The Washington Redskins last season experienced a colossal collapse, going from NFC East champions and owners of a 10-6 record in 2012 to last place for the third time in four years and 3-13.
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen believes complacency might have had something to do with Washington’s dramatic regression.
Speaking in an interview at The Washington Post on Thursday afternoon, Allen said that in hindsight, he and the team’s other decision-makers should have worked harder to upgrade their roster following the 10-6 campaign. Instead, they worked to retain most of those players in the hope that the group would continue to improve and build on their first division title in 12 years.
“There was a great line one time, from my guy Deacon [Jones],” Allen said. “He said, ‘You get mad at writers when they say you stink and you blew it, and you did that and you always say they don’t know what they’re talking about. But when they say ‘You made a great play and it was a touchdown, and ‘he’s a star,’ all of a sudden those guys who didn’t know what they were talking about, you think they’re smart.’ And it’s true. We probably were too satisfied saying we should just bring back the team and we’ll be fine instead of being hungry and staying hungry.”
Quarterback Robert Griffin III in 2012 had one of the best seasons for a rookie quarterback in NFL history. But he spent all of last offseason rehabbing and much of training camp and the preseason trying to work his way back into form. But he struggled last season.
Now fully healthy, Griffin will be able to use the offseason to work on his game. Allen said Griffin is working hard already, even though offseason workouts haven’t begun, and that he has confidence that the young passer can recapture the electrifying form he displayed as a rookie.
Allen said that it’s important for the Redskins to continue to improve the roster and surround Griffin with more talent, however. He believes that a strong draft, coupled with the moves made in free agency, will help spark a turnaround. And then, he added, Washington brass must constantly look for ways to improve.
“I feel good about our quarterback position and feel good about the elements we have and knowing we have the opportunity to still get better in free agency and the draft,” Allen said. “And then you’ve got to do it again. You can’t rest on your laurels. I don’t think there’s any doubt that winning, repeating as a winner is tougher in sports than it is to go from loser to winner and it’s because of the elements telling you that you ought to be satisfied with what you’ve done. And, it’s fighting through that gratification.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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