Redskins Position Breakdown

September 8, 2013

Redskins running back Alfred Morris was second in the NFL in rushing last year with 1,613 yards.

The Redskins don’t have much change on their roster, retaining 21 of their 22 starters from 2012.But that doesn’t mean Washington will get the same kind of production. Here’s a position breakdown — predicting if the Redskins will improve from last year or take a step back.

Quarterback

Falls off from 2012

It will be hard for anyone to match Robert Griffin III’s rookie season. He was third in the NFL in passer rating (102.4) and 20th in the league in rushing (815 yards). Now he’s coming back from a knee injury, and teams have had an entire offseason to dissect the zone-read option. If Griffin stays healthy, he’ll have a solid season. But he won’t match his rookie stats.

Running Back

Improves from 2012

It’s hard to go up when the Redskins were the best rushing team in 2012, but Alfred Morris, who had the third most carries in the NFL, should have some help this year. Roy Helu Jr. has emerged as a solid No. 2 option, and he could be a nice third-down back. Morris was one of the top rushers last year and should only get better in his second season.

Receiving Corps

Improves from 2012

The Redskins’ top two pass catchers — Pierre Garcon and Fred Davis — missed a combined 15 games last year. They appear healthy and will challenge defenses with their big-play capabilities. Santana Moss may be 34, but he is still a serviceable slot receiver. And youngsters Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson add size and speed to the receiving corps.

Offensive Line

Improves from 2012

The Redskins return all five of their 2012 starters along the line. Last year, they blocked for the top rushing attack in the NFL and allowed 33 sacks — tied for 12th fewest in the league. Having a line that is familiar with one another is a good sign. The biggest question marks are with right tackle Tyler Polumbus, who has struggled this preseason, and with the unit’s depth.

Defensive Line

Falls off from 2012

Adam Carriker missed 14 games last season and will open this year on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he’ll miss at least the first six games. This unit was mediocre last season, and the Redskins really didn’t do much to improve it. While they were good against the run, the defensive line needs to get to the quarterback much more often.

Linebackers

Improves from 2012

Brian Orakpo, the Redskins’ leader in sacks from 2009 to 2011, suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of the season last year. With Orakpo healthy and Ryan Kerrigan developing his pass-rushing moves, the Redskins’ sack total should increase. Then there’s London Fletcher in the middle, who is 38 and a model of consistency.

Secondary

Falls off from 2012

The Redskins were the third worst team against the pass in 2012, allowing 282 yards a game. And they might get worse. They’ll rely on rookies Bacarri Rambo and David Amerson to improve the porous unit. A healthy Brandon Meriweather would help, too. The Redskins allowed 58 pass plays of 20 yards or more in 2012, and the safety position is still a problem.

Special Teams

Falls off from 2012

Kicker Kai Forbath was nearly perfect last season, connecting on 17 of 18 field goal attempts. He’ll have another solid year, but can the 25-year-old repeat that kind of success? Punter Sav Rocca is back after an OK season. Meanwhile, the Redskins’ return game lacks any dynamic playmaker who could be a consistent big-play threat.

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read
Next Story
Multitasking tools can help renters maximize their tiny kitchen space
Beth Luberecki · September 6, 2013