Chicken Wing and a Prayer
In the afterglow of what was a fantastic season, albeit one that didn’t have the finish any of us wanted comes perhaps the most important offseason for the Redskins that Dan Snyder and the front office has faced in many years. Obviously there is genuine concern for the status of RGIII but that once scoffed at insurance policy named Kirk Cousins has shown that he can step in and lead this team should Griffin miss time in 2013.
One of the big issues facing the team is the nineteen free agents that Coach Shanahan and Bruce Allen will need to make decisions on. Some of those decisions will be easier than others but among those who need to be re-signed will be Rob Jackson, Lorenzo Alexander, Darrel Young and linemen Kory Lichtensteiger and Tyler Polumbus. The latter was serviceable last season and was a part of a solid front line but could certainly be upgraded, but whether it can be found through free agency or the draft remains to be seen.
This weekend’s Senior Bowl will offer fans and more importantly, the scouts, a glimpse of many players that will represent the NFL’s future.
Among those playing that could find themselves on the Redskins’ radar are two players that shared the defensive backfield in Georgia; safety Bacarri Rambo and cornerback Sanders Commings have both been projected to be third or fourth rounder’s. Both have been mentioned as being players that the Redskins like. Filling holes at both corner and safety along with right tackle are immediate needs before the 2013 season.
Strong safety Robert Lester of Alabama has been impressive in practice this week and small schooler J.J. Wilcox (Georgia Southern) has shown flashes at corner but its speed in the kick and punt return game that has drawn the most attention. The Redskins could use an explosive returner as Brandon Banks has failed to live up to expectations.
Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer is another CB that has been drawing interest from the Redskins and could be worth watching in the Senior Bowl.
As for the offensive line, the Redskins would love to look no further than Charlottesville to find an answer at right tackle for years to come. Virginia’s Oday Aboushi has been grading out fairly well this week. Unless many teams find fault in him though, don’t expect him to be available in the second round.
One that could be available to the Redskins is Oregon’s Kyle Long. Coming from the Duck’s high octane, fast paced offense, he should at least be familiar with the pace of play. At 6’7″ and 312lbs, he is quick, strong and perhaps just as important, he is versatile. He can play either tackle spot as well as move in to guard should it be needed.
One last note, considering the success that Shanahan has had with the Senior Bowl circuit and having only seven picks in the draft, as well as the NFL taking another $18 from the team, count on a few more small schoolers following the path of Alfred Morris.
It’s hard to ignore the feeling that this offseason is different than those we have entered in years past. No, it’s not the RGII injury or the playoff loss or all the Labatt’s Blue Light. It’s the feeling that for the first time in a long time the Redskins have something more to offer players than just a jump on their retirement account. While admittedly they aren’t all the way back just yet, the turnaround in 2012 did a lot to set the course back to the place this franchise was once accustomed to being… and that’s atop the NFL.