I count 5 spots on the Redskins offense and at least 3 spots on the defense (and potentially more) where the projected starter on Week 1 of the 2012 season will different from the starter in 2011. The Skins largely got younger with those moves, but did they get better? Setting aside debates on whether the cost to obtain the Skins’ new players was too high or not, on offense, I believe they did get better, and depending on how RG3 pans outs, a lot better. On defense…. Eh.
*Ages for the 2011 starters are what they were at the start of the season last year. Ages for the 2012 starters are what they will be on Week 1 this season.
|Offense||2011 starter||Age||2012 starters (projected)||Age||Comment|
|QB||Rex Grossman||31||Robert Griffin III||22||Well… they better be better here. But yes, the QB position should be vastly improved even with a rookie QB.|
|RB||Tim Hightower||25||Roy Helu||23||I like Tim Hightower, and thought he was going to be a nice fit foor the Skins offense, when he tore an ACL and was lost for the season. Helu brings a similar skill set, but with better athleticism. He should be more polished in his 2nd year, with a full offseason. Upgrade.|
|WR||Santana Moss||32||Pierre Garcon||26||Santana Moss can still be productive in my opinion, but he’s clearly aging /declining. Garcon is an immediate upgrade.|
|WR||Jabar Gaffney||30||Josh Morgan||27||Tough to say here. Gaffney quietly put together a very productive season in 2011. His numbers: 68-947-5. Morgan is all potential, but he’s an intriguing player. If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Morgan won’t match Gaffney’s numbers this season. May take some time.|
|RT||Jammal Brown||30||TBD||Jammal Brown is still currently under contract, but I can’t fathom the Skins heading into another season with him as the starting RT. Expect the Skins to replace him, and expect whoever they insert in at RT to play better than Brown has the last two seasons.|
Defense after the jump…
|Defense||2011 starter||Age||2012 starters (projected)||Age||Comment|
|ILB||Rocky McIntosh||28||Perry Riley||24||McIntosh had a fantastic start to the 2011 season, and then just fell apart. He was eventually benched for Riley, who is a promising young LB. I’ll call this one an upgrade.|
|ILB||London Fletcher||36||TBD||Personally, I think the Skins will find a way to re-sign Fletcher in this soft LB market, as they should. If they don’t, they’ll likely get a lot younger, but probably not better.|
|S||LaRon Landry||26||Brandon Meriweather||28||How do you project whether or not a guy is an upgrade or not when the player he’s replacing never played? Let’s just say that while Landry was frustrating for Skins fans because of penchant for watching games in street clothes, I’m not sure I can call Meriweather an upgrade over anything. To be determined if this is actually the Skins’ answer here.|
|S||Oshiomogho Atogwe||30||Cedric Griffin?||29||Atogwe was a cap casualty. I’m projecting that the Skins will move Griffin from CB to S and hope he can start there, although it’s certainly possible that they could turn to 22 year old 2nd year player DeJon Gomes, a player I happen to like. Atogwe was another player that struggled to stay healthy, but when he was healthy, he was a decent player. I’m calling this one a downgrade.|