Regardless of what the Capitals, Nationals, or Wizards do…. DC is a Redskins town.
The Redskins fan base (which I am a part of) is a large and committed one. With those great qualities though comes a lot of delusion (which is a group I am not a part of). The Redskins have reason for excitement — actually having what seems to be a QB under center — but from looking at the roster that may be about the only thing to be excited about. The Skins are the least talented team in the NFC East.
So let’s pump the breaks a little on the Super Bowl bus and break it down by position.
Robert Griffin III is the most exciting thing to happen in DC in the history of ever, but he has yet to throw an NFL pass. So the position is still a question mark as far as what the production will be. The good news is we know who will be under center, which is a step up from last season where it was like choosing between two different types of toilet paper to play QB. It will also be very interesting to watch how Kirk Cousins handles his situation as he is clearly not the rookie every one is worried about. And of course, we get to watch Sexy Rexy in the preseason which is always must see TV.
I have heard a lot from the fan base saying that running back may be the least worried about position on the field. I am not going that far, actually I am not even going anywhere close to that. Roy Helu Jr is a dynamic back who can do a lot of things, Evan Royster had a decent rookie season in the time he saw, and there are a lot of questions surrounding Tim Hightower even when he is healthy. More consistency will need to be shown out of the young guys in their sophomore season.
Like the QB position, the backs all have talent it seems, but it has yet to be shown over 16 games.
Well, we signed some new ones! That always works out right!?…..Right guys?
The Skins wideouts on paper are drastically improved compared to last year. Pierre Garcon is a proven receiver who will be a good addition, but how good will he be with no Reggie Wayne on the other side? Leonard Hankerson is coming into this season with some expectations after showing signs of good things (for only 1 game) last year before his injury. That brings us to good old Santana Moss, and with that I would like to remind you that it is not 2006 anymore. Moss has lost a lot of steps and at times seems to lose his hands as well. If he gets put in a position that he is not just a slot receiver the Skins are in trouble. The 4 spot is up for grabs with Josh Morgan, Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, and Niles Paul (assuming the TE thing does not work out). That should be a good battle during camp to see who comes out on top. If you’re thinking I forgot Brandon Banks, I didn’t because he should never be on the field when the offense is.
Fred Davis is a stud, and can be as good as he wants to be. The question is if he actually wants to be great? If he can keep himself out of trouble, there is no question he is the biggest offensive weapon the Skins have. Chris Cooley has been injured for what seems like 6 years, but he says he is healthy and in his best shape. If those two work out and can be on the field together, then the Redskins have two dynamic and completely different tight ends and that can only help the offense.
The Tackle positions should be alright assuming Jammal Brown stays healthy and Trent Williams lays off the grass. Kory Lichtensteiger is a solid guard when healthy, the Skins just need to find another one. Will Montgomery is an average center who does not really help or hurt anyone. If the group can stay healthy all year it will be a bright spot, but the Redskins have not had good luck in that department in recent years.
The second most talented group on the roster, the defensive line should not be an issue at all. Barry Colefield had a soild year at nose tackle last season along with Chris Neild backing him up. The D-line gets an upgrade with Jarvis Jenkins being healthy because coming out of camp last year he was going to be a starter as a rookie prior to his injury. Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen, and Kendric Golston round out a solid group.
There are no questions here. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan are both monsters who will only get better. In the middle London Fletcher is the heart and soul the team while Perry Riley is set to have a big season in his second year in the system. Lorenzo Alexander is moving positions once again and will play some inside linebacker. The surprise of this group will be Keenan Robinson, the rookie out of Texas. He is a beast and should help out in pass rushing situations.
As much excitment as there is for RGIII, there needs to be an equal amount of worry when it comes to the defensive backfield. DeAngelo Hall is back, which some weeks is a positive but most weeks a negative. Josh Wilson didn’t play bad last season, but he just does not have a lot of big play potential. The safety position should be improved with Brandon Meriweather, but then again we have thought that with a lot of different safeties. DeJon Gomes is a player that needs to be watched. Although small, Gomes plays a lot bigger than he actually is and needs to produce during camp and the preseason more than any other player. Why you ask? Because if he does, it keeps Reed Doughty off the field and that is always a good thing.
If Brandon Banks makes the team out of camp I will be shocked. The Redskins have too many other return man options who can also help out in different areas to keep a guy around who can only do one thing. Punting wise, Sav Rocca is solid and has an awesome name. The kicking game will actually have some competition this year, which is good because it has been a black hole forever. Neil Rackers and Graham Gano will see who has a leg up come preseason.
While there is a lot to be excited about in DC, there are still a lot of questions. Hopefully we will have some answers before the preseason is over.