You can add USA Today NFL writer Nate Davis to the ever-growing list of national media who think the Redskins will be among the worst teams in the entire NFL in 2019.
But Davis is not alone.
Many national outlets are predicting the Redskins to be one of the worst team in the entire NFL for the 2019 season. Funny, but literally no one has really justified that with a legitimate reason why...just a bunch of sheep following the herd.
Improvements across the board:
A very quick glance at the Redskins roster by even the most untrained eye can tell you the team saw improvement in almost every area from 2018, where the Redskins finished 7-9 after being one of the most injured teams in the NFL.
Alex Smith was considered to be a bridge to an eventual rookie quarterback of the future in DC. That happened to come much quicker than many expected, but make no mistake about it, Dwayne Haskins is a welcome sight in Washington. Aside from Haskins, the Redskins traded for veteran Case Keenum. He may not have the propensity to take care of the football as well as Alex Smith does, but he’s not afraid to push the ball downfield with his gun-slinger mentality.
At running back, the Redskins re-signed future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson, who was brought in as a street free agent last summer, and rushed for 1042 yards and seven touchdowns. 2018 second round pick Derrius Guice is recovered from a knee injury he suffered last preseason, and is expected to be an impact player in the Skins backfield. Add in a healthy Chris Thompson and rookie Bryce Love, and the running back position is a major strength in 2019.
Wide receiver is a bit murky still, but the 2019 draft saw two playmakers added in Ohio State speedster Terry McLaurin and N.C. State stud Kelvin Harmon. Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn and Cam Sims return from injury to bolster a young group. The loss of Jamison Crowder will hurt a bit, but the staff hopes Quinn can step into his role. And don’t forget(although most of us already have), the Redskins still have Josh Doctson.
The tight end position remains unchanged from 2018. The key here is the health of Jordan Reed and the production of Vernon Davis(which slipped a bit last season).
The offensive line will return three starters who were injured/playing hurt last year. Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses(offseason ankle surgery). A return to health from these three, coupled with the maturation of center Chase Roullier and two rookies competing for a spot at left guard, should make the unit one of the best in the NFC.
On defense, the Redskins look very solid on paper.
The defensive line is the strength of the team. The unit returns the same top five, but this group is young, and is expected to only get better with each passing season. Jonathan Allen should be a team captain, and fellow running mates Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne are both forces in the trenches. Caleb Brantley and second year youngster Tim Settle round out the group. To show how good this group is, both Brantley and Settle wouild likely be starters on over half the teams in the league.
On the edge, perennial Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan and rookie first round pick Montez Sweat should terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Sweat, who the Redskins traded back into the first round to select, may be one of the best overall athletes in the entire 2019 NFL Draft, and his length and athleticism should bode well opposite the consistent Kerrigan.
Linebacker remains a bit cloudy, as the loss of Reuben Foster really hits the unit hard. There is some really good potential however with second year pro Sean Dion Hamilton and Josh Harvey-Clemons(who has supposedly bulked up to over 240 pounds this offseason). Veterans Jon Bostic, Mason Foster and rookie Cole Holcomb round out the unit.
The secondary improved both via free agency and players returning from injury. The biggest improvement was the signing of All-Pro safety Landon Collins. He should give the Redskins the presence they were missing on the back end since the passing of the late, great Sean Taylor. The return to health of corner Quinton Dunbar should strengthen the young unit, while the emergence of Fabian Moreau, Greg Stroman and rookie Jimmy Moreland(who was the talk of OTA’s), could make this unit dangerous. If Jumping Josh Norman can start producing like he’s being paid to do, and Montae Nicholson can stay out of the coach's dog house and put it all together on the field, Skins fans could be in store for a fun season.
2019 QB’s > 2018 QB’s - Keenum in the fold; Haskins drafted
2019 RB’s > 2018 RB’s - Peterson re-signed; Guice returns; Love added
2019 WR’s = 2018 WR’s - Youth and talent added, but unproven
2019 TE’s = 2018 TE’s - Unit remains unchanged
2019 OL > 2018 OL - Veterans returning healthy and promising rookies should bolster unit
2019 DL = 2018 DL - Although I expect a jump from this young group
2019 EDGE > 2018 EDGE - Drafting Montez Sweat is greater than the loss of Preston Smith
2019 LB’s = 2018 LB’s - Losing Zach Brown and signing Jon Bostic is a push
2019 CB’s > 2018 CB’s - A healthy Dunbar and improvement from young CB’s make us better
2019 S’s > 2018 S’s - Landon Collins was a huge addition to the back end of the defense
While having the most key injuries to starters in 2018, and going through four different quarterbacks, the Redskins still managed to go 7-9. Now, despite improvements in almost every positional category, and a return to health of the majority of the 2018 injured players, most prognosticators have the Redskins as a burning garbage heap in 2019.
How can this be? Am I missing something they aren’t? Does the national media know my team better than I do?
I’m a glass-half-full guy, but I’m also a realist - yet for the life of me, I can’t see how others view this team as one of the worst in the league...
Kool-Aid shots for everyone!!! Come get them while they last!