Who will have a bounce back season on offense?
Every year there are players who exceed expectations, while others fall well short. Whether due to injury or just a drop in production, key players who aren’t producing is one of the more frustrating things for an offense. For some players who fail to meet expectations it can mean their job (and/or roster spot), but others will get another chance at a reprieve. In 2011 wide receiver Santana Moss and offensive guard Chris Chester were two such players who didn’t meet expectations, only to come back with big years in 2012 on their way to helping the Redskins win the NFC East. Who among the following do you expect a bounce back season from, and who is the most likely to have a big year?
Offensive Guard Kory Lichtensteiger–
Why he’s on here- Lichtensteiger was coming of ACL and MCL surgery last year, and really struggled throughout the season. He missed a number of key blocks that led to unnecessary pressure on the quarterback, or a loss of yardage in the running game. To make matters worse, Lichtensteiger seemed to begin to overcompensate last year, which contributed to him leading the team in penalties with 10.
What to expect in 2013- Tough to say, Lichtensteiger apparently feels much better this year, but it is tough to know what benchmark to consider for him. In 2010, he struggled as a starter, he got off to a good start in 2011, but it was only four games. I don’t think he has the talent level to put together a year like Chris Chester, but at the very least the Redskins should expect him to cut down significantly on the penalties.
Running back Roy Helu Jr.-
Why he’s on here- Big things were expected out of Helu Jr. last season, but he dealt with injuries in the offseason and training camp and was never healthy to start the season. After three weeks where he managed just 2 carries and 7 receptions the Redskins put him on IR. While Alfred Morris made many forget about Helu as a starting runner, his absence forced Morris to play more than he should have. Also, without Helu there wasn’t a viable receiving threat out of the backfield.
What to expect in 2013- Initially Helu wasn’t recovering well from the injury and was forced to undergo surgery in February. While he is making progress now, the Redskins won’t know for sure what they have until training camp. Given the number of minor and serious injuries Helu has had in two years, he’s hard to count on for 16 games. But if he is even close to 100% for 10+ games he could have a good impact on this team this year. He can add more of a speed element out of the backfield, while giving RGIII another weapon to work with.
Tight End Fred Davis–
Why he’s on here- Davis was supposed to fully breakout for 16 games last year, after his drug suspension for the final four games in 2011. Unfortunately an injury in Week 7, cut his season short and took away one of the team’s projected top targets. Even before the injury Davis saw his numbers down a bit from the year before. Though his ypc was the same as 2011, his catches (and by extension) and yards per game were down. He also had yet to find the end zone.
What to expect in 2013- Achilles injuries are notorious for hindering a player that first full year back, and it will likely prevent Davis from matching his 2011 production. He could still find his way as a viable target and weapon for Griffin. He still should be considered the best TE receiving weapon for 2013, which is a plus.
Offensive Tackle Tyler Polumbus–
Why he’s on here- Polumbus was given the chance to be a fulltime starter (again) after Jammal Brown‘s TC injury. His performance was less than desirable and he was one of the worst right tackles in the league last year. His inability to perform led to a number of negative plays for the Redskins.
What to expect in 2013- The Redskins brought in some stop gap options to compete with Polumbus and he will need to hold off some young competition as well. If Polumbus wins the job, he should be better than 2012 on some level, since he actually needs to beat out players this year. Regardless though, he probably isn’t a good candidate for a bounce back season.