Biggest Questions Facing Each NFL Team Ahead of 2015 NFL Draft
We will quote the terrifying yet unforgettable Hannibal Lecter: closer…closer, please.
That’s exactly what’s happening when it comes to the upcoming NFL draft. The free-agency period is still alive and, well, getting quieter every day.
Don’t worry. There will be another wave of signings in May after the teams address their needs during a three-day, 256-selection process in Chicago in roughly three weeks.
Some teams have more needs than others, and that means that these clubs have more questions to answer than the rest. We are here to not only voice our opinion on what their biggest quandary may be but also offer an occasional answer.
Due to time restraints, we will move ahead rather quickly and limit our inquiries to one per team. After all, fair is fair.
So sit back, relax and check out what all 32 NFL teams may have on their minds.
Need a snack? We suggest some fava beans and a nice chianti.
Will the Cardinals’ running game improve in 2015?
This team has struggled in this department over a number of years. The Cardinals have gained fewer than 100 yards rushing in 32 of their last 48 regular-season contests and over that span have been 32nd, 23rd and 31st, respectively, in the NFL in yards gained on the ground from 2012 to 2014.
It’s going to be a new-look offensive line with the addition of three-time Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati and the departures of center Lyle Sendlein (released) and guard Paul Fanaika (signed with Chiefs). But a lot will depend on running back Andre Ellington’s ability to rebound from an injury-shortened season and if reserves Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams can step up when called upon.
Has the Falcons defense made significant strides?
If you look at the personnel that general manager Thomas Dimitroff and new head coach Dan Quinn have added this offseason, this unit might have a fighting chance.
The Falcons will line up in a 4-3 and have added new faces along the front seven in outside linebackers Brooks Reed and Justin Durant, as well as defensive end Adrian Clayborn. The latter was derailed by inconsistency and injuries during his four-year stay in Tampa. He and Reed will be counted on to help revive a dormant pass rush that totaled 22 sacks in 2014—as many as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston.
In any case, the biggest addition is Quinn, who in the last two seasons at his old job saw the Seattle Seahawks give up the fewest total yards and fewest points in each of those years on the way to a pair of Super Bowl appearances.
Who are the Ravens’ starting wide receivers?
Is this a trick question? No, it’s actually a tricky one.
Last offseason, the team grabbed veteran Steve Smith, slapped a Sr. on the back of his jersey and watched him perform arguably better than most would have thought for a 14-year pro.
However, in 2014, it was the Smith minus the extra letters that came up big. While Steve led the team in catches (79) and receiving yards (1,065) and caught six touchdown passes, Torrey Smith made the most of his 49 receptions and nearly doubled his “elder” in scores (11).
Torrey Smith will now join another former Ravens wideout in San Francisco, where he and Anquan Boldin will reunite. Is it time for Marlon Brown to step to the forefront and claim a starting job?
Perhaps we will see general manager Ozzie Newsome use a first-round pick on a wide receiver for the first time in 10 years (Oklahoma’s Mark Clayton in 2005).
Will the Bills draft a quarterback?
One of the reasons that general manager Doug Whaley and new head coach Rex Ryan have been so busy this offseason with trades and free agency is the fact that Buffalo won’t be circling any names on draft cards in both the first and fourth round. The Bills used those picks one year ago to move up to the No. 4 spot to grab Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins.
Still, does that mean the team might not look at a quarterback somewhere along the way? The Bills have 2013 first-rounder EJ Manuel, who has made just 14 starts in two seasons, and dealt for veteran journeyman Matt Cassel, who has some wear and tear on him as he joins his fourth NFL team.
The team needs some offensive line help, and that would seem to be the play in Round No. 2. But don’t be shocked if the Bills grab a signal-caller with potential in the third round.
Have the Panthers found their starting tackles?
You tell us.
This offseason, the Carolina Panthers opted not to re-sign struggling left tackle Byron Bell and instead added veterans Michael Oher and Jonathan Martin. The pair of former high draft choices of the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, respectively, spent 2014 with the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers…respectively.
