Redskins still have plenty of concerns offensively

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 08:  Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins watches from the sidelines after suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 8, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Merry preseason, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the trio of issues the Redskins could face this season.

I always thought Jason Campbell got kind of a bad rap, although there’s no question that Donovan McNabb has better physical tools – even at this point in his career. Thanks to first round pick Trent Williams and former Saint Jammal Brown, the tackle positions got a much needed makeover in our nation’s capital as well.

So generally speaking, the Washington Redskins are an improved football team.

But it seems as though some pundits are going a tad overboard when predicting this team’s success this year. While they have made several upgrades on that side of the ball, the offense still has plenty of question marks as well.

Let’s start with the offensive line. Williams is a tremendous prospect, but he’s still a rookie and far from a guarantee. He also doesn’t have a ton of experience on the left side, which is where he’s expected to anchor this Washington O-line.

Brown is a massive upgrade over Stephon Heyer, but that’s like saying an authentic slice of New York pizza is an upgrade over Dominos. Heyer was one of the worst offensive linemen in all of football last year, so a broomstick cemented in a bucket would have been an upgrade.

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NFL Reports: Revis deal close? Rice on IR? Daniels now 100%?

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17: Wide receiver Sidney Rice #18 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates while playing against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cowboys 34-3. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Revis, Jets close to deal
Dan Graziano of AOL NFL Fanhouse is reporting that the Jets and Darrelle Revis are close to signing a new contract. Graziano claims that an agreement could be announced in the coming days, although it’s important to note that the two sides were reportedly $40 million apart on Monday.

Childress doesn’t rule out IR for Rice
Head coach Brad Childress said on Tuesday that the Vikings won’t rule out the possibility of Sidney Rice being placed on injured reserve following the receiver’s hip surgery on Monday. At the very least, Rice is heading for the PUP list, which means he’ll miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. If the team places him on IR (which seems like a stretch at this point), his entire 2010 season would be over.

Daniels gets good news on MRI
FOX 26 in Houston is reporting that Owen Daniels’ surgically repaired knee is 100% after the Texans’ tight end had an MRI on Tuesday. Daniels will still have a checkup with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, but it appears that he’ll be medically cleared to play by the start of the season.

Bulluck moved back outside
Just one day after I question whether or not Keith Bulluck was a good fit at middle linebacker for Perry Fewell’s defensive scheme in my “NFL Question Marks Series,” the Giants have decided to move him back to the outside where he’s played his entire career. (Obviously Tom Coughlin is a fan of The Scores Report and there’s little to no doubt I’ll be an adviser for the Giants in the upcoming months…ah, sarcasm.) Jonathan Goff will start in the middle for the Giants this season, although fourth rounder Phillip Dillard could get a look if Goff struggles.

LJ, “Fast Willie” on the Skins’ roster bubble?
According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, it wouldn’t be a shock if both Larry Johnson and Willie Parker were released before the start of the season. Neither back has impressed the new coaching staff in Washington and Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams could wind up backing up Clinton Portis this year.

Redskins sign Larry Johnson to 3-year deal

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Larry Johnson on a three-year deal with a maximum of $12 million reports Jason La Confora.

Johnson will compete with Clinton Portis and Anthony Alridge for carries in Mike Shanahan’s zone blocking system, although Washington could also add another back before training camp. In fact, there’s a good chance that the Skins will add a back via the draft.

Johnson only managed 3.2 yards per carry last season and appears to have lost most of his burst and explosion. Seeing as how he’s already 30, it’s a little perplexing that the Redskins gave him a three-year deal, especially considering he was so ineffective last year. But hey, this is just par for the course for Daniel Snyder. He was bound to make at least one head-scratching decision this offseason.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Larry Johnson rushes for 107 yards in Bengals’ win

It didn’t take long for Larry Johnson to make an impact for the Bengals.

Just two weeks after Cincinnati signed the troubled running back, Johnson rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries to help the Bengals beat the Browns 16-7 in Week 12.

Johnson started by splitting carries with Bernard Scott, but after rushing for 42 yards on his first four carries, Marvin Lewis gave him more opportunities throughout the game. Then after Scott was injured in the third quarter, Johnson took over as the team’s primary back and helped the Bengals earn an unimpressive win.

Johnson won’t unseat Cedric Benson as Cincinnati’s top back, but it never hurts when a contender has two capable runners come playoff time. KC fans will want to throw up when they read this, but LJ gave his best effort of the year, which is huge given Benson’s injury.

With this win, the Bengals completed a season sweep of the entire AFC North and at 8-3, Cincy is right in contention for a first round bye.

Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe suspended for four games

According to a report by the Kansas City Star, Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe has been suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

League spokesman Corry Rush announced the suspension in an e-mail, and the Chiefs have acknowledged Bowe’s suspension.
In a news release, the Chiefs said Bowe’s suspension will begin immediately.

“As a result of the league suspension, the team will have no further comment,” the Chiefs’ news release said.

The league’s list of banned substances is so long and extensive that Bowe could have taken anything. Some sports fans like to assume that when the league suspends a player it’s because that player took steroids. But that’s usually not the case and actually, it seems like most players are suspended for some kind of weight-loss supplement.

Either way, Bowe is responsible for putting the supplement in his body without first making sure that it wasn’t a banned substance. Teams keep track of what players are taking at all times, including cough medicine and headache medication. Bowe should have known better and unfortunately whatever it is he took will cost him four games.

2009 has not been kind to first-year head coach Todd Haley. Not only is his team heading for a losing season, but he was also publicly criticized by Larry Johnson via Twitter and he just lost his best offensive weapon for four games.

What a bad way to kick off the start of your first year as a head coach.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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