Now that the 2015 NFL Draft and Free Agency is in the past, we have a pretty good idea of how this team will look heading into the 2015 season. However, there are still questions that surround the team and it’s future heading into the season.
Here is a look at 5 story lines surrounding the Skins and it’s players:
#1: Can RGIII return to his 2012 self and get back on track?
In 2012, Robert Griffin III had a rookie campaign for the history books and was on track to become one of the superstars of the NFL. After tearing his ACL, RGIII showed that he was human and never quite recovered since. I could argue that he gets a pass for the 2013 season after rushing back from such a severe injury, and it was clear that he was not himself. During the 2014 season RGIII got a new coach and a new system, he also had a hard time getting on the same page as Jay Gruden. Needless to say last year was a train wreck for many reasons, some beyond RGIII’s control. This season RGIII goes into the season with the support of Scot McCloughan, a new RT, a few extra weapons, and the support of the team with his 2016 option being picked up. Perhaps this is the year that RGIII is able to turn the corner? He’s already approached the season differently than he has before, with staying in the shadows and being incognito from social media. It’s clear that RGIII is ready to let his play do the talking and get back to being the player he showed the world that he could be in 2012.
#2: With the addition of Brandon Scherff, will the offensive line improve?
This question sort of seems like a no-brainer after the team selected Brandon Scherff with the 5th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, but not so fast. We know that we have one of the best LT’s in the NFL with Trent Williams, and now that we have the best offensive lineman in the draft, it looks like the team will be set at RT. But looking at the interior lineman, questions still remain. It’s pretty safe to say that Shawn Lauvao will play LG and that Kory Lichtensteiger will play C, after a pretty productive year last season. The biggest question on the O-Line remains RG. Jay Gruden seems to still believe in Chris Chester but someone like Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio could really show up in training camp and make a push for the position. Another option is that Morgan Moses makes a position change from Tackle to Guard. Either way this offensive line really needs to improve it’s production from last season after giving up some of the most sacks in the NFL.
#3: Will the secondary improve after an embarrassing 2014 season?
Last season the Redskins secondary was beyond bad and got burned on a weekly basis. The bright spot of the season was the emergence of Bashaud Breeland, who looks like he will be a bright spot on the team for years to come. This team clearly missed the loss of Deangelo Hall, especially in the locker room. It was clear that his leadership was missed, and the secondary looked lost almost every single week. The addition of Chris Culliver should be a great boost. Culliver was a bright spot on a strong 49ers defense and has Super Bowl experience. David Amerson had a very poor 2014 season and looks to be falling down the depth chart. He will really need to have a strong training camp to be relevant again. The Safety position was upgraded with the additions of two guys with Super Bowl experience in Dashon Goldson and Jeron Johnson. Scot McCloughan seems to be very high on both players. With the play of the secondary last season, this group can only go up.
#4: Can Jay Gruden prove that he is the right Head Coach for the job?
Last season when Jay Gruden was hired as the Head Coach, many people were not high on the hiring. Some people even argued that he was only hired for his last name. Well he didn’t exactly help his case after the team went 4-12 and the team constantly looked lost and without leadership. Gruden also made a few mistakes such as publicly criticizing RGIII and the way he handled the position overall, which was more than a disaster. The question is, what does Gruden have to do this season to keep his job and show that he is the best choice for the position? Winning solves everything, but this team needs much more leadership and guidance than it got last year.
#5: Will the addition of Scot McCloughan prove to be what this team needs to turn the corner?
The best thing the Redskins did this offseason was hire one of the best GM’s in the business with Scot McCloughan. Early on he’s brought a new attitude and mindset to this team that had been lacking. The way he approached Free Agency was a complete 180 from how this team handled it before. Not overspending and paying washed up veterans buckets of money. Instead McCloughan followed his script and signed players that fit what he likes and fit his prototype. The team instantly got bigger and stronger this offseason. Also with the draft, McCloughan claims this is the best he’s felt about a draft since the Seahawks drafted Richard Sherman in 2011. Mel Kiper also said that he believes the Redskins had one of the best drafts in the entire league. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure…this team has a new mindset and his heading in the right direction.
With the season about 4 months away, we have time to ponder these questions, but Redskins Nation is excited and ready to get answers.
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