Coming off a disappointing 3-13 season, the Washington Redskins have moved forward in a new direction, looking for the right individual to turn this franchise around behind the scenes and take ownership of the head coaching position. Numerous names have been attached to this coaching vacancy from former Hall of Fame NFL head coaches, men who used to be NFL head coaches, current NFL coordinators or assistant coaches and college head coaches. With a huge pool of potential candidates available the Redskins are really competing with other franchises off the field to woo the best available coaching mind on the market. With that said, the Washington Redskins vacancy is by far the most attractive and enviable position currently available in the NFL.
The next lead man of the Washington Redskins will be in a better position to succeed than his predecessor Mike Shanahan. Unlike Shanahan, his replacement will have plenty of talent on both sides of the football, a franchise quarterback, money to spend on free agency, an underrated defense, a new indoor practice facility, a last place schedule and low expectations for the first two years.
Robert Griffin III
Robert Griffin III will be looking to improve upon a forgettable 2013 regular season that saw his flaws exposed on a national stage. Griffin, at some fault of his own, raised everyone’s expectations of his own play with his overconfidence of returning from rehab to play at an All-Pro level only in his second season. Not only did Griffin show his youth and immaturity, he also raised eyebrows with his treatment of his teammates, coaching staff and possible manipulation of the ultimate authority in D.C., owner Daniel Snyder.
But Robert Griffin III, aside from any questions about his ego or character is arguably the most gifted dual-threat quarterback the NFL has ever seen. Griffin will be without a shadow of a doubt 100% healthy, hungry and motivated to prove his naysayers that the 2013 season was a product of continued rehab and growing pains.
Robert Griffin III isn’t the only viable offensive piece on the Redskins roster. After having an impressive rookie season, running back Alfred Morris followed that up with just less than 1300 yards rushing in an offense that saw them go away from the running game early in many games due to falling behind early and often. When you consider that Morris was really limited in his touches throughout the season, you can expect that 1,300 yards will only be the tip of the ice berg for a running back that will be the focal point of the offensive attack the majority of the time under new leadership on the heads set.
Pierre Garcon has already proven that he has over performed for his contract that he signed in the summer of 2012. Last season when he was healthy, Garcon was Griffin’s go to man and was a terror to opposing secondaries. This season he continued to show he is one of the top receivers in the NFL with a Redskins franchise record 113 receptions and more than 1,300 yards receiving.
The most underrated defense in the NFL belonged to the Washington Redskins thanks in part to a dismal first four weeks of the season. Although the Redskins season ending stats of ranking 20th against the pass and 17th against the run are marginal at best, as the season progressed, this defense gave offensive coordinators difficulties with improved play at the linebacker position and a ball hawk at corner with DeAngelo Hall making several plays this season. The Redskins defense also found ways to literally pound opposing team’s quarterbacks, including the knocking around of Terrell Pryor, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Eli Manning.
The Redskins will have an estimated $20 million to spend on free agents to fill in the gaping holes in all phases of the game, most notably on the offensive and defensive lines, secondary, receivers and special teams. Considering the Redskins have been working with $18 million less than the rest of the NFL the past two seasons, the franchise will be treating this offseason like they just won the lottery.
One thing that is often overlooked when evaluating the attractiveness of a head coaching position are variables that aren’t typically listed when stating the benefits of leading an NFL organization. For example, I would have to assume that NFL coaches will want to work in a desirable location for themselves, their spouses, children, family, etc. Is it really too far-fetched to say that living in the nation’s capital or surrounding Virginia/Maryland is more attractive than say, living in Cleveland, Detroit or Nashville? Another benefit is the star power of being the head coach of the Washington Redskins. Whether it’s positive or negative press, your name will be in the news on a consistent basis, and if you are actually successful, you will be looked at as a God by the franchise, the fans and media alike. As bad as the 2013 NFL season was for the Redskins, the franchise will attract many potential suitors who will look to either make a name for them as the next big thing or be the next story of redemption.
Follow Roberto Padilla on Twitter @realRobertoNFL
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