5 Bold Predictions for Redskins' 2014 Season
It's early. Too early, really. But with the draft having already passed and teams beginning to do football things, it's only right (as football degenerates) that we dive into forecasting the upcoming season and toss around some predictions.
With a new head coach, a hopefully rejuvenated quarterback, a possibly improved defense, some added pop on offense and Matthew McConaughey—there's more than enough storylines swirling around the Redskins right now to build on.
Here's an (early) look into the crystal ball for the Redskins in 2014.
After an electrifying 2012 season that earned him Rookie of the Year honors, Robert Griffin III had an encore performance last season that left a majority questioning whether the quarterback was crowned too early.
This isn't the first time I've mentioned Griffin's strong chances of a rebound in 2014, and it likely won't be the last. But even Cowboys fans would have to agree that the pieces are in place for Griffin to excel.
Sure, the new head coach could fall flat on his face, DeSean Jackson could blow a knee in Week 3, and the Redskins defense could repeat their horrid display from last season. But without being the ultimate pessimist, things look to be in good order for Griffin. In addition to new weapons on offense, Jay Gruden's preferred pace, as well as his devotion to the pass would seem to pair perfectly with the elite physical skills we all know Griffin to have.
Bold Prediction: Robert Griffin III will be top 15 in passing touchdowns and top 10 in both passing yards and completion percentage in 2014.
Interested in forecasting Griffin's comeback from a fantasy perspective? Look no further.
Something out of the Lache
After sitting in the driver seat of Lache Seastrunk's bandwagon since early May, this one shouldn't come as surprise, either. In Jay Gruden's offense, Seastrunk fits the role as the complementary back who provides a home run jolt and versatility out of the backfield—much like what we saw out of Gruden's offense in Cincinnati last year with second-round pick Giovani Bernard.
That's not to say Seastrunk, who was selected in the sixth round, will be as effective as Bernard was last season. In fact, Seastrunk isn't even a lock to make the final 53. But despite his declining draft stock when it mattered most, Gruden and the Redskins bit on the shifty running back and he fits the offense.
Bold Prediction: Lache Seastrunk will not only make the final roster, but he'll be what fans were hoping Chris Thompson was last season—the speedy, versatile home run device on offense.
And when he does, us pathetic Redskins fans (or just me) can throw out stupid catchphrases like, "open up the dam and let the Lache run through it" or "the Lache must be frozen over, because he just put that defender on skates". Oh, man. It's going to be so bad.
New Names at ILB
Every piece of the Redskins defense can be blamed for the team's terrible pass coverage last season, from an ineffective pass rush, to poor safety play. Not even the linebackers get a free pass.
Veteran London Fletcher hung it up after an admirable career, and the Redskins re-signed Perry Riley to a reasonable deal. The team also signed free agents Darryl Sharpton and Akeem Jordan to help at inside linebacker—whether by way of camp competition or starter possibility—and the Redskins certainly haven't forgotten about former fourth-round pick Keenan Robinson.
Bold Prediction: With the Redskins needing to boost their pass rush, they're going to require inside linebackers who do a better job in coverage. Perry Riley will not return as a starter at inside linebacker in 2014. Instead, Robinson will start alongside either Sharpton or Jordan.
Tanard Jackson Sticks
After serving drug suspensions for the last two years and missing entire NFL seasons, safety Tanard Jackson returns to Redskins camp in hopes of cracking the roster.
But for the last two years, Jackson has been working at a warehouse to help support his family, according to the team's official website, which raises the question: How in the world is this guy going to just show up and hang with some of the best athletes in the world?
Needless to say, it will remain an interesting storyline throughout camp. And the Redskins could certainly use Jackson in the deep half of their defense.
Bold Prediction: Jackson impresses in camp and finds his way onto the final roster. Although not willing to call him a starter (at least not yet), Jackson will add depth to the position and perhaps contribute on special teams.
Tom Compton Takes RT
Despite the bashing by yours truly, Tyler Polumbus isn't the worst right tackle of all-time. In fact, the Redskins could even get by with Polumbus playing the position.
But they can also do better.
Over the offseason, Jay Gruden and the Redskins added two offensive linemen in free agency (Shawn Lauvao and Mike McGlynn) and drafted another two in early May (Morgan Moses and Spencer Long). They also sent Will Montgomery packing and plan to move last year's left guard, Kory Lichtensteiger, to his more natural center position.
Fingers crossed, Redskins fans should hope for a three-way, perhaps even four-way battle at right tackle between Polumbus, Moses, former sixth-rounder (and personal favorite) Tom Compton and maybe even the veteran McGlynn (although I highly doubt he has a chance to start).
Bold Prediction: Tyler Polumbus loses his starting right tackle spot to Tom Compton.
At the very least, healthy camp competition can help bring out the best in a player—whoever the starter may be.