1. This morning, my son asked me when football season starts. While he is an ardent supporter of both the Caps and the Wiz, he enjoys the prospect of a time and place when the Redskins still have a chance. His innocence tells him that chance is at the beginning of the next season, when in actuality--if it exists at all--it is more likely right now. Directionally, the Redskins organization hasn't looked this organized or focused in quite some time. There seems to be some genuine leadership in the front office with McLovin' on the job, and what's more, he seems to be able to act without a ton of interference. This is the part where I say, "I continue to hope for the best with Dan Snyder, but he has a long ways to go to prove he is actually committed to letting people do their jobs." I'm not sure I could have phrased that in a more politically correct manner.
2. Sure, there have been some hiccups. Naming Robert Griffin III as the starter after declaring the competition open was...an interesting decision. In the latest example of our "there is no controversy we can't be in the center of" mentality, the Redskins front office was blamed for the initial cancellation/postponement of Jason Reid's new show on ESPN980, "The Man Cave." Despite these types of incidents (I don't want to do a whole list, but I also don't want to fail to mention the letter to fans about our "core" players), I just feel like Redskins fans have some reasons to be positive.
3. If we would all agree that our roster/organization is two or three years OF WORK away from being a legitimate, annual contender, looking at the moves being made today, it is fair to suggest that we are on track. The dedication to injecting our defense with relatively young talent, on contracts that make sense given age, experience and performance is very encouraging. The defense has been in terrible shape. More alarming than the lack of talent in recent seasons has been the lack of direction. Perhaps Joe Barry is the answer, but at the very least, I don't expect us to be in Year Five of the Joe Barry Era without knowing this answer. Allowing Brian Orakpo to escape town was a move in and of itself. I think we all expect to see at least one or two more veterans either shipped away or released as we near the beginning of a new season. It would stand to reason that we will have to rely on a blend of both young talent and stopgap veteran experience to get us through the immediate future. Unlike previous men in McLovin's position, it would seem that he has a decent understanding of how and when to employ these strategies.
4. I would argue that these kinds of moves, while giving us the opportunity to be more competitive in the short term, really offer us the ability to deliver on the promise of a two or three year rebuild. Thanks to what at least appears to be a stable set of defensive linemen in place for the next few seasons (how long Terrance Knighton sticks around is anyone's guess), McLovin' can groom pass rushers behind it. An improved pass rush will GREATLY assist a young secondary that has yet to establish an identity (largely due to a lack of...any...safeties).
5. We haven't seen a ton of movement yet on the offensive side of the ball, but I don't think it is wise to simply assume that McLovin' will, for example, feel obligated to spend his top pick in this draft on offense. I do still dream about adding that top-rated offensive lineman in the draft, but we would be fooling ourselves if we believed that there aren't enough holes to fill to justify going a number of directions there. In fact, there is something kind of awesome about the prospect of drafting a guy like, say, Dante Fowler to line up behind these new defensive linemen. There is something even more tantalizing about hitting a home run on a safety pick at the top of the second round that would result in a drastically different look on defense. So many possibilities lie ahead for us. So many reasons to believe...
6. As I did the math to answer my son's question, a very happy thought materialized: we are only a short three and a half months away from training camp. That sounds like a long time to most people, but it will truly fly by. For Redskins fans, it is the actual season that seems to last forever.