By Michael Huberman
We already know what Vegas thinks about the Redskins next season, setting the over-under for wins at 6.5. Dan Graziano of ESPN.com had some more fun with predictions, putting out a dreamnightmare scenario for the Redskins in 2012.
Any predictions made now should come with the disclaimer that its May, and there are any number of things that can happen between now and September 9 in New Orleans. According to Graziano the best the Redskins can hope for is a 9-7 season. Offensively, Robert Griffin III would have to exceed expectations, and more importantly hold on to the football. But its not all about RG3, and he rightly points out that the teams stable of skill players have to step up, saying, they'll need health from Tim Hightower and continued development from promising fellow running backs Roy Helu and Evan Royster. They'll need Pierre Garcon to play like the potential No. 1 wideout his free-agent price tag says they believe he can be.
While the Redskins were middle of the road defensively last year, the unit made serious strides, and theyd need to build on that to succeed in 2012. Since this is the dream were talking about, all the teams most important pieces on both sides of the ball would have to stay healthy.
The nightmare scenario will be painful for Redskins fans to read. While going 5-11 in RG3s rookie year wouldnt be all too shocking, the long-term impact could be problematic. As it is, the Redskins play in one of, if not the toughest divisions in the NFL. The Giants are the Super Bowl champions, the Eagles are looking to build off the end of their 2011 to finally reach the Dream Team hype, and the Cowboys dont need any motivation when going up against the Redskins.
If the team struggles for a third straight year under Mike Shanahan then it may be time to start wondering where he stands going forward. Currently stuck in cap limbo and without 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014, the team may struggle to address lingering deficiencies in the future.
Hopefully for the Redskins, the 2012 season plays out a lot closer to Grazianos dream.
Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.
Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.
“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.
But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?
Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?
It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”
There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it.
MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington
Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
- Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
- Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden.
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