Sunday, September 22, 2013

Woes and Worries in Washington

   The 2013 season has gotten off to a horrific and unexpected start for the Washington Redskins. There does not seem to be just one glaring problem, but many. Even Scooby-Doo and the gang could not solve this mystery.
   Robert Griffin III is not the same dynamic player he was before his ACL injury against the Seahawks. This does not mean he never will be the same RGIII we all love. But, it means that he needs to be honest about his health status and should not be playing unless he is near full strength.
   His road to recovery was the hottest topic this past summer. Coach Shanahan took precautions by keeping the franchise quarterback out of all preseason games in order to keep him from taking any more hits. While this may have seemed like a wise decision at the time, the slow start to the regular season has proven otherwise. Anyone watching the games can see he is uncomfortable, rusty, and lacking some of the confidence he usually has. Still, despite his throwing issues and lack of ability to run past defenders, the blame should not be solely on his shoulders.
Photo: Washington Post
   The running game has been decent, but nothing spectacular. Alfred Morris had a couple mistakes in the first game and does not seem like the 1,600 yard rusher he was a year ago. RGIII is not worrying opposing teams with running the ball, let alone throwing the ball. Roy Helu Jr. is the quickest running threat they have, but he's best for third down situations. Unfortunately, the problems don't stop there.
   Defense was supposed to be improved from previous years. On paper, it looks good. Brian Orakpo is back and his dominant play is noticeable. Ryan Kerrigan appears better than ever. David Amerson, the tallest of the cornerbacks, was the team's first pick in this year's draft to help out the secondary. Madieu Williams is no longer starting at safety, which is great! In fact, he is not even on the team anymore. Instead, 23-year-old Bacarri Rambo, also a draft pick from last year, is the new starter. Yet, with all of those upgrades, the defense still cannot stop anybody. They made LeSean McCoy and James Starks (a backup) look like the best running backs in the league.
   However, there is no reason to panic. RGIII improved in the second half of both games and looked sharper all around in the Green Bay game. Fans should look for him to gradually bounce back to his explosive form. As a result, Morris should also return to his mistake-free self that we are accustomed to. The defense is still going to have some questions. Jim Haslett recently took the blame for his unit's lackadaisical performances. Maybe he is partially to blame, but the fact is, they have rookies starting at two positions in the backfield and are without starting defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. The hard hitting Brandon Meriweather can not seem to stay healthy for more than a game, which also hurts the defense drastically. DeAngelo Hall, the ten year veteran, needs to take a leap forward himself to make it easier on the rookie defensivebacks.
   Let us not forget how the 2012 season  began for the 'Skins with their 3-6 record. There is no time for panic. In RGIII we trust!