The Washington Redskins 2013 season started with a mixture of optimism and skepticism. The Redskins reached the playoffs during the 2012-2013 season for the first time in 5 years being defeated by the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks, hypothetically, is the same team that eliminated them their last three playoff appearances. In that defeat, rookie QB sensation Robert Griffin III was injured, which set the tone for the off-season.
Head Coach Mike Shanahan seemed to have turned the team around with Griffin aka RG3 and RB Alfred Morris. Shanahan has always been able to find running backs anywhere in the draft and make them successful. Morris, a 6th round draft pick looked to be that guy moving forward. The return of a healthy RG3 and LB Brian Orakpo gave hope that the team could compete for a championship in 2013.
The Redskins started the season horribly with three losses to the Eagles, Packers, and Lions. It was evident right away that RG3 wasn’t himself and that he may have rushed back after missing the entire preseason. He struggled early on as he wasn’t as elusive and able to make the throws that he thrived on last season. After posting 20 touchdowns and 5 interceptions as a rookie, RG3′s ability to make plays with his legs caused a major drop in his production this season.
The Redskins defense ended the 2012 season with a lot of injuries, but stayed competitive. With Orakpo coming back, the additions of Darryl Tapp and E.J. Biggers through free agency and the draft picks of David Amerson, Phillip Thomas, and Baccari Rambo, the potential was there. The Redskins went into the off-season with a definite emphasis on upgrading the secondary. Amerson, Thomas, and Rambo each started the preseason opener. Thomas was later lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury, while Amerson and Rambo couldn’t hold on to their starting jobs.
The decline in the play of “future Hall of Fame LB” London Fletcher didn’t help the Redskins defensive situation. As surprising as it was for Fletcher not to play at the same high level he has his entire career, we all realize that good things always come to an end. The same could be said about Shanahan, who lost his job after this disappointing season.
Shanahan had previous success as a Super Bowl winning coach with the Denver Broncos with John Elway as his QB. His coaching career hung on the balance of those rings, but many believe he isn’t a great coach. A great running scheme was his staple. RG3 below 100%, the defense not living up to their potential and Shanahan’s apparent loss of his team led to a 3-13 record. That was even with a productive Morris.
It is hard to find many positive remarks for the Redskins this past season. To add injury to insult, the St. Louis Rams cash in big time on the RG3 trade with a top 5 draft pick in a very deep 2014 draft. If RG3 isn’t able to return to his rookie form, the Redskins are quickly headed for disaster under new head coach Jay Gruden.
With Gruden in control, he’ll look to make the proper adjustments and get the Redskins back to the playoffs in 2014.