For Redskins fans in the lead-up to the 2019 season, it’s okay to believe

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Ryan Kerrigan #91 of the Washington Redskins celebrates against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half at FedExField on September 10, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Ryan Kerrigan #91 of the Washington Redskins celebrates against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half at FedExField on September 10, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of year again. Where we are so depleted of anything football, we scour the internet in a desperate attempt to witness any five-second clips of rookie mini-camp to throw parties over.

You’re not alone.

But this year has a new feeling in the air. With a fresh set of draft picks slated to jump aboard the Washington Redskins ship, hope and excitement are beginning to make their way back into the hearts of the burgundy and gold faithful.

Now, please don’t go shopping for Super Bowl tickets and plan a parade route in Washington D.C. Trust me, I’ll let you know when we need to start doing that.

But here are a few things to keep in mind as we slowly meander toward the summer. First of all, the Redskins foundation is building in the right direction, and the 2019 NFL Draft was a home run on paper for Jay Gruden and the Redskins front office. Second, the front seven for this Redskins defense, over the years, has gone from one of the worst groups in the NFL to something opposing teams may just have to look out for. Most importantly, however, there is a new sheriff in town. His name is Dwayne Haskins, and things just got interesting.

I was at the grocery store the other day, and as I walked up to the counter to check out, the cashier noticed my Redskins jacket. It didn’t take more than a second before I heard him say with a smile “Man, I’m so excited. I just can’t wait for training camp.”

I would be lying to you if I told you that I didn’t feel the same way.

There is a different buzz in the air, and it feels like 2012 all over again. Not the way it ended, but the way that it started.

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The quarterback position is arguably the most important position in all of team sports. You need stability and talent at the position to win championships, and there is no way around that. Redskins fans have watched a quarterback carousel in our nation’s capital for so long. From bust free agents to the rise and fall of RGIII, to the Kirk Cousins saga and Alex Smith‘s devastating injury, it doesn’t seem to end.

But Dwayne Haskins has the talent and ability to change that.

The end of Robert Griffin’s tenure in D.C. was a disaster for everyone involved. You could argue that the Redskins are still not quite over everything that they gave up to go and get their guy at No. 2 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. But the fallout from RGIII left a lot of fans feeling a lot like a high schooler who fell in love too fast and had their hearts broken. The one that we thought was “The One” came and went in a blink. With that feeling still ingrained, some fans are just not yet ready to fall in love again, and now, Haskins is the next man up. For them, I have this message.

It is okay to believe.

Of course, some of you Caps fans may recognize that phrase. (If you aren’t a Caps fan, please get with the program.)

John Walton, play-by-play voice for the Washington Capitals, would regularly say that to Caps fans who were just not ready to believe that they could really win a Stanley Cup. After all the years of disappointment, it felt like a slump that was impossible to escape. But it was belief, both in the locker room and in the fan base, that brought Lord Stanley to the nation’s capital in 2018.

For the Redskins, Dwayne Haskins could be a bust. He could be a Hall of Famer. Who knows?

Here is what we do know. The Redskins are building a solid foundation that fans should be proud of. We regularly hammer the front office for the mistakes and lack of transparency. That’s fair. But you have to praise them for the work they have done to build talent from within and give fans something to be hopeful for. Of course, there are weaknesses on this roster, and they will show. The secondary has holes at the corner position, and the receiving group is lacking depth and star power.

But those are things that can be fixed in time.

Building a winning NFL team is like building a house. It is done brick by brick. The foundation of the house has to be sturdy before you raise the roof. If the foundation isn’t strong, the whole thing will eventually collapse.

This isn’t the NBA. One player won’t change everything.

But names like Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Brandon Scherff, and Matt Ioannidis will be around for years to come. Talents like Montez Sweat and Reuben Foster have the chance to do the same thing. These are the bricks the Redskins are building from, and they are key to their future success. Haskins may take a while to grow, but his upside is there. As Redskins Director of Scouting Kyle Smith said, Haskins has the talent to be as good as he wants.

dark. Next. Breaking down the Redskins quarterback depth chart

No one knows how Haskins, or the rest of the Redskins 2019 Draft picks, will play out. It is a wait-and-see game for everyone involved. But as July and August get closer, just remember, if you find yourself getting excited and you start to think that good things may be on the horizon, it’s okay to believe.