Hog Heaven looks forward to the day when we gloats over the Redskins’ 2014 winning season.
Washington is at the bottom of every list made by unwashed heathen outside of DC. Most of them pundits who draw straight-line projections from 2013 into this year.
They are wrong. The Redskins will have a good, if not great, year because RG will have a good, if not great, season. Here’s why:
No. 1: Full recovery of his bionic knee
Not spending a lot of words here. RG’s reconstructed knees will bother him when he is in his 40s. Super Bob has recovered from his 2013 ACL/MCL surgeries. There is too much anecdotal evidence to say otherwise.
No. 2: A full offseason
THE reason for the Redskins struggles last year was RG’s lack of offseason preparation. The ‘Skins won the 2012 division title with the same O-line, the same defense, the same safety issues they lost with in 2013. Griffin’s performance in that amazing seven-game stretch at the end of the season made everyone look better, smarter and richer than they really were. It wasn’t smoke and mirrors. It was stunning athleticism. Then everybody went stupid.
No. 3: A new coaching staff
If Mike Shanahan’s relationship with diva players and the owner was harmonious, he should still have been fired. A three or six-win season after four years is insufficient progress.
The Redskins should have won seven games with Kirk fn Cousins at QB. Perhaps they would have if Shanny made that decision last September. I’m not sure he had that choice, though. The entire 2013 year was a mismanaged mess and it started at halftime of the Seahawks playoff game that poisoned the atmosphere beyond recovery.
Shanahan cited several issues inside the building that plagued the end of his tenure. We should not dismiss them just because they came from a man with one foot on a banana peel. The problems he cited were all too familiar.
We are about to see whether Jay Gruden, Bruce Allen, Daniel Snyder and RGIII fixed them or swept them under the carpet. There are no ulterior motives in the quiet of the offseason. How about when the live balls are flying?
The fresh start is welcome.
No. 4: A genuine deep threat in DeSean Jackson
It was pure serendipity when DeSean Jackson fell into our lap. Jackson is what owner Snyder likes to call a “proven talent.” Unlike most of Snyder’s picks, Jackson has the chops to back up the claim.
Griffin was one of the first to call Jackson following his embarrassing release by the Eagles. DJax may have flirted with the idea of playing for the Raiders. Everyone showed him Redskins man-love that lured him to DC.
This is big. The ‘Skins have two playmaking players at the wide receiver position who can dictate to defenses. We haven’t seen the like around here since Monk and Clark.
The lack of multiple wide receiver threats harmed the team as much as a barely competent O-line and bad secondary. All our NFC Beast rivals have problems at safety.
No, it does not count when Santana Moss and Chris Cooley are the team’s top two receivers. Capt. Chaos was a tight end. Tight ends, or backs who catch balls, do not dictate to a defense.
Moss with Brandon Lloyd, Antwaan Randle El, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Aldrick Robinson, Leonard Hankerson just did not cut it either. Lav Coles and Rod Gardner were almost recent (2004) decent 2-WR set. It’s a sad 10-year period when the receiver corps cannot measure up to Coles and Gardner. Until now.
No. 5: No excuses
Hog Heaven is utterly convinced that the Griffin will perform, physically, as he did in 2012.
Maturity has been an underlying theme for Griffin. Players and coaches praise him for showing more of it over the winter. Dealing with the adversity that is surely coming is part of this deal. RG has to show us whether he is a leader of men or a mama’s boy, with “mama” being the owner. He has to manage adversity without the prolonged pout.
If the team falls apart for any reason, other than injury, blame will fall on Griffin more than anyone else. Is he ready?
I believe in you, RG. Go do it.