Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Redskins Gameplan: Offseason

For my loyal readers, you all have seen my weekly series "Redskins Gamplan". In that series, I break down what they need to be successful in that weeks game. Usually, I break it down unit by unit (i.e. offense, defense, and special teams). Over the next couple of days I will look at and break down, in depth, what they need to do to improve each unit this offseason. Today, I will break down the offense, tomorrow the defense, and then I'll finish it off with the special teams! Enjoy!

This season the offense really struggled. They finished 14th in pass yards per game, 235.8, and 25th in rush yards per game.

The offensive line was the most consistent part of the Redskins offense. Willie Smith stepped in a left tackle when Trent Williams was suspended and did just as good a job, if not better, than Trent Williams. Left guard Maurice Hurt was also solid for the Redskins. In 8 games, Hurt allowed just 2 sacks. Will Montgomery started every single all 16 games for the Redskins and allowed just 2 sacks, as well. Chris Chester also only allowed 2 sacks through 16 games. The biggest hole in the offensive line is at right tackle. The Redskins tried out both Tyler Polumbus and Jamal Brown at the position and neither one of them was the standout that they were looking for. It's a simple fix. When Trent Williams returns you stick him back at left tackle and move Willie Smith over to right tackle.

(Photo: twimg.com)
The Redskins had one of the most explosive and reliable backfields in the NFL. Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster were pleasant steals on draft day. The early season injury for Tim Hightower sent the Redskins into a panic at the running back position until these two stepped up. Helu finished the season with 640 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Royster finished second behind Royster for the team with 328 yards rushing. With both returning, the Redskins seem poise to have one of the toughest backfields in the NFL. There is no need to focus on this in the offseason.

The tight end spot was a disaster from week one. The Redskins wanted to put Chris Cooley at fullback and decided to only rely on Fred Davis at tight end. Davis showed a lot of promise throughout the season, but, was suspended for the final five games of the season for violating the leagues drug policy. Through eleven games, however, Davis compiled 59 receptions for 796 yards and 3 touchdowns. His replacement became Logan Paulsen. Paulsen finished this season with 11 receptions for 138 yards. If Davis returns full strength, this shouldn't be an area of concern for the Redskins. There should be very little time devoted to this position this offseason.

Darrel Young emerged as the teams fullback this season. He put the ball in the endzone one time for the Redskins. He also had 14 receptions. Look for him to be back at that spot next season. With Young and Cooley returning, this position looks solid for next season.

The Redskins were, for the most part, inconsistent at the wide receiver spot. Jabar Gaffney emerged as the teams leading receiver. Gaffney had 68 receptions for 947 yards and 5 touchdowns. The next closest player was Fred Davis who missed five games. Santana Moss, Donte Stallworth, and Leonard Hankerson were all ineffective this season. If the Redskins want a solid passing attack, they will need another number 1 caliber receiver to go along with Gaffney. Moss, Stallworth, and Hankerson all have value in them that if traded, they could be exchanged for a solid draft pick. The Redskins will need to address this area in the draft. They should be able to select a solid receiver in the second, third, or maybe fourth round of the draft.

(Photo: mosso.com)
The biggest area that the Redskins have to address this offseason is the quarterback position. Currently, they have two very solid back-up quarterbacks. Grossman threw for over 3,000 yards, but, he is not a playoff caliber quarterback (Super Bowl with the Bears was a fluke). There are a number of quarterbacks that the Redskins could select in the draft. They have to go after Robert Griffin III. They currently sit with the sixth pick in the draft. RGIII may not make it past number 5. I don't care what they have to do, they have to draft Robert Griffin III. If, by some sort luck only the Redskins could have, they don't select Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones from Oklahoma would also be a good fit. No matter what, the Redskins are going to have to select a quarterback with their first pick in the draft. If they don't we could very easily see a repeat of last season...and the season before that...and the season before that.

The main areas of concern for the offense that have to be addressed the offseason is at wide receiver and quarterback. Both can, and should, be fixed through the draft. 

Stay tuned! Tomorrow the defense will take center stage!