David Newton at ESPN.com has the latest on Martin, who saw his share of playing time with the 49ers, struggled and was released this offseason. Such was the case as well with Oher, who had his issues before being shelved with a toe injury after 11 starts this past season and was cut loose in early February.
As Pro Football Focus points out, neither Martin nor Orr was an ineffective as Bell, who ranked 141st out of 142nd tackles graded in 2014.
There’s also Nate Chandler, who is trying to bounce back after a knee injury knocked him out of action after 11 starts, and promising Mike Remmers, who filled in quite well at right tackle when Chandler went down.
General manager Dave Gettleman could also well use the 25th overall pick later this month on some offensive line help.
What was the original question?
Are the Bears committed to quarterback Jay Cutler?
The answer is obviously no, at least in terms of the starting job.
You will recall that a few weeks ago at the NFL owners meetings that head coach John Fox (via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com) used the term “open competition” when it came to the quarterback spot as well as other positions on the team.
Here is a series of numbers to absorb, particularly if you are Fox. And to be fair to Cutler, we will count the regular season only due to the fact that the strong-armed quarterback hasn’t played in a postseason game since 2010.
In three years with quarterback Peyton Manning in Denver, Fox saw his veteran signal-caller total 131 touchdown passes compared to only 46 turnovers (36 interceptions, 10 lost fumbles) in 48 regular-season contests.
In his last three seasons in the Windy City, Cutler has played in 41 games and has turned over the ball 57 times while throwing basically half as many passes for scores (66) as Manning.
Is the Bengals defense on the downslide?
One off-year does not make for a trend. But it was quite the falloff for a unit that gave up the third-fewest total yards in the league in 2013.
Before taking over as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings this past season, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer led a group that was the only one in the league to finish in the top five against both the run and the pass—ranking fifth in both categories.
In 2014, Cincinnati finished 22nd in the league in total defense and once again was ranked identical in yards allowed both on the ground and through the air. Only this time around it was 20th in both instances. That number also represented the number of sacks by Cincinnati, the fewest in the league.
This offseason, the Bengals welcomed back a pair of defensive linemen who had left via free agency in recent years. Defensive end Michael Johnson and defensive tackle Pat Sims hope to thrive under familiar circumstances and put Marvin Lewis’ usually-tough unit back in familiar territory.
Who will be the Browns’ starting tight end?
With former Pro Bowler Jordan Cameron leaving for the Miami Dolphins via free agency, the only players on the roster at the position are Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray. In 2014, the duo combined for 30 receptions, good for 398 yards and one score.
This past season with the Browns, Cameron missed six games due to concussion issues and a shoulder injury and still managed to catch 24 passes for an impressive 424 yards and two touchdowns. This year, he hopes to remain a lot healthier and will be catching balls from Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Cleveland general manager Ray Farmer owns 10 selections in this year’s draft, including a pair of picks in the first, fourth and sixth rounds. You would think he addresses the tight end position at least once during the process.
Will the Cowboys focus strictly on defense in the draft?
It might be a good idea. Of course, it’s not like it’s a novel concept.
Back in 2012, Green Bay Packers used their first six selections in the draft on defensive help. That same year, the Detroit Lions used their final six picks on the defensive side of the ball.
Get the picture?
Under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys bounced back in 2014 after giving up the third-most yards in a season in NFL history. Injured much of last year, defensive end Demarcus Lawrence showed promise in the playoffs, and the team hopes to improve on those 28 sacks this past season.
Linebacker Rolando McClain returns after one solid season in Dallas, and a healthy Sean Lee would certainly help as well.
Still, more help is needed here, and don’t be shocked if Jerry Jones and Co. dedicate at least their first five picks (all in the first five rounds) to getting Tony Romo and that Dallas offense back on the field as much as possible.
Are the Broncos set on the offensive line?
This past November, there was a reshuffling of Denver’s offensive front that appeared to have worked, especially when it came to running the football. However, key parts of that midseason renovation are no longer with the club.
Left guard Orlando Franklin signed with the rival San Diego Chargers, and veteran center Will Montgomery opted to join the Chicago Bears.
The team added guard Shelley Smith from the Miami Dolphins, the likely replacement for Franklin. The team also traded for center Gino Gradkowski, the Baltimore Ravens starting center in 2013 who saw limited action this past season.
