USA TODAY Sports
The pressure is on the secondary to improve.
The performance of 2013's pass defense could be season-defining for the Redskins. It could be the difference between forcing Griffin to win shootouts or letting a burgeoning defense join the ranks of the league's best.
The Redskins ranked 30th against the pass in 2012, and frankly, it was scary to think how bad that made the two pass defenses below them. Efforts have been made to address this issue, but hopes are pinned on unproven rookies and a brittle veteran.
Things are particularly concerning at safety. The Redskins used two draft picks on the position, but one of those, fourth-rounder Phillip Thomas, has already been lost for the season after Lisfranc surgery.
That has pushed sixth-rounder Bacarri Rambo closer to a starting berth. The former Georgia product has endured some struggles in preseason, particularly in run support.
Yet, despite his issues, the Redskins really need Rambo to make the position his own and give the defense a safety with superior ball skills.
The alternative is letting savvy and hard-working, yet athletically limited, Reed Doughty start again. Doughty has his limitations, but there may be even more questions surrounding prospective starter Brandon Meriweather.
The ex-New England Patriot and Chicago Bear is recovering from a torn ACL that interrupted a career that was already becoming a disappointment.
Meriweather initially looked good for the New England Patriots, but soon fell out of favor. His lack of range in deep coverage was then brutally exposed during his stint in Chicago.
If there is trouble at safety, there is only marginally more stability at cornerback. Veterans DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson will again start, although that is not necessarily good news.
Both are prone to lapses in concentration and have a nasty habit of surrendering big plays at critical moments. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will hope top draft pick David Amerson can supplant one of his starters early on.
Amerson showed at North Carolina State that he can make the big play. He snared 11 interceptions in 2011, but will need to use his size better and prove he can press pro receivers.
The rotation is even more suspect than the starting group. Castoffs like E.J. Biggers and Jerome Murphy and could end up playing big roles in nickel and dime looks.
The Redskins are not loaded with talent here, and that is bad news if you take another glance at their schedule. Fierce division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys boast the connection between quarterback Tony Romo and wideout Dez Bryant.
The New York Giants attack best via Eli Manning linking up with prolific pass-catchers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. If that is not daunting enough, the Redskins also face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
If this revamped secondary cannot withstand these pass attacks, the offense will be under greater pressure to reproduce 2012's impeccable performances.