Fans of the Washington Redskins have a “where do we go from here?” attitude about their team’s direction. The franchise is in shambles once again after a disastrous 2013, lowlighted by the benching of franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Redskins are in perennial rebuilding mode, a long way from prominence. It’s a hard pill to swallow for a fanbase tired of free agency spending sprees that yield absolutely zero results.
Washington general manager Bruce Allen (above, right) is taking a cautious approach to lead the Redskins back to respectability. He hired Jay Gruden (above, left), who had no prior experience as a head coach, to become the head coach of the Redskins. Many feel that Gruden’s brother, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders’ head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden would have been a better selection. Jay Gruden represents the ground-level building block necessary to rebuild the Redskins. Considering his offensive background, it will be critical for the Redskins’ head coach to build a strong rapport with Griffin.
Washington doesn’t have a first-round selection this year, so they needed to use free agency to address the team’s many deficiencies. Wide receiver Andre Roberts and defensive end Jason Hatcher are the Redskins’ main free agency signings, but neither is a transcendent player who will provide greatness at their respective positions. Still, Roberts is a fast receiver who is expected to provide efficiency as a second receiver opposite wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Hatcher recorded 11 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, reaffirming his proficiency to get to opposing quarterbacks. At 6-foot-7, 285 pounds, Hatcher is a presence on the defensive line that can occupy blockers. That will free up Washington’s linebackers to make tackles in the running game, as well as get to the quarterback in the passing game.
The Redskins won’t return to prominence overnight. Fact is, Washington may need a year or two for their new acquisitions to become integrated with the roster to form a cohesive unit. Redskins’ fans expecting another worst to first scenario like the one in 2012, which led to the Redskins winning the NFC East title, may sadly be disappointed. The route Allen is taking to rebuild the team stresses adding quality players at several positions, rather than spending big money for one guy that never reaches expectations (Albert Haynesworth immediately comes to mind).
It looks like the dog days of the NFL have returned to Washington with another losing season on the horizon. It’s a small sacrifice to make to build for the future. Let’s hope that Allen has the blueprint to lead the Redskins back to prominence in the years to come.