NFL Season Preview: Washington Redskins Seek to Build Off Their 2012 Success
The Redskins were coming off their most successful season in nearly 15 years in 2012 by winning the NFC East and getting to the Wild Card Playoff, but also witnessed their franchise QB Robert Griffin III suffer a major knee injury at the tail end of that game. Griffin is allegedly on par to be ready for training camp and Week 1 of the regular season. This would be a borderline miracle, given that he suffered multiple ligament tears in his knee – and the injury occurred just six months ago – so the Redskins are more or less holding their breaths and tempering their optimism until they know for sure that Griffin will be ready to go come September 8.
Along with Griffin was talented rookie RB Alfred Morris in 2012. The style of offense employed by the Redskins only caters to the the strengths and abilities of the Morris, who does not possess much speed at all, but has power and vision that allows him to work well behind the zone blocking scheme that the Redskins employ. If Griffin is unable to return, the team will turn to QB Kirk Cousins, who filled in admirably whenever Griffin was out of commission at times during 2012. Washington feels good about its WR corps, as they figure to have a healthy Pierre Garçon, to go along with venerable WR Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan. The team also signed free agent WR Donte Stallworth to help round out the unit.
TE Fred Davis returned to sign the Redskins on a one-year deal, so it is to be expected that Davis will be extremely motivated to be at his absolute best in 2013. If Davis experiences any setbacks with his Achilles’ tear recovery, the team will continue to lean upon Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen.
The Redskins featured a healthy run defense, but a putrid pass defense (especially its secondary). They looked to address those weaknesses during the offseason, by utilizing one of the very few picks they possessed in the 2013 Draft to select Brandon Jenkins out of Florida State. Jenkins has the ability to play situationally at OLB or DE. Additionally, in the 3-4 alignment, players such as Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Rob Jackson figure to continue to be important pieces. Ageless London Fletcher cannot be forgotten, either.
If the Redskins hope to become a legitimate threat in the NFC, they must shore up their secondary, which was their Achilles’ heel all season. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson will not cut it. Nor will EJ Biggers, Reed Doughty, Brandon Meriweather, or DeJon Gomes. The Redskins will have to hope that rookie Bacarri Rambo (Georgia) is anything close to his college form at this level, or the Skins’ pass defense will continue to get them beaten in close and important games.
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