Redskins Preview Capsule
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (7-9)
New faces: QB Case Keenum, rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, S Landon Collins, rookie edge rusher Montez Sweat, rookie WR Terry McLaurin, LB Jon Bostic, rookie WR Kelvin Harmon, LT Donald Penn, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, rookie CB Jimmy Moreland, rookie LB Cole Holcomb, rookie G Wes Martin, OL Ereck Flowers, ILB coach Rob Ryan, DB coach Ray Horton.
Key losses: QB Alex Smith (injured), WR Jamison Crowder, WR Maurice Harris, OT Ty Nsekhe, LB Mason Foster, LB Zach Brown, LB-edge rusher Preston Smith, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LB Reuben Foster (injured).
Strengths: Led by Alabama duo Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, Washington’s all 25-and-under defensive line could wreak havoc and be stout against run. RBs Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson provide bit of everything out of backfield. If TE Jordan Reed stays healthy and young WRs like McLaurin and Cam Sims show potential, Redskins’ pedestrian group of pass catchers could be better than expected.
Weaknesses: Getting ball to pass catchers is biggest problem. Keenum and longtime backup QB Colt McCoy aren’t stars and Haskins has strong arm and potential but isn’t ready yet. Offensive line without LT Trent Williams and no sure answer at LG leaves much to be desired even before depth concerns kick in. Inside linebacker corps is major question mark, as is safety beyond Collins.
Fantasy Players To Watch: Reed finally looks and feels like himself after battling foot, shoulder and hip injuries and could be difference maker. Guice is risk coming off torn ACL and potential of splitting carries with Peterson. McLaurin could take 2016 first-round pick Josh Doctson’s starting WR job and eventually click with former Ohio State teammate Haskins.
Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl 180-1. Over/under wins 6.
Expectations: Long year for Redskins likely ending in fourth consecutive season without trip to playoffs. Barring unforeseen circumstances or strong finish from Haskins, coach Jay Gruden almost certainly will be fired if Washington doesn’t exceed expectations and get to postseason. Defense having monster year combined with exceptional QB play is only way to envision Redskins being .500 or better.