The Redskins are building a legitimate roster to field against the rest of the NFL. But the job isn’t done yet.
The Washington Redskins return to glory has been a long time coming, and it isn’t even back yet. 2015 marks the last time the Redskins made the playoffs. 2005 marks the last time the Redskins won a playoff game. 1991 marks the last time they reached, and won, the Super Bowl; the holy grail.
After a decade of consumption, the Redskins’ rose bloom has faded to pallor, and now, the drought has almost tripled the conquest in length. In a seemingly endless cycle of trial and error, Dan Snyder and the Redskins find themselves, time and time again, back in the middle, the purgatory that parity has constructed. They’ve spent almost thirty years trying to get out. It hasn’t happened yet.
But with the 2019 NFL Draft now behind them, there is hope. The team drafted a potential franchise quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, offsetting the tangible loss of Alex Smith, while locking down a young signal caller on a cheap deal. They supplemented the acquisition of Haskins with a generally strong off-season, through which they’ve constructed a roster with a fair amount of talent, and a defense that has enormous potential.
In the fine details, there is still doubt. Jay Gruden’s return as head coach for a sixth season provides consistency, but the outdated offensive mind has never been anything more than consistently average. Haskins was electric at Ohio State, but the offense was tailor made for success. The NFL is a transition for every quarterback, and every transition takes time. Time is a commodity some members of the Redskins cannot afford.
Jay Gruden cannot afford time, as he enters 2019 on the thinnest patch of ice yet. Rumors have swirled that the front office isn’t entirely sold on Gruden, making their decision to keep him intriguing, and making his 2019 campaign a turning point for his career. Bruce Allen cannot afford time; for every hiccup as Snyder’s henchman, he loses a little bit of luster. And Dan Snyder cannot afford time, to transgress the erosion of his team’s once loyal following.
With rare savvy, the Redskins have gleaned almost maximum value out of the 2019 off-season. Now, however, the hardest part for Washington begins; to let the hype translate on the field, in September. The Redskins are on the path for now. But there are plenty of wrong turns left, for fools to make.