The reason why they’re in a good position has nothing to do with their win-loss record, but rather with how well so many things are going for them on both sides of the ball. The players are smoothly maturing within the offensive and defensive schemes, and that will pay dividends in 2013.
The Redskins have several guys who have been stepping up, namely a former Miami Hurricane.
Leonard Hankerson has been a very important piece of Washington’s passing game so far this preseason, recording two impressive touchdowns in as many weeks. Entering his third year in the league, the time has come for Hankerson to answer the call and be the guy Washington drafted him to be—and he is.
His routes look sharper and he has seemingly ditched his problem with dropping the ball (one drop this entire preseason). Hankerson is set for a big year, so don’t be surprised if you see his name on next year’s Pro Bowl roster.
Speaking of Hankerson, he was one of four Redskins to exit the game with injury last Monday night. Thankfully, Hankerson along with Kirk Cousins, Barry Cofield and Aldrick Robinson seem to be alright and were only kept out of the game for precautionary reasons.
Another player who is performing well entering his third season is running back Roy Helu. As a part of a crowded backfield behind starter Alfred Morris, Helu has been a standout player this preseason.
He has shown durability in both the running and passing game, and has even looked Morris-esque at times; he’s made great cuts in the hole and has even ran over a few guys here and there. Helu only had one carry last week, but one was enough as it turned out to be a 30-yard gallop to the end zone.
In just two preseason games, Rambo has progressed noticeably. He looks more comfortable in Jim Haslett’s defense, something that will lead to him taking more calculated risks, which could pay off big time for the Redskins.
This may seem like high praise, but Rambo has the potential to be the second coming of the late, great Sean Taylor. He has playmaking ability and is a ferocious hitter; if he can refine his game, then Washington could very well have another Meast on its hands.
It’s become clear that, after years and years of building, Washington may have finally put together a solid enough team to withstand the grind of the season and still make some noise in the playoffs.
It’s too early to be thinking about a possible Super Bowl appearance, but with the way things are going, it’s fun to fantasize about how far this team could actually go.