When Vinny Cerrato was pushed out of the Washington Redskins, he left the organization in a state that resembled the shape that Rome left Carthage. Not only did Cerrato burn the organization to the ground, but he salted the earth so that nothing could grow. Years of trading draft picks for overpriced veterans left the 2010 team a lame horse, waiting for new management to take it out behind the woodshed a put it out of it's misery. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have begun that process, but the paucity of young talent on the roster is such that Football Outsiders (ESPN Insider) has the team ranked last among all organizations for under-25 talent:
Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have inherited a wasteland from Vinny Cerrato, who used his draft picks to acquire "has-beens" and "never-weres." As a result, the Redskins only have four "young" starters, and two of them (wideout Devin Thomas and safety LaRon Landry) have been professional flops. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was extremely effective last year, and rookie tackle Trent Williams should start on the left side from Day One. The only notable young players behind them are tight end Fred Davis and backup linebacker H.B. Blades.
Ouch. I had no idea that LaRon Landry was considered such a scrub. Even worse, Chris Horton doesn't even merit a mention. But then, I'm from D.C. so I have the tendency to overrate my own players to a fairly ridiculous degree.
Now, this analysis isn't exactly surprising. Daniel Snyder has been catching heat for years for the pursuance of sizzle over steak. The quandary comes in assessing how the Redskins begin building for the future. Obtaining Donovan McNabb, while exciting, isn't exactly a move that screams "rebuild" in my mind. Neither does the acquisition of a 21st century "Over-the-Hill Gang" in the backfield. I would rather they tear the entire thing down to the foundation, much like the Wizards, and do a complete reboot.
However, I'm not the person in charge of selling out FedEx Field so I can understand the need or retaining a semblance of competitiveness while Shanahan assesses what he has on the roster. Hopefully, a few years under Shanahan and Allen will see the Redskins climb into the teens in these particular rankings.