The Washington Redskins have made significant changes this off-season starting with the Head Coach. The Redskins replace Mike Shanahan with Jay Gruden, only time will tell if Gruden is the right head coach for RG3. It was the friction between RG3 and Mike Shanahan that led to his demise. Gruden deserves this shot as a Head Coach but is Washington the right place for him, I ask only because Daniel Snyder while willing to spend to win is still a fickle owner and liable to kill the experiment before it has enough time to properly play out. Will RG3’s discontent continue to rule Snyder or will he back off this is the question that needs to be answered.
The Redskins have signed former Houston Texans linebacker Daryl Sharpton. This is a good signing firstly the Redskins get younger at the linebacker position. Sharpton last season led the Texans with 87 tackles in 15 games that averages out to be about 5.8 tackles a game. All though he is only averaging 3.8 tackles a game for his career he has only played 12 games or more twice in his career, his rookie season in 2010 and in his fourth season 2013.Sharpton in 2013 had more tackles than Redskins star linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo who were seventh and eighth on the team respectively. Ironically the two leading tacklers or the Redskins Perry Riley and London Fletcher linebackers both are currently free agents. If he stays healthy there is a lot of upside to this signing.
The Redskins bring back veteran safety Ryan Clark after an eight year sojourn in Pittsburgh. Clark who was second in tackles on the Steelers with 104 which comes out to an average of 6.5 tackles a game, it seems will replace Reed Doughty as the second safety in the Redskins defensive backfield. Doughty was fourth on the team last year in tackles with 80 an average of 5.3 tackles a game. I’m not sure I agree with this move true Clark gives you 1.2 tackles more a game, but Clark is entering his 13th season while Doughty is entering his 9th. For their careers Clark is averaging 5.1 tackles a game and Doughty 4.7, the 0.4 differential says that other than age they are more or less equal. The main difference is Clark for his career has 15 INTs to Doughty’s 3. Turnovers are important but 4 years is also a big gap, I don’t know that at his age Clark’s turnover potential is going to hold up even though he has proven to be durable in the past, I think age catches up with him this year.
Andre Roberts is a nice addition to this wide receiving corps and should be able to easily slide into the third receiver slot between Santana Moss in the two slot and Leonard Hankerson in the four. Roberts had one more reception than Moss the Redskins number two receiver last year. Although he only averaged 2.8 yards after the catch, at 43 receptions it more or less equals Moss’ reception total of 42 and Hankerson’s 30, there is only upside to this signing especially with this anemic passing offense. To prove my point the leading receiver on the team had 68 more receptions then the second most on the team.
Finally we come to DeSean Jackson, the highest profile free agency signing for the ‘Skins. I think this is a mistake, this guy is just plain toxic, although he “technically” has a good reason for missing the first week of camp, because he booked while still a member of the Eagles so we can’t pick on him for this one. From a football standpoint this is a great sign. Jackson had a 65% reception ratio last along with a 6.0 yards after catch average. Then again the Redskins have a history of signing loudmouths and disruptive toxic personalities like DeAngelo Hall so maybe DeSean Jackson will be a good fit here.