This is always the case in college football. Spring practice starts, new players are in the mix to contribute. Scrimmages happen, and the offense looks like shit. The defense is always ahead of the offense.
Well, the Redskins are not a college team(eventhough we may have played like one last season), but going into the second year of the 3-4 defense, and a new system on offense, it's fair to say that our defense(at least on paper) is far ahead of our offense.
From a meer personal perspective, our defense is stacked with talent, while our offense is bottom 5 in the league. We arguably have a top 5 player at DE(Haynesworth when he's playing), OLB(Rak), MLB(Fletcher), SS(Landry) and FS(O.J.). We have a solid supporting cast with Carriker, who is coming off his best season as a pro, Hall, who, like it or not, was a major contributor on our defense last season, and Alexander, who will do whatever is asked of him to make this team better. We also have some young talent who is ready to take on a more prominent role this season. Guys like Henson, Riley, Barnes, Jackson and Jarmon all possess the necessary skills to succeed on this team.
Compare this to the guys we have on the offense side of the ball, and it is pretty evident where our focus should be moving forward.
We currently have no starting calibur QB. The most important position on any football team is unsettled in DC. This is a major problem now, and for the future of our team. Actually, we have not had a franchise QB in two decades. No wonder why we have been at the bottom of our division for the last 10 years.
We have one of the worst WR corps in the entire NFL. There is no arguing this. Even if Santana Moss decided to return to DC, we are still without a true #1, and have little to no supporting cast on which we can count. Armstrong was a nice story in 2010, but do you honestly think he would be starting on 3/4 of the teams in this league?
Our offensive line is weak, especially on the interior. Guys like Rabach are well past their prime, and have become a liability. Montgomery shouldn't be starting on any team in the NFL. He's just not good. Licht should be given a shot to play C. He did show improvement as the season went on at G, but his true position I believe is at C. He certainly isn't pro bowl calibur, and it could be easliy argued that he could be upgraded. We also have issues at RT. Brown is yet to be re-signed, and we have no proven starter on the roster to take his place.
The only position we are truely set on offense is TE. I personally would love to see the team move towards Davis as a starter, as I feel he is more explosive that Cooley. Paulsen is a great in line blocker, and an underrated pass catcher. He is great to use in 2 TE sets as another in-line blocker.
We have had so much recent discussion about draft picks, and where we should look in the first two rounds. I believe it's pretty evident that the focus of this draft(with the exception of NT), needs to be on the offensive side of the football. Some people have advocated taking defense with the first pick. This IMO would be a huge miss, given the current state of our offense.
We need to decide which direction we would like to go with our QB, and the need has to be addressed sooner rather than later. We need to find replacements on the offensive line, and this can't wait. It would be nice to have a reciever over 6 foot tall to throw the football to. There are some pretty good weapons that could be had in this draft at WR, so this has to remain a possibility.
Remember that a good freind of any defense, is an offense that can stay on the field, and put points on the board. The Washington Redskins were one of the worst teams in the NFL at doing this in 2010? Do you think this could have any impact on a tired defense? I do.
I conclusion, I have an exercise I would like you to try. I do this all the time, and find it very useful. Take out a piece of paper, and write down our current projected starting lineups on offense and defense. Put all bias aside. Compare the lineups to what you would consider to be average talent in the NFL, and see where we stand, and what positions we could use an upgrade. I know this could be difficult projecting some young players, but do your best.
This defense will improve in 2011 just by being in the 3-4 for over a year now. If we ignore offense with the first 2 picks in this draft, our offense will just continue to get older and worse.
Are guys like Aldon Smith, JJ Watt, Cam Jordan, Robert Quinn and Ryan Kerrigan really going to improve the team as a whole? If one of these guys are selected with our #1 pick, I will write the draft off as a huge failure form the get go.
Where do you feel we need the most help on this team with our first 2 picks?