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Washington Redskins Preseason Hot Takes: Kirk Cousins MVP?

Washington Redskins Preseason Hot Takes Red Weasel Media via flickr


Washington Redskins Preseason Hot Takes

The NFL is now in the middle of training camp and the first preseason games are finally here. Now is the time to get an early look at what your favorite team has to offer. Many may wonder what is in store for their team as the preseason continues and before the regular season begins. It is also a perfect time for Redskins preseason hot takes. The Washington Redskins are a team whose 2017-2018 season could go in either direction based on their offseason moves and how the past two seasons have gone for the team, what do we expect? A Kirk Cousins MVP? Here are the Redskins preseason hot takes.

Jamison Crowder Will Eclipse The 1,000-Yard Receiving Mark 

Jamison Crowder has been an emerging weapon for the Washington Redskins since being drafted in 2015. If his last two seasons are any indicators, Crowder will record 1,000 yards receiving this season. He finished his first season with 647 yards and two touchdowns. Last season the Redskins started to target him more and implemented more specific plays for him. As a result, there was an overall increase in production. At the end of the 2016-2017 season, Crowder finished with 847 yards and seven touchdowns on 97 targets.

These are impressive numbers for a second-year player, the biggest takeaway is the increase in targets from his first year. This shows the confidence that the team has in his ability to make plays. The departures of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon mean that the Redskins are going to rely on Crowder even more. The versatility that he possesses in the offense would make any QB happy. He can line up in any slot position and is comfortable with screen plays, also he is effective in deep, short, and intermediate routes.

Warning: These next few Redskins preseason hot takes may be, in fact, too hot to handle.

Red Zone Efficiency Will Drastically Improve for the Redskins

Last season Washington finished 26th in the league in red zone efficiency at 45 percent. New additions like Terrelle Pryor and Semaje Perine will help bolster the offense in the red zone. At six-foot-four, Terrelle Pryor will give Kirk Cousins one of his biggest targets that he has ever had. In the red zone last season, Pryor completed six of his 13 targets with three of them being touchdowns. Garcon and Jackson were only able to complete four of 23 targets with only two being completed for touchdowns. Pryor alone was more successful in the red zone than the top two receivers that Washington had in 2016.

Josh Doctson is expected to return after his rookie season was ended by an Achilles injury. Doctson is someone who Washington is expecting to contribute and have a big role. Doctson is six-foot-two and has a vertical of 41-inches, get ready to see many fades thrown his way in the red zone. Being able to jump higher than most cornerbacks gives him an advantage that will see Washington having success passing the ball in the red zone.

While it is important for teams to make sure that they have success passing the ball in the red zone, running the ball effectively in the red zone still remains the best method. At certain points during the season, Washington preferred to pass the ball in the red zone as opposed to running it. Rob Kelley was able to come in and fill the need temporarily and looks to be the starter going into the 2017 season, but he will have a challenge, Semaje Perine. Perine was a fourth-round draft pick in the 2017 draft. Coming in at five-foot-eleven, 236 pounds, his size, and downhill running ability will help Washington significantly in red zone rushing.


Washington’s Defense Has Top-10 Potential

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Wait, what? Washington finished 28th in overall defense last season. How did they make the jump to one of the best in the league? Let me explain. The Redskins made it their priority to improve the defense this off-season. Through the draft and free agency that is exactly what they have done. Some key additions include D.J. Swearinger, Jonathan Allen, Zach Brown, Ryan Anderson, Stacy McGee, and Terrell McClain. A lot of Washington’s success this year will also rely on how healthy the defense is overall. Junior Galette is a player who will make a huge difference this year as he is someone who has proven he can effectively rush the passer, but he hasn’t played in the last two seasons due to injury.

Draft picks Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson are also two pieces that were acquired via the draft that will bolster the effectiveness of the front-seven. A big reason for that is their versatility. Washington’s base defense has usually been the 3-4 but last year 70 percent of their snaps came out of the 4-3. For new players like Allen, Anderson, and McClain this shouldn’t be a problem. McClain and Allen can play a variety of techniques along the front. Anderson can play a nine-technique, but can also drop back to play outside linebacker in the 3-4. Another player who shows tremendous athleticism is 2016 draft pick, Su’a Cravens. This year Cravens will see time at safety alongside D.J. Swearinger, but he can also play linebacker when needed. Cravens has shown that he can come up in the box to make tackles and also play in coverage.

The signing that no one is talking about is that of pro bowl linebacker Zach Brown. The Redskins struggled in run defense last year and in wrapping up the ball carrier. Brown immediately fills this need as he recorded 149 tackles last season which was second best in the whole entire league. Also, Brown is very decent in coverage and is effective while blitzing. Zach Brown will win the starting job over Will Compton whose run defense grade was 45.7 compared to Brown’s 75.9 according to Pro Football Focus.They also still have elite cornerback Josh Norman, and Bashaud Breeland will bounce back from last year, making the Redskins an overall complete team on defense. Even with new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, these key pieces, and the unpredictable scheme will make Washington hard to prepare for.

Kirk Cousins Will Be In The MVP Conversation

Out of all the Redskins preseason hot takes, this one by far will turn the most heads.

Kirk Cousins will be a dark-horse MVP candidate this season as he continues to improve as the starting the quarterback. Even with the losses of Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, Washington still has a ton of talent at the position. Terrelle Pryor is one of them, his size, speed, and leaping ability should make him a legitimate threat. Josh Doctson also possesses these same qualities, last year he showed a little bit of what he had to offer. That was the fact that he can go up and get the ball at an extremely high point. Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed have emerged has two targets who Cousins trusts, they both have shown that they are dangerous before and after the catch. Even running back Chris Thompson has shown that if given the ball in space, he can also make plays.

Cousins has an arsenal of weapons to choose from and is coming off his best season throwing for 4,917 yards. This was third-best in the league behind Drew Brees and MVP Matt Ryan. His numbers should improve based on the fact that they will be better in short yardage running. This will extend drives and improve T.O.P. It is also important to mention that this is another contract year for Cousins. He looks to prove himself once again and he should get a lucrative contract that he wants.

These Redskins preseason hot takes will come true. Mark my words.