Veterans Ryan Clady, Chris Clark, Manny Ramirez and Louis Vasquez all return as well, but there is a bit of an unsettling feeling here.
What does the Lions’ defensive tackle rotation look like?
A quick look at the handy-dandy depth chart from Ourlads shows five-time Pro Bowler and stout defender Haloti Ngata (acquired in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens last month) lining up next to Tyrunn Walker. For those not familiar, the three-year pro was not re-signed by the New Orleans Saints this offseason after totaling 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble with the club.
Caraun Reid, a fifth-round pick in 2014, saw action in a dozen games as a rookie and totaled two stops. But the cupboard is somewhat bare for now. Could the team bring back veteran C.J. Mosley, who remains an unsigned free agent?
What we do know is that Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are elsewhere. And a team that relied heavily on its defense this past season finds itself a bit short-handed at the moment.
Green Bay Packers
Has the Packers run defense improved?
It’s been a real struggle for Dom Capers' unit in recent years, especially when it comes to stopping opponents on the ground.
Here, we will call it addition by subtraction as well as the benefit of a few returns. The team cut loose struggling veteran inside linebackers Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk. Meanwhile, general manager Ted Thompson welcomed back defensive linemen Letroy Guion and B.J. Raji. After Raji lined up at defensive end the last few years, the plan was to insert the former Pro Bowler at nose tackle in 2014. That was derailed in the preseason when a torn biceps shelved him for all of the season.
Once again, Clay Matthews will see action at inside linebacker perhaps next to Carl Bradford, who was inactive his entire rookie year this past season. As far as improving against the run, the Packers have been no better than 14th in the league in that department since giving up the fewest rushing yards in the NFL in 2009—Capers’ first season with the club.
Who will be the Texans’ starting quarterback?
Perhaps the real question should not be who but how many.
This past season, Houston had a problem keeping its quarterbacks healthy. There were three starters in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett and Rya…uh, Case Keenum, while then-rookie Tom Savage saw playing time as well. The quartet actually combined for 21 touchdown passes, just 13 interceptions and three lost fumbles.
This offseason, the Texans dealt Fitzpatrick to the New York Jets and Keenum to the St. Louis Rams. They re-signed Mallett, who was acquired from the New England Patriots in 2014, and also added free agent Brian Hoyer, late of the Cleveland Browns. Both of those quarterbacks have worked with current Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
Don’t be shocked if Hoyer starts the season as the main man behind center. And don’t be surprised if Mallett replaces him along the way.
Will the Colts draft a running back in the first round?
Here we say yes, especially if someone like University of Wisconsin workhorse Melvin Gordon or Georgia’s Todd Gurley is still around. That wouldn’t be shocking considering that the last two years, the first running back drafted came in the second round both times.
As for the Colts, the last time they invested a first-round pick at the position was 2009, when they opted for Donald Brown. These days, the Indianapolis backfield features free-agent addition Frank Gore, who has already logged 10 seasons, as well as Dan Herron and Vick Ballard, who has missed all but one game the past two years after leading the team with 814 rushing yards as a rookie in 2012.
It is safe to say that if Gordon or Gurley is around when the Colts pick at No. 29, general manager Ryan Grigson would not pass up the chance to grab him.
Have the Jaguars added enough offensive weapons?
We are talking about a team that has been consistent on offense the past two seasons. What we mean by that is that the Jaguars scored 249 points in 2014 after totaling 247 points the previous year. Both sums were the lowest in the league.
The free-agent parade on the offensive side of the ball includes two-time Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas and running back Bernard Pierce. Don’t underestimate the addition of right tackle Jermey Parnell to a team that allowed a league-high 71 sacks this past season.
With Cecil Shorts gone, youth will be served at wideout by second-year performers Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. The Jaguars added Bryan Walters via free agency but more to bolster their special teams.
Have the Jaguars added pieces that will benefit quarterback Blake Bortles? Indeed. Have they added enough? We don’t think they are done quite yet.
Kansas City Chiefs
Will the Chiefs re-sign outside linebacker Justin Houston?
It may not be a matter of "will." The real question may be "when."
