Today is the day Redskins' fans. Skins' veterans report to training camp today. Sure they're only there to have physicals done but they're there and tomorrow the fun begins.
It's been a long, but exciting off-season and Coach Mike Shannahan has some new toys to play with on the offensive side of the ball. The most notable being rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, but there is also Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, not to mention Niles Paul's move to tight end.
Paul has put on a reported 20 pounds to play the position and honestly I couldn't be more excited to see him out there. In limited use last season Paul showed glimpses of being a play-maker and at the tight end position he may very well get more opportunities to shine.
With a rookie quarterback at the helm a lot of folks out there are saying that this buys Shanny some extra time as the head coach. I'm not one of them. I'm not expecting them to make a deep run in the play-offs but I'm expecting a very competitive team this year and if they're not vying for a play-off spot late into the season I feel the season will be a failure.
After all they are coming off of a year where they convincingly swept the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and had a much improved defense. Of the 11 loses this team had you could directly contribute four or five of them to the quarterback position alone. In spite of being a rookie and the growing pains he'll go through, Robert Griffin is still a better option than John Beck or Rex Grossman, shoot Kurt Cousins is probably a better option than Rex or Beck.
With the subtle and not so subtle improvements the Redskins have made to the offense I honestly believe that 9-7 or 10-6 is a realistic possibility. That isn't to say they'll achieve that but if this team goes from worst to first in the NFC East I'll be one of the few people out there who won't be surprised. Last season this team was on the cusp of something very good. With the exception of the Buffalo game (play in Toronto, go figure) the Skins were in every game last season and took the eventual AFC Champs to the limit. For the first time in a long time I was watching a Redskin game in the fourth quarter and they actually had a chance to win.
At that time I wanted to win those games but looking back I'm glad we didn't. Just one more win last season and we might not have been able to trade for Griffin and then who knows what we'd be looking at for a starting quarterback this season. Would it have been Rex one more time or would we have reached on a QB at our draft position? Either way we the fans have hope this season, not hope that we'll win a Super Bowl (though to be honest that would awesome) but hope that finally after 20 years we're not going to be the laughing stock of the NFC East and we'll hand out a few beatings along the way.
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