The Redskins are back to work on Monday, and that means football is that much closer to being back.
The team that reports to Redskin Park won’t be the exact unit that will take the field in September, the entire NFL Draft remains in a few weeks, but the bulk of the squad will be in the building.
That also means it’s time for questions. Can the 2018 Redskins be a winning ball club? For that to happen, a lot of things must go right. Certainly the team needs better health than they got last year, but the list doesn’t end there.
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1) Can Alex Smith step in and immediately produce?
The offseason’s biggest move came before the Super Bowl when Washington traded for Smith. That expedited the exit for Kirk Cousins, now the Vikings QB, and puts Smith in a pressure packed spot. Smith is a veteran passer with plenty of experience, and doesn’t seem at all phased so far by the attention of being the top quarterback in Washington. He needs to build chemistry with the Redskins wideouts, and the hope would be he can get more production from third-year wideout Josh Doctson. Plenty of times Doctson looked open down the field in 2017, but he and Cousins never seemed to truly click.
2) Cornerback depth chart
Josh Norman ranks at the top of the Redskins cornerback depth chart, but after that, the Redskins don’t have much clarity. Kendall Fuller got sent to Kansas City in return for Smith, and while Bashaud Breeland hasn’t signed elsewhere yet, he isn’t expected to return. Breeland had a done deal with the Panthers, but a foot injury held up the deal. For Washington, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau and Josh Holsey will be expected to play larger roles and newcomer Orlando Scandrick will be expected to help right away. What player starts opposite Norman? Who works as the primary nickel corner? Those questions need answers.
3) Uh, about the offensive line
The Redskins have two of the best offensive tackles in football in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, but both players had offseason surgery. Neither will participate in offseason workouts but both are expected back for training camp. Is that a concern? Probably not, especially with super sub Ty Nsekhe signed back with the ‘Skins. Still, two starting tackles, coming off surgery, is not ideal.
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