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Don't be afraid to say it--the Redskins are rebuilding

Don't be afraid to say it--the Redskins are rebuilding

A reader left a comment on yesterday’s post about the Redskins not having any NFL starter caliber players under contract in the middle of their defense:
Is it time to consider using the “R” word? (rebuild!)
That is a term that hasn’t been used much in reference to the Redskins. If you asked Bruce Allen or Jay Gruden if the Redskins are rebuilding they would try to convince you otherwise.

But let’s look at the facts here:

  • The team went 3-13 last year
  • They have a new coach
  • About 20 of last year’s players are going to be free agents
  • A half dozen or more players who are under contract could get released for performance and/or salary cap reasons.
  • Allen himself said recently that he sees 20 new players on the roster and that he is disappointed in the lack of depth on the team.

If that doesn’t add up to a classic rebuilding situation, I don’t know what does.

The fact that the Redskins are rebuilding does not mean that that fans should tune out until, say, the 2016 season. For one thing, rebuilds don’t take that long in the NFL these days. No, you’re not likely to see the Redskins prepping for the Super Bowl a year from now. But some smart free agent choices (and the Redskins have some $30 million in cap space to pay for those choices) and a few hits on draft picks and they could very well be respectable and perhaps even competitive in what still should be a weak NFC East division.

One thing that the Redskins have going for them that other rebuilding teams don’t have is a quarterback. Assuming that Robert Griffin III can regain the form he showed during his rookie of the year performance in 2012—or even something close to that—the Redskins have a building block that most teams in the Redskins’ situation just don’t possess.

Griffin also has a solid running back to hand off to in Alfred Morris, a left tackle to protect his blindside in Trent Williams and a go-to receiver in Pierre Garçon. And all four of those key players are under contract for at least two more seasons.

Of course, you need more than four studs on offense to make a deep playoff run. That’s what the rebuilding is all about.

Allen and Gruden may choose to call it something else. But it it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's, well, a rebuild.

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the Manusky hire?

Hit the poll and then come back here to comment or just replay on Twitter. Thanks!