The Washington Redskins in the last decade have posted a winning record just twice. But there has been no shortage of star power and flashy, big-name free agent signings or trades – until this year.
The most recognizable players still on the roster are DeAngelo Hall, Chris Cooley, London Fletcher and Brian Orakpo. But none of them are considered to rank among the league’s biggest names.
Washington passed on the chance to sign high-profile players in free agency and instead pursued role players willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Shanahan repeatedly has stressed that this year, the Redskins’ roster comprises hungry, high-character players.
Hall last season recorded six interceptions and earned Pro Bowl MVP honors, but said the Redskins are better off this year despite a lack of big stars. The seventh-year veteran declared that although Washington may not have Pro Bowl players at every position, the roster features solid players at nearly every position.
“Just because people in the media aren’t making them out to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or anyone like that doesn’t mean that we don’t have players,” Hall said. “If you go down our roster and you ask opposing teams about guys in this locker room, they’ll definitely say, ‘You’ve got to watch out for this guy, and you’ve got to watch out for this guy. That guy’s a [bull] dog.’ Each individual person brings something different to the table. Do we have a guy that we’re paying $100 million to? No we don’t. But who needs a guy that you’re going to pay $100 million to if he won’t come out onto the field and play?”
Fletcher is team’s vocal leader and captain of the defense. But the Redskins still don’t even know who their quarterback will be.
Hall said this year’s group doesn’t concern itself with who’s team the Redskins are, so to speak.
“It’s the team. The best part about this team is that it’s a team,” said Hall, who doesn’t hesitate speaking up when needed. “The Dallas Mavericks might’ve had Dirk Nowitzki but they played as a team. Different guys stepped up at different times. It wasn’t about one or two guys that were made to lead the franchise to a championship. It was about the whole team working together as a team to get that done.”