First-year head coach Jay Gruden went through a tough season. His starting quarterback couldn’t stay on the field, and they did not get along. His star linebacker only played seven games and is now gone to Tennessee. A 4-12 season ensued and now Gruden and the Redskins go into this year trying to find answers. With a couple of shrewd moves on defense, Washington looks improved on paper.
1. What has happened to RGIII, and can he regain form? Griffin has a spectacular rookie season where he amassed over 4,000 total yards and 27 total touchdowns. The last two years have been rough, sacked 71 times with only 20 starts. Injuries have derailed his development. Also, I believe his attitude has soured some. There were disagreements with him and former coach Mike Shanahan. Also, Gruden voice some displeasure with Griffin as well. Griffin has to do some “soul-searching”, but anyone with his talent can certainly get it back.
2. Who helps Ryan Kerrigan out on defense? Kerrigan has quietly turned into one of the good young linebackers in the game. He registered 64 total tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles last season. The issue is what other impact players do the Redskins have? From a statistical standpoint, the Redskins were middle-of-the-road in yards per game allowed. Look a little closer, and you will see a defense that had its struggles. In seven of their twelve losses, Washington allowed 27 or more points. Hopefully, free agent signings Terrance Knighton, Chris Culliver, and Dashon Goldson, along with the possible return of DeAngelo Hall can help Kerrigan and the rest of the defense out.
3. Who establishes themselves as a playmaker at receiver? DeSean Jackson is a big-play receiver averaging over 20 yards per catch last season. The problem is: who else will join the party? Pierre Garcon is a good player, but has been inconsistent. Andre Roberts was paid like a number two receiver, but had minimal impact last season. Jordan Reed has athleticism and good hands, but has not stayed healthy. If someone from this group can bounce back, them, Jackson, and Alfred Morris can become a tough group to stop.
DeSean Jackson- He is the quintessential big-play guy, almost 1,200 yards receiving last season. Only 56 catches last season though makes him a risky pick in a PPR. He had only one game where he had more than six catches. I would think he is a third wide-out in a three wide-out league, or a flex option. You are “playing with fire” if he is your #2 receiver.
Washington had some issues in the offensive line, so they drafted Brandon Scherff probably the best lineman in the draft. Other than that, I though the Skins’ did an okay job. Preston Smith provides depth at linebacker, Matt Jones looks the part physically, but there are doubts about every-down responsibility are certainly there. Jamison Crowder and Evan Spencer are developmental players at wide receiver who can be productive on special teams. Arie Kouandijo could be the sleeper of this draft.
Jordan Reed stays healthy and leads the Redskins in receptions.
We go to the Land of Cheese to take a look at the Green Bay Packers next.