A Positive look at the Washington Football Team
The common consensus going into 2020 is that The Washington Football Team will suck. But what if they don’t, Haskins looked OK last year in a bad offence, the coach was moved on, and he now has the keys, the team has a good defence and a decent schedule, how far can the team go?
Haskins was a quality quarterback in a great Ohio State team in college, he beat the Ohio State and Big Ten record for passing yards and touchdowns in 2018, he threw for 4831 yards and 50 touchdowns. By Comparison number one pick this year Joe Burrow threw for 5671 yards and 60 touchdowns in 2019, while Patrick Mahomes threw 5052 yards and 41 touchdowns in a very pass happy Texas Tech side.
The college game is a different story to the pro game, some quarterbacks have never taken a snap from centre going into the pro league, but what is clear is that Haskins has some potential and ability.
Outside of second year receiver Terry McLaurin – who caught 11 of Haskins 50 touchdowns in Ohio in 2018, Washington has not put a lot of talent around the quarterback this year.
At running back especially, Derrius Guice has been cut from the team amid reports of sexual abuse, and Adrian Peterson was cut on Saturday, leaving the position in the hands of Rookie Antonio Gibson, Peyton Barber and Bryce Love. Gibson is a fantasy darling; he does not have many snaps at running back but like Haskins has a ton of potential. Bryce Love has been in the league a couple of years but does have a 2000-yard season in college, again, while he has not shown much so far, he has potential to do something and surprise people.
Helping Haskins Washington have a new Offensive Coordinator who moved over from the Carolina Panthers with Ron Rivera. Turner will be a first-time offensive coordinator if you discount his time at South County High School in 2007, but he has been around the NFL for some time and is the son of Norv Turner.
The offence in Washington will be a fun watch in 2020, of Scott Turner, Hogs Haven writer Bill Horgan said;
“Every time I hear Scott Turner talk about the offensive plan, I am struck by his desire to run something that is not “traditional”. He seems to disdain the idea of throwing the ball to the receivers and handing the ball to the running backs. Instead, he seems focused on fielding a set of skill-position offensive players with a combination of running and receiving skills that will allow him to use formations, motions and movement to create mismatch opportunities on every play”
This may in some way begin to rationalise why they are happy to play with non-traditional talents such as JD McKissic and Antonio Gibson, rather than Adrian Peterson.
Anyone remember when Russell Wilson was in his second year? The Seahawks won the Superbowl, they did that with a really strong defence, putting the emphasis on stopping the other team from having the ball. I’m not in any way saying that Washington can win the Superbowl, but they do have a damn strong defence. In the first round of the draft they selected another stellar defensive lineman, to add to an incredible group of talent, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis, along side that there are playmakers in the secondary such as Landon Collins, Jimmy Moreland and Superbowl Champion Kendall Fuller. They are strong on the D.
Overall, Washington are probably more likely to be 4-12 than 12-4, but wouldn’t it be more exciting to see the team progress, especially given that the NFC East is the division we have on our TV screens more than any other here in the UK. I’m excited to see young players like McLaurin, Young and especially Haskins take a big step this year.
picture from theathletic.co.uk