Thursday, August 9, 2012

32 in 32: Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins
Read the introduction here
Read the Buccaneers preview here
Jacksonville Jaguars tomorrow

2011 Record: 5-11

Key Acquisitions: Robert Griffin III, Brandon Meriweather, Pierre Garcon, Neil Rackers, Johnathan Goff,
Key Departures: Jabar Gaffney, Donte' Stallworth, Rocky McIntosh, LaRon Landry (J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS), O.J. Atogwe

This team has the pieces to be really surprising. They beat the Super Bowl Champs twice last year, and they're even better this year. I don't expect RGIII to have a Cam Newton year (because it's hard to have a Cam Newton year), but I think he'll have a better year than Andrew Luck will (not saying anything about their careers). The defense has some young guys that I really like. Unfortunately for Griffin and the rest of the Skins, their division is stacked.

RGIII's speed and quickness will allow him to be a defensive nightmare. On top of that, he's a very good pocket passer. Being a rookie however, he'll throw a lot of interceptions and make some bad decisions. That's just a part of being new the the league. He'll grow throughout the year.

I think that the combination of Roy Helu and Tim Hightower will be alright. Helu is a young back who has his whole future ahead of him. He was pretty good last year. With Griffin under center, these running backs will probably benefit from the attention that the defense will pay to him.

I still have my Santana Moss jersey (when he was a Jet) that I bought in 2004. Yes, and I still wear it. I love him, but he's been a diminished version of himself over the last couple of years. Still has the big play potential, especially working with Griffin. He shouldn't be the #1 option, but he's good. Pierre Garcon is a creation of Peyton Manning, just like Austin Collie. He's alright, but the production that he had with the Colts (especially when tearing up the Jets in the AFC Championship Game in 2009) won't be there. I see potential in Anthony Armstrong.

The tight end duo of Fred Davis and Chris Cooley is going to be a really nice weapon for this team. Chris Cooley has always been very productive and Davis was pretty good last year. I don't see Gronkowski/Hernandez, but what I'm looking at is exciting.

Their offensive line has a giant task to fulfill, and I think they can do it. If Jammal Brown can stay healthy, he's a rock at the tackle position. Trent Williams and Chris Chester can keep the pressure away from the young star behind them. Williams is a really good tackle. This year he could make the jump to elite.

Adam Carriker is a really good rush end. He's big and strong, but quick enough to get after the QB and make a lot of plays. He'll only be helped by space-eater Barry Cofield. As a nose tackle, he was really good last year, and allowed the other pass rushers on this team to sneak around the edges. (Not really sneaking when it's giant Brian Orakpo running at you). Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher, and Lorenzo Alexander all made the Pro Bowl last year. Fletcher has consistently been an above average linebacker and finally got him recognition by making his first Pro Bowl. Orakpo is a young pass rusher who is one of the best. I love him.

I have questions about this secondary. DeAngelo Hall isn't a great cover cornerback, but he's very good at making plays on the ball. I don't know about Brandon Meriweather. He was really good with the Patriots, but Belichick decided to cut him for seemingly no reason. The problem is that when Belichick cuts you, that means you're bad (103.7 percent of the time). I still have hope that he's at least productive.

Special Teams
Neil Rackers has always been a solid kicker, but I'm not sure why they brought him in. Graham Gano was supposed to be the kicker of the future. I can't believe I just said "kicker of the future." Sav Rocca has always been reliable. His punts usually give him team great field position. He will continue to do that. He's also not afraid to make a tackle. Brandon Banks is a young kick returner who will definitely get better this year.

7-9, 4th in NFC East

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