Redskins Offseason Plan: Offense Final Thoughts
In my Redskins Offseason Plan Series (Parts I, II, and III), I looked at the Redskins offense and how best to fix it for Shanahan and company. I wanted to recap what I said and take a look at how the offense might shape up: (*Note I’m just focusing on 53 man roster spots, some other guys like a Terrence Austin could still make the team in a practice squad role)
Returning Players (counting guys who would need to resign):
QB: Rex Grossman
RB: Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams
FB: Mike Sellers or Darrell Young as a backup
TE: Chris Cooley, Logan Paulsen
WR: Santana Moss, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks (as a utility/return guy)
OT: Trent Williams, Selvish Capers
OG: Eric Cook
C: Kory Lichtensteiger
QB: Dennis Dixon, rookie QB
RB: Brandon Jackson, Rookie RB: Target Dion Lewis late
FB: John Kuhn
TE: Late round TE, Lee Smith from Marshall would be interesting
WR: Steve Breaston, Legedu Naanee, Late round tall WR: Tori Gurley or DeAndre Brown
OT: Ryan Harris, Mid-Round Draft pick: Joseph Barksdale
OG: Robert Gallery or Chris Chester and at least one rookie (preferably a 2nd or 3rd round guy, Hudson, Watkins etc.)
C: Ryan Kalil
Now it is pretty evident that the Redskins need to do two things from my strategy; One trade back and stockpile picks and Two focus on the offensive line. What money the Redskins do have to invest on offense needs to be earmarked to the offensive line first and foremost. Not only do the Redskins need to ensure that their starters are more talented, but they also need to focus on depth. Guys like Cook, Capers and Lichtensteiger don’t give fans a lot of faith in their abilities.
Now not everyone I proposed can make this team and you could see some tough position decisions, such as carrying on two TE’s and/or one FB. The real point is to show just how little talent the Redskins currently have assembled. While fans might be happy with going out and adding a top young quarterback or receiver, that isn’t going to solve the Redskins issues on offense. If Washington can revamp their offensive line, as well as adding an actual fullback, both their rushing and passing attacks will vastly improve.
As for the other areas I think Washington gets better, and at least closer to league average. Despite having one of the league’s highest paid QB’s last season, the Redskins passing attack was a joke. Rex Grossman isn’t the answer, but he can be a stop gap. A guy like Dennis Dixon offers the Redskins a whole different area of the playbook, as well as having a little upside to be a full time starter. Adding a rookie quarterback, will at least give Washington a young quarterback with an eye towards the future.
While Brandon Jackson isn’t the best running back on the market, there is at least upside there and he can help fill in if when Torain goes down next season. Adding a change of pace back like Lewis helps add balance to the Redskins rushing attack, as well as some potential to develop into a long term answer. I would also keep an eye on the waiver wire as I’m sure a few decent size named running backs will be looking for a job. One name to keep an eye on is Reggie Bush. He too could help in the change of pace department for the Redskins, while giving them an excellent receiver out of the backfield.
As for the wide receivers, no this group won’t make anyone forget about “The Posse”, but it would be a vast improvement to what the Redskins currently have. The lack of talent behind Santana Moss and Armstrong is extremely telling, adding a guy like Breaston, would give the Redskins another reliable target. And Naanee and what ever rookie would add much needed size to their roster.
While Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Redskins won’t be competitive next season, they can finally start the process of building a contender. If they focus on strengthening their offensive line, next season will at least be a stepping stone towards the future. But if they try to bring in the top skilled players, this team won’t be any closer to contention.