Another preseason ranking was published today. This one comes from Rotoworld's Evan Silva, and it looks at the strength of every team's roster going into the 2014 season. The Redskins have been getting mixed results in preseason projections recently. Coming off of the 2nd worst record in the NFL last season at 3-13, with a new head coach, and with the question marks at QB, defense, the OL and special teams, NFL Bloghards are hesitant to rank the Redskins too high going into the season.
Some other recent rankings can be found at Yahoo's Shutdown Corner(#30):
The crystal ball says: Griffin and the offense should be good, and they should be fun to watch with all those weapons, but it'll take some time for Gruden and the new staff. The defense still needs a ton of work. Even the offense is no sure thing. I'd guess that Griffin plays very well but Washington has a losing record, which isn't that bad of a result.
The NFC East title has been a revolving door in recent seasons as the four teams generally muck their way through the regular season before someone grabs a 9-7 record in Week 17.
It is easy to see why the Redskins would believe they could return to the top of the food chain this season. Every report on Griffin’s health is positive, his supporting cast is stronger and the darkness that hung over Shanahan last season has been expunged.
At the same time, though, there’s not much about the Redskins that makes them a sure bet to be better than last year’s also-rans in Dallas and New Jersey or the defending division champs in Philly. The defense needs to be much better and we’ll still need to see Griffin’s play match the offseason reviews, for starters.
Should that happen, a return to the playoffs may not be out of reach but the Redskins will need to show that the stink of last year has been totally eradicated before the bandwagon starts to fill up.
The youth movement: The safety of RGIII is reliant upon Trent Williamsand … not much else. There was simply no team in the NFL with such a talent discrepancy on the O-line last year. Williams is all-world, but the Skins are lacking talent across the board elsewhere, which is why 2014 picks Morgan Moses (OT) and Spencer Long (G) could be pivotal. It wouldn't surprise me if both started at some point as rookies. If Washington can at least make the talent imbalance on the O-line not as striking, the franchise -- that means the QB, too -- will benefit greatly. --Mel Kiper
Washington Redskins: #15
Here is Evan Silva's take on the status of the Redskins current roster on offense:
Offensive Overview: The Shanahan era left behind a franchise back in Morris, a quarterback with league MVP potential, plus talent at "X" receiver and tight end, and a 26-year-old left tackle who's already made two Pro Bowls. The Skins parted with Mike and Kyle Shanahan due to differences with owner Dan Snyder, not based on job performance. The new staff has supplemented RG3's weapons with Jackson and Andre Roberts, as coach Jay Gruden intends to open up Washington's passing game, while wider bodies were targeted on the line. This offense can rediscover top-five heights if Griffin's knee is indeed healed and his dual threat restored, as spring reports out of D.C. insist. The Redskins are a sneaky threat to win the NFC East if RG3 is his 2012 self. If not, this could end up as a rough, learning year. This will be Griffin's first-ever experience with a non-college-style offense, and his 2013 tape shows he needs quite a bit of refinement in the nuances of the quarterback position.
My favorite line from this part. I guess having a 24-40 record and 3 out of 4 seasons with a losing record wasn't enough to get someone fired:
The Skins parted with Mike and Kyle Shanahan due to differences with owner Dan Snyder, not based on job performance.
And his take on the Defense:
Defensive Overview: Mike Shanahan's biggest failures were on defense, where the Skins boast two impact rush linebackers but ended last year deficient everywhere else. Washington's new decision makers shelled out to retain two-gap end Baker and signed 32-year-old Hatcher to a $27.5 million deal. Baker is a replaceable talent, and Hatcher's already undergone knee surgery. A camp battle will take place at inside 'backer next to Riley, while the Skins will count on in-house strides from Amerson and Meriweather. On the wrong side of 30, Hall is a mediocre corner. Ex-Steeler Clark drew little interest in free agency and is going on age 35. The Redskins need their offensive potential to be maximized by Gruden; DC Jim Haslett's defense can't carry them. Haslett's focus should be on sacks and turnovers because this group probably won't stop anyone.
I'm actually a little surprised that Silva has the Redskins this high since he has been so down on the Redskins this year, and at one point said they had the worst offseason of any team. The fate of the 2014 Redskins' season rests on RGIII's ability to make the offense move, and his relationship with new Head Coach Jay Gruden. The team has given him the weapons he needs to succeed, so it will be up to Griff to put it all together and win. Silva does not talk about Alfred Morris much here, and he has been down on his prospects in Gruden's system instead of Shanahan's. Morris should be given plenty of opportunities to prove Silva wrong this season. He also doesn't mention Jordan Reed by name, another player Silva has questioned long term in Washington. Reed's health is extremely important to the team this season, and he will be a key piece for them as long as he is on the field.
The defense gets blasted again here, but there are obviously some holes that weren't addressed from last season, notably at Safety. They brought Clark in and have some young, unproven players to work with the known talent/liability of Meriweather, but there are major questions there. The age and injuries along the defensive line are something that could be a problem for the team and will test the depth they keep on the roster. David Amerson's growth in year two will be huge for the team's future on defense.
The one area that wasn't addressed by Silva was special teams, which also wasn't addressed by the Redskins last year. That has changed this year, and there has been a concerted effort to fix what was so laughably broken last season. Special teams was a focus in both the draft and free agency, and should be markedly improved from last season's record setting performance.
Is it time for training camp yet?