Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
When you win only three games and finish the season with eight consecutive losses, it’s hard to find positives.
Still, the Washington Redskins have done their best to address their various shortcomings this offseason. And we will eventually see if they can pull off another worst-to-first turnaround, as was the case in 2012 when they captured the NFC East.
During the 2013 draft, Washington addressed its last line of defense often, with the selections of cornerback David Amerson and safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. As rookies, Amerson started nine games, totaled 48 tackles, two interceptions and knocked down 10 passes. Rambo earned three starts and amassed 43 stops. Thomas spent the season on injured reserve.
For now, Amerson is the youngster in a starting lineup that includes cornerback DeAngelo Hall and safeties Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark, the latter returning to Washington after eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Safety Reed Doughty was not re-signed by the club, and cornerback Josh Wilson signed with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Redskins also added free-agent cornerback Tracy Porter, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, while safety Tanard Jackson returns from a two-year NFL suspension. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer has never played in a regular-season game for Washington.
Over the past two seasons, Jim Haslett’s defensive unit has allowed a combined 60 touchdown passes, 31 in 2012 and 29 in 2013. While the team ranked 20th in the league in passing yards allowed this past season, only four teams in the NFL ranked worse in terms of pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus.
Will things be any better in 2014? There’s certainly some doubt. And new head coach Jay Gruden may need all the points he can get from quarterback Robert Griffin III and Co.
Some statistical support for this piece was provided by Pro Football Focus, Pro-Football-Reference.com, NFL.com and ESPN.com. Depth charts are provided by Ourlads, while financial terms are supplied by Spotrac.