Should Shanny have put more emphasis on the secondary this off-season?
It may be a tougher task to win the NFC East regular season crown then to win the Super Bowl. As teams like Giants have shown it doesn't matter how you get there just that you one of the six playoff spots. The poor records displayed in the NFC East were a true farce last year and cannot be expected for a second consecutive year.
Clearly the strength in the NFC East lies in the pass rush, every team has a stellar front seven that can wreak havoc on opposing QBs. But where in the past the division may have been focusing on stopping guys like LeSean McCoy, Clinton Portis, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Marion Barber, and others the division seems to be focusing elsewhere. The primary weapons in the NFC East are now DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle, Dez Bryant, and Miles Austin. Clearly the Redskins are trying to follow this trend with the additions of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, as well as developing young wider receivers like Leonard Hankerson.
Recent moves around the NFC East point to teams responding to this. The Eagles signed Nmadi Asomugha, traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and have drafted guys like Jaiquawn Jarrett and Brandon Boykin. The Cowboys have added Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne and spent extensive resources to do so. Even the Giants invested a high pick in Prince Amukamara a year ago. So the question is are the Redskins ignoring the strength of the NFC East? Are they content? Or are they just playing catch up?
We expect the offense to be improved, but how can we think we have adamant resources to stop the primary weapons and wide receivers in the East? The hopes are in a Hodge-podge of veterans that make other NFL GMs cringe. Think about it. If someone told you in January, after Week 17, that Laron Landry would be let loose and the Skins would add Cedric Griffin, Tanard Jackson, Leigh Torrence, Madieu Williams, and Brandon Meriweather, all while only spending two 7th rounders on the secondary then what would you have thought? Can something come out of the chaos that is the Redskins secondary? Sure. Is it likely? Absolutely not.
If you look at the other secondaries in the NFC East their is a woeful gap between the Redskins and the other three teams. All of the NFC East teams have solid defenses and high powered offenses, so how can the Skins possibly compete for a playoff birth? It seems as if the fate of the Skins in 2012 may not lay in the hands of Robert Griffin III or Mike Shanahan, rather in that of Raheem Morris. By far the most compelling storyline going into training camp should not be that of RG3 but of the secondary. I'm actually excited to see these guys on the field, no spots are guaranteed and whoever gives it there all should come out as a starter. Lets just keep our fingers crossed that Raheem Morris and Jim Haslett can find the right combination of guys to keep the Redskins in the hunt, in 2012.