Biggest Questions Facing the Redskins in Week 1 Contest with the Eagles
In just one day, the 2013-2014 NFL season is upon us.
For the Eagles, they were able to lure one of the college football’s brightest minds—Chip Kelly—away from Oregon, as his unique style of play will be put to the test on the professional level.
For the Redskins, they are set to defend their division title all the while hoping that Robert Griffin III has not been compromised due to his knee injury.
Here are some questions that are lurking until Monday Night Football.
What Will See from RGIII?
We know he’s starting. This summer we have seen him sprint, dropping back to pass, coercing with teammates and engaging the fans.
However, we haven’t seen him run an actual play since that fateful night against Seattle.
Could we see Robert Griffin III take off 76 yards to the house again? Or we will see a more traditional-style offense while he’s operating behind center?
In addition to that, how will Griffin respond to the pressure he’s in since his injury? The media has followed him like a hawk all offseason. Every step he’s made has been documented and analyzed.
He’s not just the face of the franchise, but he’s a potential ambassador to the league as a whole. That’s a lot to grasp at such a young age.
What Are We Going to See from the Safeties?
Is Brandon Meriweather ready to become the full-time strong safety? Can the Redskins coaches rely on the veteran to become an anchor in the secondary?
What about Bacarri Rambo? Is a late-round draft pick seriously ready to become the starting free safety? Will the Eagles immediately test him with DeSean Jackson?
Both safety positions are arguably the biggest hole on the team. I would have liked to see greater competition at both positions, but no particular player has really stood out.
It remains a major concern and I’m just hoping the rest of the defense can outweigh that weakness.
How Will the Pass Rush Look?
The Redskins certainly missed Brian Orakpo last season. He’s now come back with a huge chip on his shoulder.
Ryan Kerrigan has impressed throughout the preseason and even rookie Brandon Jenkins has shown some flashes.
Going against an inferior offensive line, the Redskins pass-rushers will need to rattle quarterback Michael Vick early and often.
Even with Vick’s premier athleticism, his struggles are consistent when facing pressure.
On the other hand, can the Redskins generate a pass rush with only four players? Will they use that peculiar package with Kerrigan lined up on the inside and rookie Brandon Jenkins on the outside?
Or will Jim Haslett have throw out his famous “cover zero” blitzes?
How Will Chip Kelly's Offense Look?
After four preseason games, Chip Kelly’s offense looks dangerous; they’re athletic and fast and could potentially give me nightmares.
On the other hand, we really have no idea what to expect on Monday night. Are we going to see the high octane/fast-paced style offense Kelly used while coaching at Oregon?
Are we going to see a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy? Or are we going to see a rejuvenated Mike Vick again?
The fact remains that Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff has very little tape on what Kelly’s tendencies are going to be on the professional level, which could be considered a major disadvantage for the Redskins.
By contrast, the Eagles are still developing as a team too given the new direction the franchise has gone. Therefore, the advantage goes to the Redskins.
Anyway, it’s going to be a game of adjustments for both sides of the ball, while I envision a busy night for coordinators Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett.
What Kind of Offense Will the Redskins Run?
Will we see the zone-read style offense? What about the pistol formation? Or are we going to see a more traditional-style offense, similar to what we ran with Kirk Cousins?
Is the offense going to be more conservative? How are we going to test RGIII’s repaired knee?
The only prediction that I can make is that we’ll see a lot of Alfred Morris.