NFL Washington Redskins

5 Ways to Fix the 0-3 Washington Redskins

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5 Ways to Fix the 0-3 Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins
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The Washington Redskins went from a 5-11 team in 2011 to a 10-6 playoff team in 2012. The main reason for this turnaround was the bold move of trading three first-round picks and a second rounder to the St. Louis Rams to move up to the No. 2 spot and draft Robert Griffin III. RG III paid immediate dividends by leading Washington to an NFC East title and a playoff berth for the first time in five years.

Griffin wasn't the only rookie that contributed in 2012. The Redskins drafted Alfred Morris, a running back from Florida Atlantic University in the sixth round. Morris ended the season No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards and rushing TDs. These successful draft picks mixed with the veteran additions of Pierre Garcon, Joshua Morgan and Brandon Meriweather led to a quick turnaround.

In the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Griffin tore the ACL and LCL in his knee and his status for 2013 was in jeopardy. He was able to rehab quickly and declared himself ready to play during the preseason. However, head coach Mike Shanahan said Griffin would not play until the first game of the season as a precaution.

Currently, the Redskins sit at 0-3 and a loss this week to the Oakland Raiders would all but guarantee that they miss the playoffs. Unfortunately for Washington, since they traded their first round pick to the Rams, they will be unable to build through the draft. For this franchise to be successful this year, they need to begin to turn it around this week and get a big win in Oakland.

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5. Kicker

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins haven't been able to secure a long-term answer at kicker in the past few seasons. Graham Gano missed 10 Field Goals in 2011 and Billy Cundiff missed five early on last year before being replaced by current Kicker Kai Forbath. With Forbath suffering from a groin injury, they have turned to John Potter. It's tough to win close games without a solid Kicker.

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4. Get Jordan Reed Involved More

Jordan Reed
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The Washington Redskins had Chris Cooley at tight end for nine years. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and the focal point of their offense. After drafting Fred Davis, they hoped that he would continue the success at the position. So far, he has declined each season and has almost completely fallen off the map this year. Luckily for the Redskins, rookie Jordan Reed has been a reliable target and continues to catch everything thrown his way. He has been targeted 15 times and has caught 13 of them. It is time for the Redskins to give Reed more playing time and cut Davis.

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3. Switch Back to a 4-3 Defense

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The Washington Redskins are currently ranked second to last in the NFL in defense. They are tied for second to last in rushing yards against and second to last in passing yards against and points against. Their biggest problem is that they are playing a 3-4 defense with 4-3 personnel. Outside Linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan would be better served to be 4-3 defensive ends. They are very physical and above-average pass rushers who struggle in covering opposing tight ends and running backs.

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2. Run The Ball More

Running Game
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Through the first three weeks of the season, Robert Griffin has passed the ball 139 times and Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris has carried it only 40 times. They have fallen behind early which has forced them into abandoning the run, but this team cannot do that. For them to be successful, Morris needs to run the ball 20-25 times a game and Griffin should only be passing about 30 times.

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1. New Safeties

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

According to Advanced NFL Stats, the Washington Redskins have the worst safety duo in the NFL. With Brandon Meriweather being injured, Bacarri Rambo and Reed Doughty have played the two safety spots. Out of 74 qualifying safeties, Doughty ranks 59th and Rambo ranks 60th. For them to be able to stop any passing game, they will need to find a safety to fill the shoes of Meriweather and put these guys back on special teams where they belong.