Washington Redskins 2013 Training Camp Preview
Washington Redskins 2013 Training Camp Preview
After going just 6-10 the year before, the Redskins traded everything but Mike Shanahan's first born for the second overall pick and the chance to take Robert Griffin III.
Good thing Griffin turned out to be worth it and then some. After a Heisman trophy-winning season at Baylor, he came in and was immediately productive at the NFL level.
But that excitement was tempered in the playoffs when he went down with a knee injury, and now the outlook for the Redskins' 2013 season is as unclear as it gets.
While Griffin heads the passing game, it was the emergence of fellow rookie Alfred Morris at running back who led the ground attack. Together, they brought the pistol offense to the league and ran an option attack that had defenses guessing at every turn.
This year, the two will look to do much of the same, as long as Griffin's knee can stay healthy and defensive coordinators haven't caught up to the dynamic Washington offensive scheme.
While there are plenty of questions on the offensive side of the ball, the defense looks to improve on a disappointing year in 2012. Ranked just 28th in the league in total yards allowed, Washington needs their defense to step up in 2013 if they're going to repeat their success from 2012.
The Redskins surprised us all when they ran off seven straight wins to take the NFC East title last year. They won't sneak up on anyone this year, and all eyes will be on whether or not they can repeat what they did in 2012.
The Redskins had been searching for a franchise quarterback since, well, as long as I can remember right now.
That search ended last year when they took Robert Griffin III with the second-overall pick in the 2012 draft. Griffin took the league by storm last year. His versatility and his ability to burn the defense both with his arm and his legs made him on of the most explosive playmakers of the 2012 season. This year, he looks to bounce back from his knee injury and once again be the best quarterback in the NFC East.
The Redskins also took care of the no. 2 spot on the depth chart in the 2012 draft when they took Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State University in the fourth round. A talented backup, Cousins played well when called upon last year and again will be the man to get the nod if Griffin can't stay healthy.
The third quarterback spot will be a battle between veteran Rex Grossman and Pat White. Grossman has been a starter before and brings experience to the table, but White will likely get the job because he fits better into Washington's new read option scheme.
Alfred Morris, coming off a breakout rookie year, will be the no. 1 back in Washington once again. A sixth-round pick last year, Morris rushed for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first season as a pro.
Evan Royster, a talented back who has shown bright spots when healthy, has the inside track on the no. 2 job with Roy Helu providing depth.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
One area the Redskins need to improve from last year is the receiving group.
Pierre Garcon led the team in both receptions and yards despite playing in only 10 games last year. Josh Morgan will be the no. 2 option with veteran Santana Moss coming back for another year. Leonard Hankerson has been disappointing so far but will be expected to have a breakout year in his third season.
The tight ends for the Redskins will be a strong unit for the team. Fred Davis is ready for a bounce-back year in 2013 and Jordan Reed could be the guy to break down the door and finally have a big year in Washington.
Washington teams have always been built on the backs of good offensive line units. This year, they will again have a strong, solid group of big men up front. Maybe not true hogs, but capable guys.
Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus will man the edges at the tackle spots. Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Chester are the starters at guard with Will Montgomery taking the duties at center.
Defensive line has been a position that the Redskins have been trying to solidify since switching to a 3-4 scheme.
Barry Cofield will be the starter at nose tackle this year, with Stephen Bowen at one of the ends. The battle at camp will be for the job as the other end.
Adam Carriker is the most likely candidate to win the spot if he can stay healthy, but if he can't get out of the training room and onto the field quickly enough this summer, then Jarvis Jenkins will once again be the starter at defensive end.
The linebackers for the Redskins will again be led by London Fletcher. Heading into his 16th year in the league, Fletcher is one of the most respected linebackers in the game.
Ryan Kerrigan continues his transition from defensive end to outside linebacker and Brian Orakpo returns from his torn pectoral muscle ready to get back to being a dominant pass rusher.
Perry Riley will round out the linebackers, a group that should be a position of strength for a Washington defense looking to improve in 2013.
The Washington secondary was a weak spot last year. The Redskins were 30th in the league against the pass and lacked playmakers in the defensive backfield.
This year, they bring back DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson as the starting cornerbacks, but look for second-round pick David Amerson to have a strong training camp and make a push for playing time.
Safety is another position that sees veterans returning with young players trying to grab a spot. Pencil in Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty as the starters for now, but sixth-round pick Bacarri Rambo out of the University of Georgia could make some noise and be in the mix.
Sav Rocca, easily one of the best names in football, comes back as the punter and Kai Forbath, no slouch in the name department either, will look to repeat his success from 2012.
The kick return duties will be up for grabs in training camp. Tight end Niles Paul will be the most likely candidate for the job, but look for undrafted rookie Skye Dawson to be a dynamic returner should he earn a spot on the opening day roster.