The Redskins have been a tough team to predict all offseason. The developments of preseason did little to change that.
Of course, it’s preseason. The only answers the preseason is expected to give pertain to the final spots on the 53-man roster. Come to preseason for answers on your team’s eventual fate, and you’ll leave disappointed. There is little to no correlation between preseason play and regular season play.
That said, seeing players in burgundy for the first time is notable. And for the Redskins, it’s especially important that their new players come prepared. On offense, the Redskins’ cast features starters in their first year with the team at quarterback, running back, and receiver. The team didn’t experience as much turnover on defense, but first-round pick Daron Payne will be crucial to the line’s performance, and in turn, the rest of the defense.
With Derrius Guice, an exciting young talent at running back, the Redskins were seen as under-the-radar contenders. Since his injury, and since the loss of his contagious energy on the field, that reputation has faded. Despite that, however, the roster has largely remained the same.
Football is a team sport, and the Redskins, by many accounts, have all the requisite pieces to compete. Smith is a more-than-competent, efficient signal caller. Adrian Peterson, if he can stay healthy, is a serviceable running back who’ll have the electric Chris Thompson as his running mate. The receiving core features a diverse cast of role players. Both lines are stout, and the linebacking core is flush with playmakers. The biggest question mark for the team might be the secondary, but even there, there is upside that can’t be denied.
In a sense, nothing has changed.
Every team has a certain range of records for a given season. Taking in all possibilities, every team can either go 0-16 or 16-0. But realistically, there are given ranges that make sense for certain teams. The Redskins’ range is hard to distinguish. If things fall apart, as they have a habit of doing, 6-10 is a very possible fate. But if Alex Smith’s winning ways can permeate, and the defense plays up to its potential on all three levels, 11-5 is not out of the picture.
Before preseason, the Redskins were almost impossible to peg. Now… well… it’s not so different. Hang on. It’s going to be quite the season.