Before preseason hits, and perhaps even before the regular season gets underway, it’s too early to get reasonably excited. But that’s never stopped anyone.
For the optimistic D.C. sports fan, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the Washington Redskins‘ upcoming 2018 campaign. Recent years have taught some to be cautious, in fear of being disappointed, as has happened many times before.
But early indicators suggest that this season could be different. The Washington Redskins moved on from the Kirk Cousins era rather seamlessly by trading for Alex Smith. They struck gold in the NFL Draft, and with Jay Gruden heading into his fifth year, continuity and comfort should be at a high, at least among recent years.
Perhaps the most exciting development of the offseason, for the Washington Redskins, is that the team’s roster, unlike previous years, has very few, if any, glaring holes. There are areas of subtle uncertainty. The wide receiver core will be tasked with taking a step this season, and the cornerback position behind Josh Norman is up in the air. The team’s starting left guard yet eludes.
But despite these questions, none should hinder the team a great deal. The Washington Redskins have options at all those positions; They’re not scraping the bottom of the barrel for last minute acquisitions. As it stands, the Washington Redskins’ roster is very well-rounded. That’s a privilege the team hasn’t been able to enjoy in recent years, when the defensive line was pedestrian at best, or when the team lacked a true No. 1 back. Those problems do not linger anymore.
The only position that could possibly be argued as a glaring hole is left guard, where the team signed Shawn Lauvao, in order to provide some familiarity. Lauvao is only an average starter, but he’s played next to Trent Williams for years, so there is bound to be comfort there, and even if he’s not on par with current standards, his performance should not greatly impact that of other offensive linemen, such as Brandon Scherff and the aforementioned Williams.
This is a strong Washington Redskins roster, and arguably the strongest in Jay Gruden’s tenure. NFL teams scheme weekly around weaknesses possessed by their opponents. Those teams should find it harder to scheme against the Washington Redskins this year than it was in years past.