I held off writing this article, thinking that the Redskins would get things going and turn the season around. After a long winded exhale due to exhaustion, frustration and sadness, my beloved Washington Redskins 2013 season, is all but over.
With all of the high expectations, having a real QB, RB, etc. the team was starting to come together. With a full respect for Mike Shanahan in mind, I have to ask myself, what went wrong this year?
After careful consideration, here are my conclusions on this season.
· RGIII: the injury to our team leader, RGIII, affected him and this team more than anyone (including me) had ever expected. It was obvious from his first pass of the season, to his most recent games; he’s had some issues with delivery. Defenses approached a hobbling Griffin differently too. The constant pressure up the middle also limits Griffin to step into a lot of his throws. Last season, with the read-option running on all cylinders, defenses were limited on how to attach the offense. We find our team built for the read-option, but without the same QB (of last year) to run it effectively. Now, the coaches have had to adjust the offense to some more conventional plays, with some read-option elements. RGIII will have to learn the basics of a real NFL caliber offense. Last year, our poor OL play and average WR’s were hidden behind the read-option and a dynamic QB. That college system only lasted so long, especially with a banged up play-caller. Because of this folks, 2013 is RGIII’s real rookie season!
· Kyle Shanahan: While we all know Kyle is not going anywhere (unless signed by another team – but who wants him right now?) because he’s the coach’s son. Going along with some of my first conclusions; Kyle was spoiled last season with the read-option and RGIII dynamic. Now, he’s faced with having to call real NFL offensive game plans, which defenses are well prepared for. In addition, we are not built to run any of the highflying offenses like the Eagles, Broncos, or Saints. It’s like we have come into the race with a bulldozer, when everyone else has a Lamborghini. While, he should take some blame for his play-calling (esp. when I pop a vein yelling at the TV). I am not placing all of the blame on his shoulders. On another note, why have they not allowed RGIII to audible out of plays more? I cannot count the obvious blitzes being shown, and no change on the offense is made. Surely, RGII is pressured and/or sacked on those plays 90% of the time. RGIII needs more autonomy to change the play in the huddle! He has on a knee brace, not handcuffs (that was Michael Vick…hehe).
· Special Teams: Ewww, this part of the team makes me vomit in my mouth! Seems I cannot watch a game this season without the offense being pinned inside the 5 yard line (usually on the one). This has to be some kind of record we will crush for that this season. We’ve had blocked FG’s, botched fake punts, bad tackling and technique…(sorry ran out of breath). Bad coaching. I know Mike Shanahan does not want to blame the new S(loppy) Teams coach (I don’t even want to know his name). However, this aspect of the team has dropped off the map only one season after losing our long-time coach, Danny Smith. Usually, a bad coach takes years to show their true colors (i.e. Wade Phillips). Well, if nothing else, this coach works quickly; more then I can say for our overall game-time adjustments. The terrible field position and missed opportunities has costs the Redskins momentum and games this season. This coach should be fired in the offseason!
· Defense: While the D has had some high moments, I feel it’s time to go in a new direction here. Sure, we keep the 3-4 but I would love to change the leadership on this side. Just seems like Jim Haslett has not lived up to the hype. Sure, we need a few new pieces in the secondary (tackling priority #1). The Eagles defense, with arguably less names to work with, totally outplayed our D today. That is unacceptable in an NFC East rivalry game. I would like them to consider Raheem Morris next offseason as the new defensive coordinator.
· Offseason: Yes, it’s that point in the season already! I’m so glad we have money next offseason, because we are going to need it. We need OL help (esp. RT and Center)! This OL is going to get our QB killed the way they are playing. Next, we need more secondary help (along with most teams), but focus on more big bodied, tacklers (D. Amerson). Then, we need another starting caliber WR (or 2) to partner with P. Garcon. There’s obviously been some issues with Josh Morgan of late (most likely he cannot get open to save his life). While I had high hopes for Hankerson, he’s often injury prone and inconsistent. Also, if Orapko doesn’t resign, we would have a gaping hole at OLB to fill. However, I wouldn’t mind finding more of a balanced LB that could play in space and cover at that spot. We need to look at how Denver and KC Chiefs have built their defenses.
Thanks for reading! Please leave your thoughts and opinion (to yourself…jk) in the comments below. HTTR!!!