2014 NFL Preview: Washington Redskins

2014 NFL Preview: Washington Redskins

Not much went right for the Washington Redskins in 2013. RG III was rushed back from a surgically-repaired knee. The defense played horrendous. Mike Shanahan proved once again he’s overrated without John Elway. They lost their last 8 games. Griffin was eventually “sat down” in favor of Kirk Cousins. And due to the draft day trade for Griffin, a 3-13 season wasn’t even rewarded with a first-round pick. However, the forecast for 2014 seems to be brighter. RG III is healthy, offensive guru Jay Gruden is the head coach, and a banished ex-Eagle receiver is in the fold. Name-gate won’t go away, but as far as on the field issues go, Washington is poised for a rebound. Here’s a preview of the 2014 Redskins.

Outlook: Gruden made Andy Dalton look borderline elite on occasion, so he should be able to do wonders for Griffin, who has a plethora of weapons surrounding him. Pierre Garcon, Alfred Morris, Jordan Reed, Andre Roberts, and that speedy ex-Eagle makes for an exciting platoon of playmakers. The defense on the other hand is still a bit of a mess. Brian Orakpo signed his franchise tender, but is seeking a long-term deal. The secondary is chock-full of question marks. This team should be be able to pile up the points, which might be enough in a division lacking quality defenses.

New arrivals: DeSean Jackson brings his so-called bad attitude and elite speed to a receiving corps that already boasts 2013 reception-leader Pierre Garcon. Jackson’s penchant for catching bombs will open up the middle of the field and rushing lanes. 32-year-old Jason Hatcher has never been a good 3-4 end, so inking him to four-year, $27.5 million deal to play in a 3-4 wasn’t very prudent. Plus, he’ll miss most of training camp after having his knee scoped. Ryan Clark spent 2004-05 in D.C. and returns at age 34 to help stabilize the safety position. Rookie offensive linemen Morgan Moses and Spencer Long will provide promising young depth to a shaky unit.

Wave goodbye: Defensive stalwart London Fletcher called it a career after 16 seasons; his next stop should be Canton. Since January, Fred Davis has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, pinched for DWI, and had a warrant issued for his arrest for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Needless to say, his NFL future is in serious doubt. Reed Doughty started 48 straight games at safety, but was rightfully kicked to the curb for being below average. Multiple knee surgeries have slowed Adam Carriker, so he was released in March.

Over/Under wins – 7.5: There is renewed energy in Washington due in large to the potential of the offense. Gruden is a creative playcaller who should take full advantage of the weapons at his disposal. If the 2012 RG III resurfaces and the defense is merely average, the ‘Skins will challenge Philly for the division crown.

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