After watching hours upon hours of draft coverage on various networks, one thing has become evident: the Washington Redskins have a bona fide genius running their personnel. General manager Scot McCloughan can do no wrong. Take a wide receiver in the first round of the draft when you have glaring needs elsewhere and he is seen as a steal. Sign a tight end with a history of concussions and a year remaining on his contract to a $50 million extension and the move is applauded all over the league. Make a defensive back with one great season under his belt the highest-paid corner in league history and you walk on water. Can you imagine the reaction if Bruce Allen, Dan Snyder, Mike Shanahan or Vinny Cerrato had made any of these moves? If I am Warner Bros., I’d hire McCloughan immediately because apparently he is the only person walking the planet who could save the "Green Lantern" movie franchise. Dude is Teflon.
While Scot’s good personnel moves far exceed his mistakes since taking over for an inept Bruce Allen, there is one major question I’d like to see him address before we erect a statue on Loudoun County Parkway next to the bubble ... sorry, I mean the Washington Redskins' indoor practice facility:
WHO WILL STOP THE RUN?
This was a glaring weakness for the Redskins last season and like their 2015 rush defense, Scot’s plan has gaping holes. Last season, the defense ranked 26th in rushing yards allowed per game. They ranked 31st in rushing yards per play. Four times, the porous Redskins' defense allowed a team to rush for more than 175 yards. In seven games, they allowed an opponent to average more than 5 yards per carry. Joe Barry’s squad gave up the fifth-most rushing first downs per game and the second-most rushing plays of more than 40 yards. The Redskins' current starting defensive line consists of Chris Baker, Kedric Golston and Kendall Reyes. With Stephen Paea, recently converted outside linebacker Trent Murphy and the "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" dancing Ricky Jean Francois as backups. I’ll pause while you rinse the taste of vomit out of your mouth. Multiple times during the NFL Draft, highly regarded defensive linemen fell into McCloughan’s lap only to slip away like they were El Chapo and the Redskins' front office was the Mexican authorities.
Since January 6, 2015, the rallying cry of Redskins fans has been “In Scot we trust,” and I want to get there. He has been such an improvement over his predecessors from past 20 years that it’s hard not to believe in him. My main concern is while Josh Norman will look spectacular in burgundy and gold during the Monday Night Football opener, Ben Roethlisberger may not throw at him. Not out of respect for his talents but because Le'Veon Bell is rushing for 175 yards through a mediocre defensive line that was largely ignored during the offseason. McCloughan may need time to work his magic, but he needs to work quickly. Evaluating the defensive linemen currently on this roster, Scot needs to be less David Blaine and more Herb Brooks, because this position is in need of a miracle.
Chuck Sapienza is the Executive Producer of the Naval Academy radio network and the former VP/Programming for ESPN980. He was also a part of the Washington Redskins Radio Network from 2009 to 2015, serving as the network's Executive Producer. He can be reached at SapienzaChuck@gmail.com.
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