The Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Redskins are both 1-0 after one week of play in the 2011 season. As has been customary the SB Nation blogs representing the teams the Cardinals are playing to get together with us and answer questions from the opposing point of view. This week Kevin Ewoldt from Hogs Haven took some time to answer my questions.
Hit the jump for the questions and responses...
With an extremely weak QB draft class and the lockout, it didn't make sense to burn a high draft pick on a QB that would sit all year. Rex Grossman is entering year three of Kyle Shanahan's system, and when McNabb was benched the end of 2010, Grossman put up two 300+ yard games in three chances. John Beck is adequate, but that media play was nothing more than making sure Grossman comes to camp focused and competing for a job. The fanbase is OK with this when you consider our other options. Ryan Kerrigan is better than a sub-par QB, and we all know we'll draft a QB next year. Mike Shanahan would NEVER lose on purpose for a QB. It's a stupid theory that fans should abort. What happens if Luck gets hurt or has a Jake Locker-esque year? You'll lose the locker room if you try to lose games.
2. After all the buzz about Tim Hightower in the preseason, how are fans reacting to the 25 carry, 72 yard performance against the Giants? How much, if any, criticism is he getting out there for his comments saying the Redskins are going to win against the Cardinals? What impact is he expected to bring this season?
The Giants have one of the premier defensive lines in the NFL, so Redskins fans are not worried since we shredded their secondary. I'm not comparing Hightower to Chris Johnson, but RBs don't have big games every week. Especially vs NYG. The comments Hightower had on the Cardinals were completely taken out of context. He said "We're going to win" as pasrt of a long sentence to another questions...similar to any confident player would...not "I guarantee a victory." Redskins fans have not seen players caring about their job in two decades, so this is a welcome change. Hightower brings extremely high expectations (I mean, look at how bad our running game has been over the years).
3. What offensive and defensive game plans will the 'Skins have for the Cardinals?
Shanahan is all about taking what you give us. If you throw out that zone defense, expect a ton of slant and seam passes to Moss and Cooley. The reason for Grossman' success is he has the timing down so good he almost doesn't have to think about it (year three). The blocking, routes, and throw are all coordinated to the second...the Redskins will find holes. Shanahan loves misdirection plays...I'll go ahead and predict a big gain to Fred Davis off a bootleg now.
4. What are the Redskins' strengths in 2011? Weaknesses?
Strong Safety: Laron Landry will likely miss week 2 as well. Reed Doughty got exposed in coverage last week so I expect Wisenhunt to go after him as well. Kolb even said they plan to take their chances deep.
OLine: Our tackles got abused by the Giants' studs last week and our interior were all backups last year at one point. They play together well as a unit, but I think Dockett will be a problem more than once.
5. Game prediction and why?
I think the Redskins win in a shootout 35-21. Both of our secondaries are suspect, but it doesn't help west coast teams win 20% of 1PM East Coast games. Tall, athletic WRs put up fantasy gems against us, fyi.