Which Redskins Players Are Built for the Long Term?
For a number of years, while under the reign of Daniel Snyder, the Redskins were notorious for their free spending habits.
They would overpay for veteran after veteran, while bringing false hope to their fans, media and most importantly themselves.
Year three into the Mike Shanahan campaign, that same emphasis hasn’t been adopted. Extra draft picks and under-the-radar free agent signings has been the foundation that Shanahan has attempted to succeed with.
So far that hasn’t worked, which lead me thinking, let’s take a look at the 53-man roster and evaluate who is built for the future.
What players on the current roster are in the Redskins long-term plans?
Just how many do we currently have and what holes still need to be addressed? Below you will find my answer.
Robert Griffin III
This is the most obvious answer out of the whole team. He’s not only a part of the club’s long-term plans, but he is the future of this Redskins franchise.
It will be interesting to see if the front office can get talent around him because he’s been exceeding expectations with remedial players around him (excluding Alfred Morris).
I was hesitant on Alfred Morris’ future plans in Washington. That’s not an indictment on Morris either, what causes my skepticism is the wear and tear on running backs nowadays.
Workhorse running backs (like Morris this season) no longer have extended shelf lives in the NFL. So as impressive as he’s been, it’s hard to imagine that his style of running wouldn’t lead to injuries in the future.
Anyways, Mike Shanahan hit gold with Morris in the sixth round of this year’s draft. He’ll keep getting the ball as long as his production remains consistent.
He’s the unsung hero of the offense. He’s been leading the way for Alfred Morris all season and has shown his versatility as a runner, receiver out of the backfield and on special teams.
While fullback might not be the sexiest position in the league, Young has worked his way into becoming a solid football player.
I doubt there will be anyone competing for his job in the future.
It might have taken longer than expected, but Trent Williams is playing at a Pro Bowl level in his third season as the team’s left tackle, which is arguably the second most important position on the offense.
What is even more impressive is that he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet. If he improves on his consistency, Williams will be that bookend that the Redskins front office imagined when the drafted him fourth overall in 2010.
I wasn’t the biggest advocate of the Chris Chester signing last year, but he has steadily improved in his knowledge of the Redskins zone blocking scheme.
Chester has been solid in both pass and run blocking. He’s never going to wow you, but he’ll get the job done and has remained durable throughout his career.
I would expect Chester to play out the rest of his contract, which should be considered a huge success given the Redskins luck with free agent signings.
I haven’t been very nice to Garcon as of lately. Although I’m uneducated in podiatry, Garcon’s injury won’t seem to go away and it really annoys me.
That said, I’m still tantalized by Pierre’s potential in this offense. He appeared to be RGIII’s best weapon during the preseason and in the first half of the Saints game.
Given Garcon’s contract and his rapport with Griffin, I envision Garcon being in their long-term plans. I will begrudgingly give him a mulligan for his first year in Washington.
At this rate, I would be surprised if Jim Haslett isn’t fired after the season is complete. Quite frankly, he doesn’t deserve to keep his job; however, we need to stick with the 3-4 defense.
Players such as Stephen Bowen are best suited in this formation. So if the 3-4 defense stays, then Bowen is in our long-term plans.
He’s been highly productive as one of the team’s defensive ends. He’s put consistent pressure on quarterbacks (not as much as last year without Orakpo and Carriker in the picture) and has remained effective against the run.
I can remember the Bowen signing last year certainly puzzled me, as he was a primary backup in Dallas, but his potential was shown and the Redskins front office appears to have made a successful gamble.
Last year, Cofield struggled in his first year in this scheme. After signing a hefty contract, he was being paid to be a top-tier nose tackle.
This year, he has definitely progressed. He’s been generating pressure amongst the interior offensive line and setting up his linebackers to make plays, which is exactly what you want from your nose tackle.
Given his contract, increased production and locker room presence, Cofield will be around for awhile.
Ryan Kerrigan hasn’t had the second year that the Redskins need from him. Of course, his production diminished without Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, but he needs to be the team’s premier pass rusher.
With that being said, Kerrigan has proved to be durable and adapted to pass coverage.
This was a make-or-break year for Brian Orakpo. I had high expectations for the fourth-year player out of Texas.
I didn’t realize how good Brian Orakpo was until he was gone. I was overly critical of him in the past, but after I’ve seen the Redskins struggles generating a pass rush this year, Orakpo is much needed on this roster.
Perry Riley is getting better in every game he’s playing. He’s developing a familiarity in pass defense and reading the quarterback while he continues to have a nose for the ball.
Riley hasn’t hit his ceiling yet and he’s a bit of a mystery. He has the potential to be a stellar inside linebacker or he can hover around respectability.
What Riley needs to do is improve in the classroom, follow London Fletcher around like a hawk and we should see the former LSU product in a Redskins uniform for years to come.
Everybody reading this section needs to do me and all of Redskins Nation a gigantic favor: knock on wood. I’m actually being serious, knock on wood please.
Since the Billy Cundiff debacle, Forbath has defied expectations. He’s made all of his field goals, which is exactly what we want from him.
He might not have the same powerful leg on kickoffs, but making field goals is weighed with more importance.