Sometimes the noise can blot out everything else. But while the Redskins 2019 season has been a disaster, there is potential in the team’s fledgeling core.
The Washington Redskins came into the 2019 season with aspirations of competition. Bruce Allen famously remarked, in front of an assembly of reporters, that his team was close to contention. The Redskins selected a quarterback at No. 15 overall, in order to quickly fill the void left by Alex Smith’s injury. Then they traded up into Round 1 to solidify their defense. A win-now move.
Winning now was in the Redskins ambitions. But, in what has been a repetitive and fatal flaw of a self-conceited franchise under Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen, the Redskins thought they were closer than they actually were.
Now, entering Week 12 of the 2019 regular season, the Washington Redskins are 1-9. Their one win was against the tanking Miami Dolphins, earned by a razor thin, one-point margin. They’ve scored less than half of the points they’ve allowed to opposing teams (125 to 253), and their defense, once thought to be the strength of the team, has shown a startling futility.
The Redskins are not close to anything meaningful, except the No. 1 pick. But while there is an overwhelming depth to the team’s dysfunction, there is a framework for a future in place; a fiber of hope.
Dwayne Haskins is showing growth as the team’s starting quarterback, and after spending a first-round pick on him, the Redskins have four years to siphon out cumbersome veteran contracts and build a team around him. Derrius Guice is an athletic, physical runner who presents dynamic ability at the running back position, and Terry McLaurin does the same at wide receiver.
In this offensive trio, there rests potential for the Redskins franchise. It’s not much, when juxtaposed with a team overridden with bad contracts and incongruent construction, but it’s a core to build off of. With Haskins and his weapons, the Redskins have a chance at a clean slate, and the timeline is laid out for them.
The Redskins have a chance at a future. But they’ve destroyed futures like this one before.
In 2012, the Redskins traded a king’s ransom to land the No. 2 pick from the St. Louis Rams, which they used to cement their future by drafting Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Three years later, after one Rookie of the Year award, one botched ACL injury, and one uncertain coaching change, Griffin was gone, and Kirk Cousins was the future.
Just three years after that, Cousins himself was gone, and the Redskins were again left without a path forward. They attempted to sign a veteran quarterback to help them springboard off of their foundation of mediocrity, and failed to attain any success.
The examples go farther back, but after a while, it gets repetitive. There is a common thread in each instance of self-destruction, however: A lack of foresight, understanding, self-awareness, and accountability present in the front office. It’s this climate that prevents any constructive team building from taking place, and it’s this climate that destroys futures in D.C. With each passing instance of this process, there is less and less excitement for the future that’s promised, and more hesitance, as onlookers remember the promises that were never kept.
With Dwayne Haskins, Derrius Guice, and Terry McLaurin, there is potential for a bright future, and with the right structure, this young core has the potential to bring Washington back to the playoffs in time, and with patience. But if the front office doesn’t learn from its past mistakes, and encumbers their young core with lackluster, unintuitive coaching, aimless team construction, and the trademark drama of D.C., then this future will be destroyed.
And yet another will be promised.