as long as it pertains to the field. This year will be a break out year for him and he will receive his first bid to the pro bowl and he may even catch a few touchdown passes on the offense.
There you have it. A defense that finished third overall last year has been newly renovated into a defense that will finish first overall this year. And for you Dallas we?ll show you what Capitol Punishment is really about.