4 Redskins Players Poised for a Breakout Campaign in 2014
Coming off a cruddy 3-13 season a year ago, the Redskins as a whole should be poised for a breakout campaign in 2014. How much worse could it get?
But before we jinx anything, let's ditch projected team records and instead profile a few guys who could rebound and/or improve in Washington next season.
Robert Griffin III
In addition to the mounting pressure stemming from that ugly record from a season ago, new head coach Jay Gruden brings an exciting pass-happy philosophy to the offense as well as uptempo pace and high volume—all of which favor Griffin in a rebounding season.
After trading the farm for Griffin in 2012, it's easy for fans to not only predict but preach a Griffin revival in 2014. But from coaches to system to surrounding weapons (including new receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts), there's no doubting the pieces are in place.
The Redskins desperately needed an athletic inside linebacker with coverage skills last season—and they actually had just the guy on the roster. But a preseason injury forced Keenan Robinson to miss the entire 2013 season.
This season, Robinson will have his shot at winning a starting job inside. He has the athleticism and speed necessary to drop into coverage, thus allowing the edge guys (like Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan) to pin their ears back and do what they do best.
Here's to good health for the former fourth-round pick.
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has been awesome since being drafted 16th overall in 2011. But entering his fourth season in the NFL and on the verge of a large payday, expect big things in 2014.
What could help Kerrigan most this season is the (hopeful) upgrade at inside linebacker, which would decrease Kerrigan's role in pass coverage and instead allow him to get after the passer.
In a year where defensive coordinator Jim Haslett will look to be more aggressive, Kerrigan will play a significant role on the Redskins defense this season—and 24.5 sacks in his first three seasons is a strong building block.
Admittedly so, my excitement for rookie Lache Seastrunk in Jay Gruden's offense is boiling over a bit. But for a coach who seems to enjoy a complementary back with agility, speed and home run ability, Seastrunk fits the bill perfectly.
There's no question Alfred Morris remains the Redskins' lead back and primary ball-carrier. But if Gruden gets creative with Seastrunk the way he did with then-rookie Giovani Bernard in Cincinnati last season, any sort of contribution from a sixth-round draft pick would be considered a breakout year.