The Washington Redskins finished 2nd to last in the NFL last season, winning three games and being only “bested” by the Cincinnati Bengals, the consensus pick for the worst team in the NFL with two wins. The unfortunate season was riddled with injuries and the team underperformed in various areas – especially in the defense. The rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was pushed to the deep end around the midway through the season and was left without protection or support, resulting in hazardous plays and, eventually, an injury. Before that injury though, there were signs of improvement and the 2019 draft’s 15th overall pick is now much more ready to take over as the starter for the Redskins.
In addition, veteran QB Alex Smith might be back from his injury and will at least provide sufficient backup and mentoring for the young gun. But the biggest improvement, and a much needed one, is in the defense and probably coaching department as well. The best coach in the NFL 2013 and 2015 Ron Rivera was sacked by the Carolina Panthers and Redskins jumped at a chance. Rivera then added Jack del Rio as a defensive coordinator to fix the defense that was arguably the worst in the NFL last season.
The most notable addition to the shaky defense was likely the best defensive player in the 2020 draft class, Chase Young. The second overall pick defensive end brings both size and speed to Redskins front and is exactly the sort of impact player Rivera has thrived with. Bringing in one of the top NFL picks in the draft is an easy way to change the direction of a defense. Changing into 4-3 base as Del Rio takes charge should suit Redskins defensive players, while there still are some gaps especially in the secondary. However, it looks likely their days as the worst defensive team are over.
The offense is still suspect, as Haskins enters his second season still unproven and the offensive weapons are limited at best. On the ground, Derrius Guice has all the talent, but has been out for two seasons with injuries, while Adrian Peterson is older yet. Rookie wideout Terry McLaurin showed promise last season and is likely to pick up from there, but otherwise Haskins operates on a shoestring. With the offensive line not gotten any better, it might be another difficult season for the Redskins offensively. Defensively they simply have to be better, since they can’t be much worse than last season.