Washington Redskins 2014: built for attrition


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Like a shot from the doctor I’ll make this quick. But like they all say, “This may sting.” 

In 2012, you NFL-lovers know, the Redskins selected Robert Griffin in the first round, right after the Colts ‘napped Andrew Luck.

The burgundy-and-gold’s season started like a children’s roller coaster ride, spoiling the Saints in their season opener, then losing consecutive games-one to the Rams (Thank Josh Morgan for the unsportsmanlike conduct), and the other in D.C. to the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Let’s get to the point, shall we? The Redskins won, you NFL-lovers know, seven straight games to incredibly finish with a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. (Had they lost to the Cowboys in Week 17, the title would have gone to Dallas. Sweet baby Jesus.)

That happened. Oh, RGIII injured his knee in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens, and Kirk Cousins rallied the team to victory, finishing 2-2, 26 yards and a touchdown. Cousins played in one more friendly against the Cleveland Browns (yes, I called it a friendly), before Griffin returned to the field for the final pair of must-win games against the Eagles and Cowboys.

Yes they–well Alfred Morris–terrorized the “D” in Dallas on a cool Sunday night on national broadcast. 

The Seahawks stomped on the Redskins in the Wild Card game a week later, and that’s that. (And although we could watch Trent Williams slap Richard Sherman so many more times. … life moves on.)

Then the offseason hustled on over. Questions about RGTweak flurried from mid-January until the end of August. Darryl Tapp was signed. Pat White boarded the R train. Bolstering and bolstering. Defensive end Adam Carriker and cornerback Josh Wilson are placed on the active PUP. Washington embraces their new chicks picks, David Amerson, Jordan Reed, Jawan Jamison, Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas.

Quarterback protection is more vital than ever since learning that Griffin would be scrambling behind the line of scrimmage with a knee brace on. This is an offense that finished top-five in the League’s ranks, fourth in points scored and fifth in total yards. They hauled in defensive players to tighten up a bunch that ranked 28th in yards allowed.

Summer practices in Richmond were frenetic. Random hurricanes and humid weather, the two things that stuck on me after 17 days of volunteering. Thousands upon thousands the Stans gathered and chanted, mistaking Griffin for Jesus. These moments really jeopardize someone’s psyche, I’d say.

After much controversy between coach and quarterback, the Redskins struggled to launch. The bar they raised from just nine months before was staggered and lowered, playing games by ear and lost on the field. No hoopla could stir the hearts of Redskins fans, besides maybe the final home game of London Fletcher’s phenomenal career, and even that game they lost to their Texas rivals.

The players, coaches, cheerleaders, front office, writers, chefs, cooks, FedEx and owner finished 3-13, and Head Coach Mike Shanahan was fired on December 30th to cap the hideous season. 

Now we’re here again. Flags are raised high. Hopes are restored and dignified. The Redskins are built for attrition. The team went through the highest of highs–a seven-game winning streak–and then an eight-game losing streak. Roller coasters are built for strong stomachs, and Redskins Nation can finally, after digesting this truth, believe in their team again to rise out of the pit

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