The Washington Redskins organization — and its legion of passionate fans — hopes that the 2014 season, which starts today against the Houston Texans, brings a renewed sense of competition for the division title, which boasts no real front-runner, and the postseason. There are still a lot of questions no one knows the answers to, but we’ll start to see those questions answered today.
The biggest question in everyone’s minds is whether or not new head coach Jay Gruden can revitalize Robert Griffin III’s career, returning him to the promise and production he exhibited by taking the team to the playoffs after the 2012 season, only to see it end with him — and the team’s playoff chances — crumpled on the ground after his left knee imploded on the soft FedEx Field turf against the Seattle Seahawks.
What followed was a nightmare of epic proportions. That offseason was chock-full of controversy; between Griffin, former head coach Mike Shanahan, team doctors, and the team’s public relations machine. To complicate matters, Adidas decided to turn Griffin’s rehab into an offseason-long commercial, thus rushing him to be ready for the 2013 opener.
He was not ready, and it showed. All season long.
Griffin was half the player he was before injury, unable to run away from linebackers and jumpy in the pocket. And who wouldn’t be, playing behind a vastly overmatched offensive line. All the while, the head coach and his son (the offense coordinator) tried in vain to save their jobs.
They were unsuccessful.
Griffin was eventually shut down before the end of the season, mired in more bad blood and negative public relations.
The offseason brought plenty of changes — to the coaching staff and to the roster. The team added personnel to the receiving corps, defensive backfield and special teams, all areas of need. But there wasn’t much reconstruction of the offensive line, the cornerstone of all good offenses.
It’ll be hard for Griffin to prove anything if he’s flat on his back.
The secondary was probably the next weakest part of last season’s roster, full of players that were past their prime, not ready yet, or too-often suspended. They infused that area with several players, but we’ve already seen injury and another suspension already weaken one of the weakest spots on the team.
It’s rough when the biggest addition to a unit over the offseason could be a cut-down day waiver-wire claim.
But here we are, opening day, where anything can happen.
There are a lot of questions yet to be answered. Hopefully fans will be able to enjoy the process, rather than dwell on results.
District Sports Page will be covering the Washington Redskins this season with a renewed vigor of our own. We’ve added several new staff members dedicated to covering the team. You can find the bios of all of our writers on our staff page. They are all devout fans of the Burgundy and Gold and will report, analyze and opine in a comprehensive manner.
And if you missed it, we had a multi-part series of position previews to get ready for the new season.
We hope that you will add us to your reading list for information, news, analysis and opinion this season.