Hail Redskins Nation, sorry for not being able to post observations of the last two games but at this point all the recaps are becoming pretty redundant. I've been a little under the weather, plus the holidays and working OT it just wasn't enough time to get recaps done in a timely manner. But as you see I'm back writing about my favorite team. Now getting to the state of the Washington Redskins in 2013 and going forward. The same issues are continuing week in and week out and costing this team games that are winnable. We can talk about the weak interior of the O-line, the lack of production from the #2 WR spot, the inconsistent play of the offense, and the lack of a big playmaker on defense. There are plenty of things that have gone wrong but it also has been a few things that have gone right. Bruce Allen said it best at the beginning of the season " The cap penalty will effect this team for years to come not just the two years of the actual penalty" and that's the case in point right now. It's showing now with the lack of addition depth and talent to surround this mixed core of young and veteran players on this up and coming roster. The good news is that the team will have a penalty free offseason that will allow them to finally address and fill the holes that has plagued this roster for all four years of Mike Shanahan's tenure. Last I heard the Redskins should be atleast 20 million under the cap before any roster moves are made at the end of the season or during the offseason. With that amount of money and a few key free agents this team can return to the form of 2012 and forget this terribly inconsistent 2013. There has been plenty of negative buzz around this team for the past few weeks and it's getting pretty ridiculous. Been reports of RGIII and Mike Shanahan aren't getting along, that RGIII and Kyle Shanahan aren't on the same page and even going as far as to make a big deal about RGII coming to the locker room to check on his son after a rough game against a tough,physical 49ers team. All these reports goes to show the media loves you when your winning and turn on you when u aren't winning and facing some adversity but the one good thing to come out of that is that the team hasn't fed into any of the "anonymous" reports. I'm gonna breakdown each side of the ball and the coaching and during the offseason I'll breakdown position group by position group to see what has to happen to improve and possible free agents to help fill the holes on this roster. I'll start with the offense:
This season unlike last season has been an uneven roller coaster ride for this offense. With RGIII coming back off of injury the big question was, how will he play after his second ACL surgery in a little over four years. I believe that is the major factor in why this once potent offense has been so inconsistent this season. Since Griffin's offseason was spent rehabbing and not learning how to better read defenses and learning how to improve on going through his progressions and reads and it has put the offense in difficult situations facing opposing defenses this season. All the blame does not go on RGIII's shoulders alone, the next biggest issue is the offensive line. As we've seen the last let's say....5 weeks the opponent has done the same thing and that is blitz up the middle and watch Tyler Polumbus get beat in pass blocking and giving up constant pressures. This line is superb at run blocking but pass blocking is clearly a problem. I would like to see Adam Gettis or Josh LeRibus get some playing time but as the head coach said in his Monday Press Conference he is not gonna just play someone to see what they can do, they must prove themselves in order to get into the lineup. I guess that's a little disheartening being how bad the interior of the line has looked lately. Does that mean that these young players aren't ready and will never be or it is that they are close and will battle for starting jobs in the offseason? I believe that is going to be a major key in 2014 for more then one reason. It will effect the free agents the team goes after, if they need to go after any linemen in free agency, and if some of the veterans on the O-line may not be on this team next season. The offensive line has been so bad lately I don't even feel like going into anymore detail
The next biggest issue is at the wide receiver position, after Pierre Garcon there is no one else on the roster opposing defenses fear or respect. Leonard Hankerson made some strides but still didn't have the breakout season that most expected, including myself. Santana Moss looks nothing like the ageless weapon that caught 8 touchdown passes and seemed to catch any and everything in his grasp in 2012. Aldrick Robinson has become better at running routes but still has to improve on getting separation off the line and once he's running his pass patterns, but he has improved his run blocking noticeably. I have many questions about Josh Morgan's diminished role in the offense. Was a result of ineffectiveness or because of bigger role on special teams? Either way it seemed like a wasted season for the finally 100% healthy wide receiver. I foresee the team going after a big wide receiver either via free agency or possibly the draft. It's a must that this team get a true #2 wide receiver that can be a threat and help take the bracket coverage off of Pierre Garcon. This will also benefit TE Jordan Reed by leaving bigger holes in the middle of the field for him make defenders miss and use his play making ability. With Lance Lewis and Nick Williams getting promoted from the practice squad, hopefully they'll get a shot in the offense to see if they are NFL caliber receivers. I would love to see the Redskins go after big WR like Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker, or Mario Manningham. All are big targets, can get separation, and have the ability to break tackles and take it to the house. That will help open up this offense in 2014 and beyond.
One of the bright spots for the offense has been the tight end position. With Jordan Reed making an instant impact, Logan Paulsen getting more reps in the passing game and becoming more effective, this is one position the team has some depth. Unfortunately it looks like Fred Davis is not in the plans in 2014. If things would've worked out the two TE combination of Jordan Reed and Fred Davis would make this offense that much more unstoppable. I would like Niles Paul to step up and possibly become a better contributing TE, but I guess its still a learning curve for the ex-WR. Going forward I'm hoping that Jordan Reed can recover from the concussion he suffered and continue to contribute and develop into a potent weapon going forward. I can see the Redskins probably drafting a late round TE or picking up a undrafted free agent.
The only other bright spot for the offense this year is at the running back position even tho there has been a lack of sticking with the run in crucial situations this year. The 2nd year standout Alfred Morris is having another stellar season by running over opposing defenders and getting precious yards after contact. Roy Helu Jr. has returned to his rookie form after a injury plagued 2012. The only problem is trying to compliment each back enough in the game to keep them fresh and effective in the running game. With the right mixture of Helu Jr. and Morris it'll keep defenses off balanced and can wear em down so late in the game the Redskins can pound the ball with a lead to seal victories. Evan Royster is kind of a enigma to me. I like what he did his rookie season but he is neither very shifty or very fast but his is a hard runner who has enough wiggle to fight for extra yards on each and every run. I would like to see him traded or used in a package deal to help improve the team or even a late round draft pick. But as I've stated throughout this article, that's best case scenario going forward but only if they address the issues that I've pointed out for this offense.
It has been a disappointing season for the offense and team as a whole but in my opinion it will all come together in 2014. I know fans are tired of hearing "there's always next year" but I think it actually means something this time. With the additional cap space, the quarterback being fully healthy going into 2014, and the ability to actually fill wholes on this team with quality talent will propel this team back into the hunt for the division crown and playoffs. Chemistry and continuity are two major keys that can make or break a football team and if either of the two are effected with this team it could set this franchise back another 5-10 years in my opinion. I'll post editorials on the defense and special teams next and my final segment will be on the coaching staff. I'll let you know when to look out for them. As always #HTTR4LIFE and thanks for the love an support from #RedskinsNation. You can follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and feel free to comment, share and give ideas for aricles. I love hearing from #RedskinsNation. If you would like me to continue doing recaps please let me know because I do enjoy writing them for #RedskinsNation