With the 2012 season fast-approaching, I figured it was LONG overdue (sorry about that) for a “State of the Redskins” article of sorts.
As it stands at the moment, the Washington Redskins roster reflects a team that is both looking towards the future and remembering what has and has not worked in the past. It elicits a feeling of tremendous confidence and optimism to know that promising and talented youth have been brought in while also having the opportunity to benefit from the maturity, wisdom, and experience many of the older players will bring to the table this season.
Let’s simply look at the Quarterback position for now. Robert Griffin III was officially named the starter after only 5 practices. He stands as potentially the Redskins first franchise Quarterback in decades. To many he represents the future; a reason why one shouldn’t relinquish their alliance to the team just yet. Sure some people seem to be getting ahead of themselves, but in an organization that has had a long-standing reputation for shoving “washed-up” talent and empty promises down fans throats, one must cling to the present and promising facts. RGIII wasn’t hyped up by Shanahan, as was the case with Beck, his numbers speak for themselves. His Heisman speaks for itself. And thus, when news broke that the ‘Skins would keep Rex Grossman on for another season to act as a mentor of sorts for the rookie QB, many fans reacted in disbelief, frustration and outrage.
“Grossman has no place on this team.” “He’s just going to pollute RGIII’s talent.”
Raise your hand if you’ve heard (or said) things along this line. We’re all guilty. However, I’ve warmed up to the idea. Sure Grossman doesn’t stand as the most talented QB in the NFL, but his experience is unquestionable. He has played with multiple teams, in multiple situations and with a large variety of talent around him. The man even played in a Super Bowl. And while he may not always be able to deliver the ball from Point A to Point B without it making a pit stop at Point O-Damn, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a conceptual understanding of what he needs to do. The delivery might be off, but the intentions remain.
And let’s not forget about Kirk Cousins. Like many people, I honestly expected him to go in the first few rounds of the draft. But the Skins’ seem to have lucked out in acquiring him in the fourth round. In college, Cousins showed significant improvement, graduating as the record-holder for Michigan State in passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, passing efficiency, total offense, and 200-yard passing games. He not only competed in a series of Bowl games, he set records in many of them. In 2010 his team won the Big Ten, and in 2011 Cousins led the Spartans to the first ever Big Ten Championship game. Even though they lost, his leadership and athleticism was impressive enough to earn him many awards.
He is consistent, a good leader, and most importantly, able to win big when it matters most. Washington hasn’t seen a Quarterback with those qualities in many, many years. And now we have two, as well as an experienced Quarterback to mentor them. Cousins will be a backup, but will remain a source of talent on the team.
You might think that any name is irrelevant besides RGIII’s, but as history has shown, having depth is always important. I know none of us want to even consider the possibility that RGIII could be injured, but realistically, it is a possibility. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when the Redskins offensive line is still questionable.
Assuming RGIII is able to make the transition from college to Pro (which he seems to be handling with his usual quiet confidence and poise), I’d say the Redskins are doing remarkably well in a department that has plagued the team for years.