Over the course of the offseason I will break down the Redskins best players from each decade on offense and defense. All-Decade teams will be from years 1-10, so for instance 2001-2010. It will only look at a players accomplishments with the Redskins in that time frame.
-Though Jason Campbell didn’t play in the playoffs or really lead the team there like the other two quarterbacks on this list did, he put up the best numbers for the team. Campbell just wasn’t the type of quarterback who could carry a team, but he did complete 61.2 % of his passes and threw for 55 TD’s and 10,860 yards in 52 games in Washington. Unfortunately for him, his two best years in Washington were at a time of a new coaching regime and the Redskins got old fast. Mark Brunell didn’t have near the numbers as Campbell, but he did enough to lead the team to the playoffs in 2005. Though they were basically the Clinton Portis show for that stretch run, Brunell didn’t make any mistakes to sink their playoff hopes during their five game win streak to make the postseason. Todd Collins was just a back-up for the Redskins, but due to Jason Campbell’s injury in 2007 he was thrust into the starting line-up at the end of the year. In three and a half games (which were all wins) Collins threw for 888 yards and 5 TD’s to zero interceptions. He came up with some big games for the Redskins that sent them to the postseason that year.
-Acquiring Clinton Portis was one of the first moves Joe Gibbs made when he returned to DC in 2004. In his seven years in Washington Portis had over 8,100 yards from scrimmage and 49 TD’s. In his four full seasons in DC he had at least 1,200 yards rushing. The Redskins were run centric team and Portis was the key during that time. Without him the Redskins would not have gone to the playoffs in 2005 and 2007. Though he was only in DC for two years during this decade, Stephen Davis deserves the number two spot here. Despite the lack of a passing attack from 2001-2002, Davis gained 2,252 rushing yards in 28 games and had 12 touchdowns. While they weren’t as impressive as the years he closed out the previous decade with, Davis also didn’t have the support around him during those years. In eight years in Washington Ladell Betts had 3176 rushing yards on 776 attempts, while scoring 13 times. Betts was primarily a back-up during this time period, but when Clinton Portis was injured in 2006, Betts ran for 1,154 yards on just 245 carries. Injuries kept Betts from making a greater impact, or being an option when Portis broke down towards the end of his career.
-Sellers started out his career as a tight end, but was transitioned to fullback during his return to the Redskins under Joe Gibbs. He wasn’t a star (outside of on Special teams), but he was an effective receiver out of the backfield, and decent short yardage option. For a number of years he was a very good lead blocker as well.
-The Redskins drafted Cooley in 2004 and he quickly became a big part of their offense. From then through 2010 Cooley amassed 420 catches for 4,638 yards and 33 TD’s. In any season that he started more than 10 games he had at least 700 yards receiving. He was an integral piece of the Redskins two playoff appearances and will easily one day be added in the Redskins Ring of Fame. Robert Royal didn’t have near the offensive production of Chris Cooley, as he managed just 31 catches for 249 yards and 5 TD’s in his four years in Washington, but he contributed significantly as a blocker. He got his fair share of playing time due to his blocking ability and it was important to the Redskins rushing attack in 2004 and 2005.
–Santana Moss was acquired in 2005 and from that time through 2010 he missed just four games for the Redskins. He had three 1,000 yard+ seasons for the Redskins during that time and was without a doubt their best receiving weapon during that time period. He was a big part of both of their playoff runs and came up with clutch catch after clutch catch for this team. The player the Redskins traded away for him was Laveranues Coles, who was disgruntled and threatening to hold out. Though Coles only played two years for the Redskins he had 172 catches for 2,154 yards during that time. It was a short stint, but a productive one, especially considering the quarterback play Coles had to work with. Antwaan Randle El was acquired with Brandon Lloyd in 2006 to give the Redskins some additional weapons to draw attention away from Moss. While Lloyd flamed out quickly, Randle El stuck around for four years. Though he was never the punt returner the Redskins were hoping for during that time period, he was a solid slot receiver for the Redskins, amassing 186 catches and 2,202 yards. Despite the fact that the Redskins brought in multiple other receivers to challenge Randle El, he continuously outplayed them. Rod Gardner is typically thought of as a bust of a first round pick, he did manage 227 catches, 2,997 and 22 TD’s during his four year stint with the Redskins. Given some of the quarterback play and the constant shifting of offenses, those aren’t bad numbers. Gardner though failed to every really stand out and did benefit some from a lot of garbage time production. Picking a 5th receiver from this decade was not easy as the options are really bad. Anthony Armstrong got the nod though, because fluke or otherwise he was very productive for his 2010 season, proving himself as a nice deep threat option that year.
-The former 2000 number 3 overall pick, Samuels started 125 games at LT for the Redskins from 2001-2009. During that time he went to 6 Pro Bowls and was among the premier LT’s in the league. He was a major part of the Redskins success during their two playoff runs and very likely could end up in the Hall of Fame one day due to his performance during this time. His bookend Jon Jansen was a big part of the Redskins line at this time as well. Jansen didn’t get the credit that Samuels did since he was a RT, but he did start 91 games from 2001-2008 for the Redskins and played at a very high level at RT. Injuries did wipe out multiple seasons for Jansen, but other than that he was about as good as you could ask for. When Jansen did go down veterans Ray Brown and Todd Wade took his place and though they weren’t Jansen they minimized the drop-off in production.
-Dockery was a primary starter for the Redskins for five seasons (2003-2006, 2009) in the decade after being drafted in the 3rd round in 2003. He played in every game making 77 of 80 starts. The team did let him walk as a free agent in 2007, which was definitely a move they came to regret as it forced them to trade for Pete Kendall. Kendall was actually pretty solid for the Redskins and played at the same level as Dockery, but the team was forced to give up a 4th rounder to land him, and he was clearly just a short term option. The other main starting guard for the Redskins during this decade was 2003 free agent signing Randy Thomas. Thomas started 82 games for the Redskins from 2003-2009, but missed significant time in the 2007 and 2009 seasons which limited his value some, and shortened his career. When healthy Thomas was a good starter and a key piece of the Redskins line.
-No stars here, but all are at least solid centers. Raymer started off the decade, before he went to San Diego for two years, but he came back to start 14 games in 2004 and was depth in 2005. Moore started 24 of the games Raymer was in San Diego and played at a good level. Casey Rabach was a key Redskins free agent signing in 2005. From the time of his signing until his final season in 2010, he missed just a single start. Though his play deteriorated towards the end of the decade he was instrumental in the Redskins two playoff runs in 2005 and 2007.