What an exciting year for Redskins fans, especially if you like roller-coasters! It is still hard to believe that our beloved team won the NFC East. With that in mind, we all know this team is a few play-makers away from a Super Bowl. Even if we had beaten Seattle, with RGIII injured – we would not have gotten far in the playoffs.
For 2013, let’s look at a few expectations and some off-season adjustments that I expect on the offensive side of the ball.
· NFL Rushing Leader: I fully expect RB Roy Helu to come back with a vengeance next season. Expect a heavy dose of Morris and Helu in 2013. This will make it more difficult for defenses to match-up with our offense and Helu has the breakaway speed to score from anywhere on the field. He is more effective on the RB screen too. Morris may not have as many yards next season because of this. However, with this Thunder & Lightning RB combination and RGIII’s read-option ability, I fully expect the Redskins to easily lead the NFL in rushing next season. Royster may not be back.
· OL Changes: It’s no surprise that right-tackle is on the shopping list. Some of the successful drives seemed to stall this year because of some poor blocking on the right side. This will most likely have to be addressed in Free Agency, since the Skins don’t have a 1st round pick. FA’s Branden Albert (KC) or Andre Smith (CIN) could be options. Another long shot is promoting Tom Compton or Adam Gettis. A few draft pick names tossed around have been Terron Armstead and Matt Stankiewitch. Either way, I expect a new FA or some reshuffling of the OL this off-season.
TE Changes: With the exception of Logan Paulsen, the Redskins TE productivity for 2012 was lack-luster to say the least. I fully expect changes at this position, including the possibility of letting Fred Davis walk this off-season. Paulsen could be the 2013 starter. Neither Cooley nor Niles Paul seems to fit this offense anymore. Paul could make the roster as special-teamer and depth. The team needs more toughness and blocking ability to run this offense to its full potential. Expect the Redskins to acquire more talent in FA or the draft to address this position. I would love to draft a guy like Zach Line (RB – SMU) to convert him into an H-Back/FB/TE position for this offense. He would be a gem for short yardage and goal line plays.
· WR/KR Changes: I do not expect a ton of changes at the WR position. However, I would love to see Dwayne Bowe sign with Washington. This would give us another tough outside receiver threat. With Garcon injured, the offense was largely ineffective. Another deep option with toughness would be nice. With the limited cap space this off-season; expect the Skins to only make minor changes here, including giving Dezmon Briscoe and L. Hankerson every opportunity to start next season. I do not expect Brandon Banks to be back in 2013, period. He has underperformed on kick returns and on offense. I highly anticipate Crawford and A. Robinson to fill-in on special teams. A late draft pick could also help provide depth here (WR or DB).
· QB Changes: K. Cousins had some nice games to salvage a few wins this season for the NFC East Champions. However, he does not fit the long-term vision of this offense. If other NFL teams show interest in trading a 3nd round pick (or higher) for him, expect the Redskins to bite. This offense needs a read-option back-up QB like Trent Steelman (Army QB/WR) to run this effectively. Such a player would be great on fakes and PA with him and RGIII on the field together. Expect the Redskins to start looking for the next back-up for RGIII, one that fit’s this offense. With that said, I also feel that 2013 will bring more plays that will focus on protecting RGIII from injury. For example, more fake bootlegs and quick pass roll-outs or screens. This will protect our future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Please reply with your thoughts and expectations for the Redskins 2013 offense. HTTR!