The Washington Redskins are a complete mess.
A year after winning the division at 10-6 despite getting off to a 3-6 start, the Redskins are back to their more familiar spot: the basement of the NFC East. If it weren't for the Texans being so inept, Washington would probably be viewed as the single worst team in the league.
With losing comes controversy. Namely around key figures in the organization, such as the owner, head coach, and starting quarterback. Well surprise, surprise. Redskins owner Dan Snyder, head coach Mike Shanahan, and second year quarterback Robert Griffin III have all been the focus of negative attention down in the nation's capital.
The latest issue to arise is the benching of Griffin. And not only are they benching him, but they are shutting him down for the rest of the season with three games to go. Fellow second year QB Kirk Cousins is slated to fill in for Griffin. This decision comes one year the Redskins mortgaged a number of future draft picks to trade up and take Griffin in the 2012 NFL Draft. To recap, here's what the Redskins essentially traded to St. Louis to acquire the number 2 overall pick in order to select Griffin:
• DT Michael Brockers (Starter)
• CB Janoris Jenkins (Starter)
• LB Alec Ogletree (Starter)
• Washington's 2014 first round pick (currently 2nd [!] overall)
Now obviously Griffin is still young and there's a lot of potential to be had there. Griffin dazzled in his rookie year before suffering a major knee injury. That injury robbed him of his first full off-season with the team, which is a time where some rookies really a significant jump in development. Griffin simply hasn't shown the kind of progress that the Redskins were looking for this year. But clearly Washington has invested a lot in this guy. So why are they benching him? As our sister site Hogs Haven indicates, this is just one of the many questions to be asked.
While RG3-and-11 is a big target for criticism, Griffin is sharing the spotlight with the team's head coach, Mike Shanahan. Shanny's days are likely numbered in DC. Aside from a (fluke?) playoff berth last year, Shanahan's Washington tenure has been largely unsuccessful. Is the decision to bench RG3 some kind of last minute power play? Or is it because it's in the best interest of the team moving forward?
There are a lot of questions to be asked and answered in DC and that's something Eagles fans should not envy. The Eagles were in a rough position last year having gone 4-12 and the head coach being fired. But Philly has been able to turn things around rather quickly with the hire of Chip Kelly; a decision that looks more brilliant as the season goes on. Could Washington be the right coach away from fixing their issues? It remains to be seen, but it probably would be the best place to start.
It will be interesting to see if DC can fix their problems in the future, but for now, they're a mess, just like they were long before RG3 arrived in his rookie year. Good ol' LolSkins.