The three-time Pro Bowler, who led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014 (two more than the Cincinnati Bengals and equaling the totals of both the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders), was given the franchise tag to ensure he didn’t get away.
To date, there’s been no real talk of Houston signing his tender anytime soon. Keep in mind that this is a player who accounted for nearly half of Kansas City’s 46 sacks this past season. Any team bold enough to sign him to an offer sheet knows if the Chiefs didn’t match the numbers, it would cost the other club a pair of first-round draft choices.
So will we see Houston sign anytime soon? We would all be just guessing at this point.
Do the Dolphins need another veteran wide receiver?
Whether you agree or not, it is obvious that Joe Philbin’s team is in the market for an experienced pass-catcher.
The team has had recent visits from Greg Jennings and Michael Crabtree. On Wednesday, the Dolphins welcomed a blast from the past in the form of Wes Welker, but like the other two wideouts he left Miami without a contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (h/t Kevin Patra).
This offseason, Miami cut loose Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson and dealt Mike Wallace to the Minnesota Vikings. In 2014, rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry led the team in receptions, and this year he will be joined by Kenny Stills, whom Miami acquired from the New Orleans Saints via trade. Rishard Matthews returns as well, but you get the feeling that the Dolphins would like to add at least one more experienced wideout.
Will running back Adrian Peterson be with the Vikings in 2015?
First things first and that’s making sure that the talented running back is reinstated by the league sooner than later.
Once that occurs, don’t be surprised if Peterson’s days with the franchise are numbered. Given all that has happened, it may be the best thing for both parties.
So what kind of offer would it take for the Vikings to part ways with Peterson? Would a first-round pick be a necessity? That may be a bit too high for any team, but at least one second-round selection would make perfect sense.
In any case, it has been a great run with a lot of spectacular runs for Peterson, who could be in a Minnesota uniform this fall. But don’t bet on it.
New England Patriots
How do the Patriots replace their starting cornerbacks?
The defending Super Bowl champions have some young as well as experienced defensive backs on their roster. Still, replacing superstar Darrelle Revis and aggressive cornerback Brandon Browner is a somewhat daunting task.
However, the team returns Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard, starters in the past and certainly well-versed in Bill Belichick's system. Two-year pro Logan Ryan finished 2014 with 42 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defensed. On the other hand, Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler finished 2014 with a Russell Wilson pass in his hands.
In terms of free agency, the team added Robert McClain and Bradley Fletcher; the latter is coming off a shaky season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Replacing Revis and Browner in terms of production is possible. But it’s their moxie and confidence that will be sorely missed.
New Orleans Saints
Who will be the Saints’ starting tight end this upcoming season?
Let’s hope that the New Orleans Saints don’t trade away Josh Hill, Ben Watson or Orson Charles before we are done answering the question.
The deal that sent Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks did net the Saints a Pro Bowl center in Max Unger and a first-round draft choice. But replacing a three-time Pro Bowler with 86 catches and 51 scores over a five-year span is awfully hard.
Then again, it should be noted that while Watson (20) and Hill (14) combined for only 34 catches this past season, seven went for scores—five of those by Hill. And we’re not Joshin’…
New York Giants
Will the Giants defense improve with the return of Steve Spagnuolo?
Well, it can’t get much worse than it was this past season.
Yes, the Giants recaptured that pass rush of seasons past with 47 sacks in 2014. That includes 12.5 sacks from rejuvenated defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who still hasn’t signed his franchise tag tender to date. Emerging defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins added seven sacks as well.
But what Spagnuolo really has to fix is the team’s inability to slow down the run. Only two teams in the league this past season allowed more yards on the ground than Big Blue, which allowed a disappointing 151.5 yards rushing in its final 11 contests in 2014. New York also ranked 29th overall in total defense and surrendered a whopping 40 offensive touchdown.
Welcome back, Spags.
New York Jets
Can the Jets’ passing game emerge as one of the team’s strengths?
Laugh if you will because the team’s aerial attack has certainly struggled in recent years. Much of that has to do with the play of quarterbacks in the form of Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith.
