Thursday, December 31, 2009

2000-2009 Team of the Decade

The final Redskins game of the decade was forgettable, unlike the many players who gave fans something to root for during their time in Washington. Although the 2000-2009 decade will be remembered mostly for the arrival of Dan Snyder, the return of Joe Gibbs, and the death of Sean Taylor, I chose to pay tribute to my all-decade Washington Redskins.

Coach: Marty Schottenheimer. Marty compiled the only .500 or better record under Snyder in the decade. He finished 8-8 in 2001 after winning eight of the final 11 games. Most impressively, he did it with Tony Banks, Michael Westbrook, and Rod Gardner. Did I mention he got Vinny fired, even if for only a year?

QB: Brad Johnson. Wins, Pro Bowls, playoff appearances? Washington should have never got rid of him. He went on to win a Super Bowl in Tampa just two years later.
RB: Clinton Portis. Was he worth giving up Champ Bailey? Who knows, but CP's effectiveness in the decade was rivaled only by Stephen Davis back during the Norv Turner era.
FB: Larry Centers. Downright more talented and productive than Mike Sellers who was simply a product of Joe Gibbs's system.
WR: Santana Moss. Despite criticisms, he's an overachiever with game-breaking ability.
WR: Laveranues Coles. Eventually swapped for Moss, Lav was probably tougher and more consistent than his successor.
TE: Chris Cooley. Beat out Stephen Alexander in a surprisingly close competition.
T: Chris Samuels. 2000-2009's top Redskin hands down.
G: Derrick Dockery. Started 77 of 80 games in Washington despite leaving for two years.
C: Casey Rabach. Cory Raymer? I don't think so.
G: Randy Thomas. Tre' Johnson? I don't think so.
T: Jon Jansen. With Samuels, anchored the Washington offense up until last year. The void in leadership has yet to be filled.

DE: Marco Coleman. Pro bowls, productivity, class. Out-performed Bruce Smith in his last years.
DT: Cornelius Griffin. Possibly Washington's top defensive lineman of the decade. Strahan would have had 100 more sacks had NY kept him.
DT: Joe Salave'a. Narrowly edged out Kedric Golston in terms of effectiveness. Haynesworth just got here, Dan Wilkinson underachieved, and Stubblefield... well, yeah.
DE: Andre Carter. Consistent pass rusher, less effective in the run game but has reemerged following the acquisition of Haynesworth.
LB: LaVar Arrington. How'd such a bright career fall apart so quickly?
LB: London Fletcher. Most likely on the same list in previous stops St. Louis and Buffalo.
LB: Marcus Washington. Edged out Armstead, Trotter, Marshall, and Pierce. None played with as much as emotion. Washington is still trying to replace his spark on defense.
DB: Champ Bailey. Smoot, Bauman, Rogers, Tryon, and Barnes. None of the above draft picks even came close to touching Washington's best defensive back not named Darrell Green.
DB: Shawn Springs. Consistent in both the passing and run game. Sure tackler, shutdown corner, and teacher. DeAngelo has struggled to replace him in 2009.
FS: Sean Taylor. It's a shame game-changing collisions aren't officially recorded. R.I.P.
SS: Ryan Clark. Landry hasn't been worthy of a top-10 selection and Sam Shade fell victim to a poor supporting cast. Taylor and Clark, not Landry, formed Washington's top safety duo in years.

K: John Hall. Still waiting on the next Mark Moseley.
P: Hunter Smith. Likewise, little to choose from but Smith's two TDs this year gave him the nod.
LS: Ethan Albright. The Red Snapper even made a Pro Bowl.
KR: Chad Morton. 10 years later and Washington still can't replace Brian Mitchell.
PR: Santana Moss. Game-breaker but rarely used, much to the chagrin of Redskins fans.

Rookie of the Decade: Chris Samuels. Picked 3rd overall, one behind LaVar who left in 2005. Started 141 games and was elected to six pro bowls before a neck injury sidelined him in 2009. Will be a first ballot hall of famer and Redskins ring of fame honoree as soon as he's eligible.
Offensive MVP: Chris Samuels. See above.
Defensive MVP: London Fletcher. Pro Bowls aside, possibly the NFL's linebacker of the decade. Washington was fortunate enough to have him since 2007.

Happy New Year

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