Once Garcon was able to play through the pain of his foot injury — Garcon sat out six of the team’s first 10 games — he proved to be the game-changing receiver Griffin needed. For the Redskins, the off-the-field maturity Garcon displayed late last season also was encouraging.
The Redskins signed Garcon to be a top-of-the-roster leader, something he wasn’t during his first four seasons in Indianapolis. After a rough start dealing with reporters, Garcon eventually took the time to answer their questions and conduct himself like a professional. It helped make his life easier.
The Post Sports Live crew debates whether there is a chance that quarterback Robert Griffin III will not return in the Redskins’ Week 1 game against the Eagles.
Insight on the Redskins and all the latest news from Post reporters Mike Jones and Mark Maske.
If Garcon’s surgically repaired right shoulder holds up as expected and his foot is less of a problem (Garcon will wear a special shoe), the Redskins’ passing attack could be in late-season form at the start. The return of tight end Fred Davis provides another reason for both Kyle Shanahan and Griffin to smile.
In only five seasons, Davis has made more than a career’s worth of mistakes, from missing practice on the final day of his rookie minicamp and having to be located by team security personnel to being suspended in 2011 after testing positive for marijuana. He’s also highly productive, which is why the Redskins keep him around.
Davis, whose 2012 season was cut short in Week 7 because of an Achilles’ injury, is the Redskins’ best midrange target, and he’s capable of making big plays downfield. Griffin, Morris, Garcon, Davis — Kyle Shanahan has many first-string weapons from which to choose. Some of the backups are pretty good, too. Ageless wideout Santana Moss led the Redskins with eight touchdown receptions. Dependable tight end Logan Paulsen did well filling in for Davis. Young wide receiver Leonard Hankerson showed signs of putting together something good.
What about the defense? The return of outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, limited to only two games last season because of a torn chest muscle, is the best news for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. There are a bunch of questions on defense, but remember: Washington went 10-6 and won its division last season despite having one of the league’s worst defenses. At the very least, Orakpo (28.5 sacks in his first three seasons) should help a lot.
The Redskins finally are back in the NFL’s elite because of an offense that may be the best in the business. They’ll produce big numbers while winning with style. And don’t be surprised if the fun lasts a while.
For more by Jason Reid, go to washingtonpost.com/reid.