The Redskins have just finished a dreadful season and are en route to a hopefully better one. It's been official that Bruce Allen would carry the manager spot now for some time, as he was there to witness the ending games of the season.
Now, he can put his position to use.
He's already hired the future coach and a brand-new offensive coordinator, yet those were obvious needs.
He know needs to spark surprises; formulating decisions that will be used next season as immense benefits.
Unlike the rest of the organization, his season starts now. Right now.
There are multiple decisions and changes to be created, but I'll count down the top five; the top five that have to happen.
(If you have any disagreements or agreements, please comment.)
Sure, Jason Campbell is indeed an extremely talented quarterback. He executes well under pressure, and is a definite team-first player. A team not in the rebuilding process, with a good running game and a good core at the receiving positions and defense would be fine with a young quarterback in Campbell.
But the Redskins need change. They are one of the teams in the rebuilding phase. And a franchise quarterback is perhaps the most needed and immediate change that has to be made. Jason Campbell just doesn't quite fit with the kind of quarterback needed.
It's been made public that Washington will eventually hold the fourth pick in the upcoming draft. With the first three teams most plausibly not taking quarterbacks, that leaves the 'Skins with a wide variety at the position. But, ultimately, it'll bounce down to Bradford or Clausen.
Though Bradford might actually be a tad bit more advanced and talented than the likes of Clausen, Jimmy is definitely more fit for the west-coast offense that Washington boasts.
If Mike Shanahan follows suite with that offense, then Clausen makes that much more sense. But even if he does decide to juggle with his personality, then take into account the fact that Bradford is coming off a tragic injury, leaving Clausen a more possible option to start off on the right foot right away.
Clinton Portis was the lead rusher in the NFL midway through our former season. Obviously, that makes him an elite, if not the most elite, running back possibility for the organization, right?
Wrong. Portis no longer gives a ---- in practice according to more than a few sources within the team's locker room. He is also coming off an immense concussion that leaves his career in complete jeopardy. When your team is in the stage that the Redskins are in right now, with a player who's whole career cannot be predicted, it's just too cloudy of a decision to make.
On the other hand, after Portis' concussion, the Redskins overlooked Betts and Cartwright and settled on a controversial pick with Quinton Ganther.
Ganther played above everyone's expectations and earned Washington's respect as a whole doing his running back duties.
Thus, if he raises a pair of eyebrows in camp (Mike Shanahan's) he could easily take on full-time duties come next season.
If he disappoints, though, a trade involving players (Portis), draft picks, or a signing would allow the 'Skins to have a potentially skilled running back.
If the Redskins gave away high-priced Portis for an eventual draft pick, the team would be in the realm of possibility of landing C.J Spiller.
Midway through the preceding season in Washington, Zorn was stripped of play-calling duties, which were eventually given to Sherman Lewis. This shows how much frustration built from the bad play calls. If we learned one lesson from last year, it's that, in that aspect, the team needs to make a complete and intact change.
Upon Mike Shanahan's arrival, it was everything but clarified that he would be the play caller.
Thus, it wouldn't surprise anyone if he did take up the challenge.
But, in his stunt in Texas, Kyle Shanahan proved more than worthy on account of offensive coordinater, and it was made public that he actually had quite a say on what plays were run.
Mike Shanahan has repeatedly said that he likes the roster at hand, especially considering the run. The comments he made strangely resembled those of Zorn's, who obviously did not work to the fullest.
Kyle's handling of the Redskins play calling should and would most likely benefit the organization. His more unique and absorbing offense should translate more to the likes of the team than his father's.
There are no secrets about the Redskins' lackluster season. The obviousness about how to beat them is presented in front of everyone's eyes.
And one thing that is really hard not to notice, is the lack of discipline and endurance the offense carries pending a long drive. They start off with mediocre success; as much success as an offense like such can have: Portis runs for three, four yards, Campbell completes some passes, and they find themselves in their opponents' territory.
They have the momentum swing, and at least a field goal seems in the future.
But they grow tired, or something of that luxury. Portis starts losing the gained yards, as Campbell incompletes more often than not.
Opponents know this; they know that as long as the 'Skins need to travel around 80,70 yards until scoring, the favor is in their possession.
Cartwright, with all due respect, is sincerely just not a kick returner who will do you such a job as getting you past that 30-yard line. He won't. He's not a bad returner; he's fast, speedy, and tough. But an elite returner would benefit the Redskins immensely.
The Browns have recently announced that Cribbs will most likely not spend the latter seasons with them. Fine. Browns do need to rebuild, so why not start with him?
Though the Browns don't need such a player, the 'Skins do. Cribbs is one of the, if not the, best kick returner in the league, leisurely getting over 35 yards and naturally scoring touchdowns every three or four games. If the Browns decide to keep the threat with Cribbs, then the Redskins could easily, with a few good but unneeded players (think Betts), trade, ultimately gaining the much-needed player.
This will eventually allow all drives to commence further, end sooner, and games should generally be easier to score in.
Stats get blown up all the time. Some running backs have many more yards than others, but may have had twice as many carries. Quarterbacks may have an amazing passer rating (Favre) but rely on few screens or mediocre small passes. A team can have the forementioned best secondary, but they truthfully have one of the least successful. Actions always speak louder than stats.
The Redskins secondary held leading spot in the category of least yards allowed; sounds good, but do a little snooping and the stat literally means nothing.
Passers, in the first half, generally dominate the 'Skins, giving them a lead heading into the second portion of the game. When you're leading like the opponents of Washington have, passing is a commodity that will always be one of the last things your coach will judge to call. The team needs to completely blow up that secondary, releasing some players (Landry, Rodgers), keeping some (Hall), and signing or drafting many more.
Revamping that portion of the roster will, in due course, completely revamp the team as a whole.
These are the five things the roster needs to do, with Mike Shanahan as coach and Bruce Allen as manager, to completely form a new, successful, and playoff team.