In a six-year span under then-head coach Rex Ryan (2009 to 2014), the Jets committed a total of 175 turnovers. An amazing 139 of those miscues can be attributed to the various quarterbacks, namely Sanchez (89) and Smith (41).
The Jets traded for wide receiver Brandon Marshall one year after adding free-agent wideout Eric Decker. Second-year tight end Jace Amaro could have an intriguing season after finishing with 38 catches for 345 yards and one score as a rookie.
Of course, all the added or developing weaponry doesn’t add up to much if the quarterback can’t protect the football. That’s been the issue with Smith, as well as veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in recent years as well. But this is a passing attack that figures to account for a lot more than 16 scores, as was the case in 2014.
Are the Raiders primed to trade down in the first round?
When you own a record of 56-136 over the past 12 seasons and haven’t managed a winning campaign since 2002, you may want to take some chances.
But let’s not forget that it was just two years ago when the Raiders and Dolphins orchestrated a deal that saw Miami move up to Oakland’s spot at No. 3 overall to take defensive end Dion Jordan.
With the fourth overall selection later this month, it would not be a shock to see a team ask Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie what that pick is worth. And with only the standard seven selections to work with, no doubt the Raiders would like to add a few more youthful pieces to their roster.
Will the Eagles attempt to trade up in this draft?
It appears that Chip Kelly is far from done when it comes to tweaking his roster. This week, he added wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu from the San Diego Chargers and defensive back E.J. Biggers from the Washington Redskins.
It has been quite an interesting offseason for the Eagles, who have dealt their starting running back (LeSean McCoy), traded away their starting quarterback (Nick Foles) and watched one of their starting wide receivers (Jeremy Maclin) leave via agency.
Kelly is determined to have all his ducks in a row, pun intended. Does that mean he will still take a stab at trying to get quarterback Marcus Mariota?
Count on it.
Are the Steelers set at cornerback?
Are you kidding?
There’s four-year pro Cortez Allen, who totaled 41 tackles and a pair of interceptions and ranked second on the team with 11 passes defensed in 2014. But he also had his issues, and according to Pro Football Focus he was one of the worst players at his position in the league.
Can William Gay have another solid year? He started the final 13 games at right cornerback in place of Ike Taylor and finished third on the team with 69 tackles, led the club with 12 passes defensed and returned all three of his interceptions for touchdowns.
Other than Antwon Blake, there is really no experience at the position. That means the Steelers will likely say yes when it comes to taking a cornerback early in the draft.
St. Louis Rams
Will this be a breakthrough year for the Rams offense?
It bears repeating: The St. Louis Rams haven’t enjoyed a winning season since 2003 and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004.
If the Rams’ talented defense picks up where it left off late last year, both of those dubious streaks will come to an end.
What about the offense, which has been underwhelming in recent seasons due mainly to injuries that caused former starter Sam Bradford to miss 25 games since 2013? There’s a new quarterback in Nick Foles, who saw his season in Philadelphia cut short by a broken collarbone in 2014. He’s also not that far removed from his 27-touchdown, two-interception season of 2013.
The combination of Tre Mason and Zac Stacy makes for a solid backfield, while tight end Jared Cook led the team with 52 catches this past season.
Let’s cut to the chase. When will Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin start looking like West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin? While he remains a home run threat on special teams, his 7.8 yards-per-catch average on 31 receptions this past season is disturbing.
So until we see a little more big-play ability from this unit, the breakthrough is on hold for now.
San Diego Chargers
Is this quarterback Philip Rivers’ last season with the Chargers?
If you think this question is a little bold, let’s try another.
Has Rivers already played his last season with the Bolts?
If you ask San Diego general manager Tom Telesco, he isn’t making any plans to part with the 11-year signal-caller. But there have been various reports of the Chargers’ interest in Marcus Mariota.
Charles Goodbread of NFL.com reports that the Bolts have a workout scheduled with the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner on April 15.
When it’s all said and done, that could prove to be a taxing day for Rivers and the Chargers organization. And could the Pro Bowl signal-caller be headed to Tennessee for a reunion with Ken Whisenhunt?
San Francisco 49ers
What’s the latest on the 49ers linebacking corps?
