At first, the thought of DeSean Jackson being a Redskin brought up the hairs on my back. This is a hated Eagle that has been demonstrative both on and off the field. There was NO way he would fit in on my team! Add to that the ridiculous contract that he would undoubtedly kick and scream for that would immediately put us back on the reality bus and keep him out of contention.
Then I really started picturing the 'What If?" scenarios and the tides slowly began shifting. He could really be a major difference for this team. Him, all by himself, would not be the biggest deal in the world, but put him into the mix and I think we may finally be on to a really good melting pot for the team.
'What if we do sign him tomorrow?' scenarios:
1. We would have an offensive WR corps with Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts that, as our primary targets, would be a formidable group to have to prepare against. Each of these players are interchangeable in multiple positions and can be mixed in and out in so many different packages that it will make it difficult to game plan against.
2. We can add Jordan Reed, who appears to be healthy again to the receiving threat to add yet another target for Robert Griffin III to keep the opponents' defensive backfields on their toes even more.
3. By having the defenses on their toes more, Alfred Morris should get some killer opportunities to take advantage of the holes presented. Having the opponent's backpedaling will be especially important since the guys we've picked up in free agency this offseason on the offensive line are burlier, but not necessarily run blocking specialists. Shawn Lauvao at guard and Mike McGlynn at center aren't blockbusters at their respective positions, but they are noted as being stronger at pass protection versus run protection. Tyler Polumbus is already in that same category. We should see a lot of spread offenses which should open some real opportunities for the run game, i.e. Morris and Griffin.
4. If Chris Thompson is healthy, he could be a real hidden gem that's been overlooked by most. He can be a real play maker, too, especially given the spread out offense with the other receiving weapons we could have on the field at the same time. Defenses wouldn't have a clue which playmaker could have the ball next. It wouldn't be beyond reality to see this offense as a potential powerhouse.
5. RGIII is coming back from a really disappointing season in which he was raked through the mud and dealt with a high profile frustrating injury. From all accounts of people close to him that have been interviewed, he is HUNGRY and fully healthy. If we are stacking him with offensive weapons and spreading the defense, he could be primed to have a year that we may all be talking about for years to come.
6. By signing DeSean Jackson, that frees up that precious #34 pick for us to get someone else of major importance based on needs in other key areas. With our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks, we can go after a top end safety, inside linebacker, center, and/or a right tackle. I would think we could consider this year's draft a complete success if our front office could get either Hasean Clinton-Dix (ideal) or Calvin Pryor at safety with our 2nd round pick and manage a trade back to get 2 3rd round picks to get Marcus Martin (ideal), Weston Richburg, or Travis Swanson at center and Chris Borland (ideal), Yawin Smallwood, Shayne Skov, or even Christian Jones at inside linebacker, and finally follow up with someone like JaWuan James from Tennesse for our up-and-coming right tackle.
7. Our defense, while primarily the same cast and crew as last year's abomination of a defense, will have a new strategy in play this year it seems in which the focus will be more on driving the front seven towards the quarterback to create havoc that we haven't seen in far too long. The promise of the 3-4 defense may finally come to fruition. Jason Hatcher could be an important element to the defensive line, not to mention the addition by subtraction of Adam Carriker. Chris Baker showed a lot of promise towards the end of last year and with the change in philosophy and improvement in players around him, he may be poised for an even bigger year. This could also be the year Jarvis Jenkins shows up as the player we hoped he would be when we picked him up in the 2nd round in 2011. He got 2 sacks last year and may be ready for more with the changes, too.
8. Speaking of addition by subtraction, can I get a hallelujah for the removal of Sav Rocca as our punter? I think he was used to the ball rotating the other way down in Australia because it just wasn't going his way as our guy. Our special teams looks like it got a major shot in the tuchus this free agency with the additions of a number of key players such as Adam Hayward, Darryl Sharpton, and Akeem Jordan. The loss of "We got burned" Burns as the worst "special" teams coach in history will be key, too.
9. Our linebacker squad could be a final strong point for us after all is said and done now especially with the new aggressive style promised. Brian Orakpo is locked in and we have Ryan Kerrigan as a stalwart on the other side for our outside linebacking beasts. Brandon Jenkins is healthy and has more experience under his belt and has shown flashes of being really good when given the opportunity. Getting Orakpo signed on the Franchise Tag was key, but so was locking up Riley Perry at the inside linebacker position. He's been studying under the now departed, London Fletcher, for several years now and we can take advantage of all that tutelage we paid for. Keenan Robinson is healthy and could be a super contributor along with any number of the free agent linebackers we brought in for depth and special teams contributions as mentioned earlier.
All in all, adding DeSean Jackson may be a great move here in a few hours for the Redskins. I'm hoping the wings at Hooters are spicy enough and the Cristal is flowing at Morton's tomorrow night because this could be the start of something good.