- My plan for today is to lay out a few different topics that we can chew on despite being way too far out to have much to base our predictions on. Before I get to that, I feel somewhat compelled to cover our main man, Scot “McLovin” McCloughan. Him and his wife Jessica are auctioning off a few famous pieces of McLovin lore: his camo Redskins hat and his tan game-day suit. If you use the eBay, it should be extremely easy to find, but be prepared to pay up. The camo hat is north of $400, and that puts it WAY outside the Meringolo budget (cue Kevin Ewoldt listing every stupid thing I have paid WAY more money for in my lifetime). The McCloughan couple is donating proceeds to the Redskins Foundation, which is the real story here. For all the acrimony over the firing/dog-walking/Target-siting/etc., the fact they are putting money back into our community helps me—as a die-hard McLovin supporter—continue moving on from the whole debacle. Classic McLovin...even when he is gone, he is still showing us the way.
- Here is the first of five questions for discussion. We will be covering this as a segment on The Audible tomorrow night as well, and I will be doing a better job of calling out commenters. Does it matter to you—as a Redskins fan—if the team goes with a workhorse-style back or if Jay Gruden goes with a committee approach? Separate yourself for a second from the “as long as it works, I don’t care” sentiment. We all agree on that. I am more talking about that feeling we have as fans. I know when I was younger, I desperately wanted to see my guy on top of stats lists. When the Redskins weren’t doing a ton of winning, individual performances were kind of what I hung my hat on, and certain running backs made it fun despite the losing (Terry Allen...looking in your direction, among others). Put in 2017 terms, does it matter if Samaje Perine or Rob Kelley racks up killer yardage on the ground, or do we take more pride in having them both combine for 150 yards per game? Keep in mind, Chris Thompson will likely be the most important member of the backfield (again), so that leaves first and second downs for the other two guys. I won’t answer all of these, but my initial thought on this is that if Samaje Perine has a killer rookie campaign, there would seem to be almost no downside there. Rob Kelley is going to get us yards, and he is going to contribute to our offense no matter what down he enters the game to play. If Perine takes the lead and becomes the horse of the stable, that would mean that a) we drafted well, and b) we would be a legit three-deep stable.
- I think this next one is easy, but it is annually one of our best debates: Setting Jordan Reed on the side for a moment, which tight end has the best stat line at the end of the season? There is almost no reason it shouldn’t be Vernon Davis. If and when it is Vernon Davis, none of us will be worried about guys like Jeremy Sprinkle, Derek Carrier and/or Niles Paul. That said, injuries have crushed us at the tight end position in recent years, so this becomes a bit of a game of survivor. It also allows any of you out there who are dying to pimp Sprinkle a chance to do just that.
- Defensive back has been an area of sneaky depth for the Redskins as of late. In 2017, assuming health for guys like Kendall Fuller, the Redskins will boast a fairly solid cornerback platoon. I wonder who will haul in the most interceptions that is not named Josh Norman, and why. Now, I am not saying that Norman is going to lead the team in picks—his chances should be limited while quarterbacks throw at other defensive backs. Instead, how confident are we in Bashaud Breeland this year? I was CRAZY confident in him last season, and I think we all left the season a little less...crazy. It says here that Kendall Fuller will get his in 2017—he will or should be finally fully healed up and football-conditioned after his micro-fracture surgery. He is probably my horse in this race, as he should see plenty of targets. D.J Swearinger and Su’a Cravens also deserve to be in consideration, but I will stick with my Fuller pick (no pun intended).
Which defensive back not named Josh Norman will have the most interceptions for the Redskins in 2017?
This poll is closed
5. I see we have already engaged in some receiving yards debate over the weekend, so let’s look at another important aspect there: touchdowns. Which wide receiver do you think will score the most touchdowns in 2017 (and let’s keep it to wide receivers)? Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson—if both healthy and engaged in our offense—could really find themselves the beneficiaries of an offense that gets into the red zone with regularity. Assuming that both kind of have the same ability to haul in a deep ball for a score, which one do you think will end up having the nose for the end zone inside the 20-yard line that we so desperately need? Are we sleeping too much on Jamison Crowder? For the Redskins to get where they need be, the wide receivers are going to have to score. Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed are surely going to be targeted, but if we can’t score points with our newly assembled group of giants on the outside, that will be...bad.
6. Nobody cares about kickers. I get it. That is why I am not asking you about kicker competitions or anything weird like that. No, today I am asking you how many games in 2017 will be decided by our kicker? I have a number in my head of how many there were in 2016, but some of them weren’t necessarily decided at the buzzer (first-half shanks/kicking into blinding light situations hurt). I leave it to your interpretation today. I close out with this one because if we are being very honest with ourselves, the margin for victory in 2017 for the Redskins is going to be tight. We think our offense is good enough to score points and put us in position to pick up wins. We think our defense is improved enough to not be HISTORICALLY bad on third downs which will do wonders for our ability to secure victories. It will come down to a field goal on more than one occasion this season. I promise you. That has not always been a good thing for us, due to the fact that for some reason FedEx Field is a terrible place to attempt field goals. Give me an over/under of games decided on our kicker’s foot, and give me a few opponents that you would love to see vanquished in this manner.