It’s been quite an offseason for a group that not long ago was considered the best in the league.
Now these new-look San Francisco 49ers are just hoping for the best.
Perennial Pro Bowl inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman missed all of 2014 recovering from a knee injury suffered in the 2013 NFC title game. Aldon Smith is hoping to play a full season after being suspended for the first nine games of ’14.
Patrick Willis and Chris Borland (the team leader with 107 tackles in 2014) both retired this offseason, while youngsters such as outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and insider Nick Moody must continue to improve. Lynch tied for the team lead with six sacks with veteran Ahmad Brooks, while Moody added 21 tackles.
Inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite finished second on the team with 87 stops, and the Niners did re-sign veteran free agent Desmond Bishop.
It adds up to a lot of changes indeed; however, don’t bet against new defensive coordinator Eric Mangini.
Are the Seahawks set on the offensive line?
Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have to have some concerns when it comes to the group that blocks for Marshawn Lynch and protects quarterback Russell Wilson.
With center Max Unger dealt to the New Orleans Saints and left guard James Carpenter signing with the New York Jets, there are some holes to fill. Left tackle Russell Okung has always had problems staying healthy, and 2014 rookie right tackle Justin Britt was a yearlong starter but missed the NFC title game versus the Green Bay Packers before returning for Super Bowl XLIX.
Recently, the team had free agents Chris Myers and Stefen Wisniewski in for visits, so one could answer the question regarding the center spot. And let's not forget that no team has more picks heading into the 2015 draft than the Seahawks, who despite not owning a first-round selection as of now have 11 picks at their disposal.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who will be the Buccaneers’ feature running back?
So while we think we know who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are taking with the first overall pick on April 30, are we sure we know whom he is going to hand the football off to?
If Jameis Winston plays like a quarterback should, you have to figure that the team will improve on that 2-14 season this past year. But those who are expecting for the former Heisman Trophy winner to be a one-man show will be disappointed.
Only three teams in the NFL gained fewer yards rushing than Lovie Smith’s squad this past season. Doug Martin has yet to recapture his 2012 rookie form, while Bobby Rainey, Mike James and 2014 third-rounder Charles Sims remain in the mix. We’ll give the versatile Martin the edge, with Sims a close second.
Will the Titans draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick?
Just four years ago, the Tennessee Titans grabbed quarterback Jake Locker with the eighth overall selection in the 2011 NFL draft.
The oft-injured signal-caller opted for early retirement this offseason, as the talented performer simply couldn’t remain on the field consistently. That leaves Ken Whisenhunt with second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger, journeyman Charlie Whitehurst and Alex Tanney.
Let’s be honest: If Mettenberger can emerge as a reliable player, the Titans have much bigger needs on the defensive side of the football. You don’t add Dick LeBeau to your coaching staff for the hell of it.
Only two teams in the league gave up more points than this club in 2014. Tennessee did add three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, cornerback Perrish Cox and free safety Da’Norris Searcy this offseason, and all will play major roles.
So as far as selecting a quarterback with the second pick on April 30, we’ll take a pass.
Will Robert Griffin III be the Redskins’ season-long starter at quarterback?
It’s almost impossible to answer that question in April, but we’ll take a stab at it.
The time has always been now for the three-year pro, who was the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com recapped Griffin’s recent appearance on “Redskins Nation,” and the still-young quarterback said all the right things.
“We learned our lessons, and we want to move forward this year and be successful,” said Griffin to host Larry Michael. “We don’t come to this offseason program and work as hard as we do to go out there and not succeed. I know the guys are going to come with a mindset, ready to go, take last year, move along from it.”
Last year and the year before that added up to a combined seven wins, a far cry from the team’s 10-6 finish and NFC East title in 2012. Still, we are willing to give this team the benefit of the doubt, and at least in terms of Griffin and head coach Jay Gruden, the offense would seem to be headed in the right direction.
And if that Washington defense makes any headway this year, things could get interesting in the NFC East.
So what else is new?
All free-agent information and player signings/transactions are courtesy of Spotrac. Depth chart information comes via Ourlads. Unless otherwise noted, all player and team statistics come from Pro Football Reference and ESPN.com.