5 Unheralded Players Poised to Break out for the Washington Redskins in 2013-14
Football is a collective sport. In most cases, it takes the blood, sweat and tears of a whole organization to achieve their common goal.
On the other hand, there comes a time when an individual takes on a challenge single-handedly to carry the team on their shoulders.
So who is it going to be this year? Who is going to surprise us? Which Redskin is going to provide some memorable moments?
Below are five Redskins who could very well break out this season.
In the years of Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, I know not to get too excited for young receivers with boatloads of talent.
Then again, this isn’t the same franchise.
Aldrick Robinson was selected back in 2011 in the sixth round. His speed is what attracted Mike Shanahan to the former SMU product.
Last season, Robinson only recorded 11 catches, but he showcased his talents in limited action.
Entering his third year, Robinson is now trying to carve himself out a significant role in the offense.
Now I understand it’s highly unlikely that Robinson is going to have a 1,000-yard season, but he could be the spark plug that the offense will need when they are in a bind.
And it doesn’t have to be on go routes that make Robinson successful. I’d like to see him used on reverses and bubble screens. He could also serve as a great decoy, causing safeties to allow underneath patterns.
In his first two years as a Redskin, Ryan Kerrigan has been dependable, nothing spectacular. However, he’s a solid starting linebacker.
If the preseason means anything, Ryan Kerrigan is ready to take the next step in his career.
That’s what the Redskins expect too after drafting him No. 16 overall back in 2011.
For Kerrigan to break out this season, he will need double digit sacks and a few highlight plays like he did against Pittsburgh.
If Kerrigan and others are able to create a pass rush without blitzing, the secondary will have the opportunity to get turnovers.
The nose tackle is the quintessential position in the 3-4 defense and Barry Cofield is paid to be one of the best.
In 2011, it appeared that the Redskins overpaid for the former New York Giant. He had no experience as a nose tackle and was often overlooked on the stellar Giants defensive line.
Similar to Kerrigan, Cofield was dominant last Monday against the Steelers, as he went against one of the best centers in the league (Maurkice Pouncey).
Cofield’s position is unheralded; nose tackle’s aren’t going to pile up high statistics. They aren’t going to show up on highlights and they’re often battered and bruised by the end of the game.
However, the more productive Barry Cofield is, the better this defense will be. He’s setting up two defensive ends and four linebackers to make plays and, an unselfish man like Cofield, appears up to the challenge.
Last Monday was a reminder of how dreadful the Redskins kicking woes have been for nearly 20 years, as former Redskin, Shaun Suisham, lined up for the Steelers for a field goal.
Suisham was greeted with an array of boos from the Redskins faithful, as his inconsistencies have cost him his job in Washington, which seems to be a similar story for what feels like a dozen other kickers over the years.
A midseason signing, Kai Forbath came out of nowhere and made his first 17 field goals.
I always used to say, the Redskins could play DeMatha Catholic High School and they’ll find a way to keep it close. They were notorious for it and, if they had a kicker who was truly reliable, the outcome of the whole season could significantly change.
I can’t think of a better example than what Kai Forbath did last season. He now has an opportunity to prove himself throughout the league as one of the better kickers out there.
When a healthy Pierre Garcon was on the field, the Redskins offense was leaps and beyond better.
Garcon has everything you look for in a receiver. He has the size, speed, athleticism and versatility to his game.
With that said, Garcon has yet to hit his ceiling as a professional and, according to his contract, he should be putting up Pro Bowl-like numbers.
He will need to earn over 1,000 yards receiving and eight touchdown catches as well as stay healthy throughout the year. Basically, he’ll need to be Robert Griffin’s go-to receiver.