The excitement is here. That isn’t going to change.
It seems as if it comes every year. That wouldn’t be a surprise. In recent years, the offseason has been the only time that Washington Redskins fans have the opportunity to be excited; to envision the best-case scenarios that never seem to come to fruition.
That trend of disappointment has rendered the franchise a shell of its former self. There have been glimpses of hope. Robert Griffin III led the Washington Redskins to an NFC East championship in 2012. Kirk Cousins did the same in 2015. But the Redskins of modern times have failed to win consistently, and coming off a three-year sequence in which they went 9-7, 8-7-1, and 7-9, their relevance in a strong NFC is hanging by a thread.
2018 is the year that the Washington Redskins either break the curse, or fall once again.
The excitement this offseason, despite its similarity in nature to years past, is different. It has foundation. The team’s roster is as strong as it’s been under Jay Gruden’s watch, and the gap is fairly large. The defensive front is perhaps as deep and as talented as it’s ever been, and with Alex Smith directing the offense, and with a true first-round talent at running back in Derrius Guice, efficiency is the bare minimum. Dominance is the maximum.
The Washington Redskins can truly be one of the league’s best teams in 2018. But as past years have told us, excitement is never a sure thing in Ashburn. This year, there is hope that will change.
The first phase of offseason workouts has concluded, and now, the players will rest for a little over a month, leaving onlookers behind to wonder. To wonder how far they could possibly go.
The dreams that seem unattainable are the ones we seem to cherish. The dream of success has long been rendered an impossibility, but this year, there is true hope that the Washington Redskins are back. And there is true hope that they will compete with any and every team. The team is hungry. And the city with it.
In 2018, the Redskins stand on a precipice. While the past three years have not been fruitful, they have been better than what was the norm earlier in the century. But at the same time, the NFC is only getting better. The Skins’ need to capitalize on the improvement and the continuity they have. Or else, ownership could lose patience with Jay Gruden, and they might be starting from square one in 2019.
For better or worse, 2018 is a turning point for the Washington Redskins. Time will tell whether they’re ready to burst back onto the scene.