Washington Football

Washington Football

Welcome to "Bullish or Bearish?" In this series, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will pick bold, fan-submitted statements about the Redskins and decide whether they're personally bullish or bearish on those statements.

Next up is this lofty goal for one of the Redskins' D-linemen.

Now, JP and Pete's analysis...

JP's thoughts

Before the bear comes out let's be very, very clear that I expect Jonathan Allen to post a big season in the Redskins' revamped 4-3 system. Jack Del Rio will want Allen to play aggressive and get upfield, and the fourth-year pro out of Alabama could end up with some impressive numbers in TFLs and sacks. 

Ron Rivera recently said that he expects the interior push of the Redskins' defensive line to be very disruptive, adding, "When I was in Carolina in 2015, the biggest reason we had the success we had was the interior push. The quarterback couldn't step out of the way."

So that's a long way to establish expectations for a big year for Jon Allen. Still, I'm BEARISH on the All-Pro team. 

No Redskins player has made All Pro in more than 20 years, and Allen faces fierce competition around the NFL at the defensive tackle position. Like who? Aaron Donald. Fletcher Cox. Chris Jones. Cam Heyward. Grady Jarrett. DeForest Buckner. 

A more reasonable goal for Allen might be the Pro Bowl, which he hasn't made in three seasons with Washington. 



Pete's thoughts

I was bearish on the Redskins leading the NFL in sacks, which was the topic for our Monday post.

I was even more bearish on Logan Thomas surpassing 500 yards and catching four or more scores, which is what we covered on Tuesday

Finally, though, someone has offered up a take that I am BULLISH on. I think there is another level to Allen's game that he has yet to reach (in part due to nagging injuries and in part due to poor coaching), but in 2020, he will ascend to that level and emerge as one of the sport's premier defensive linemen.

The 25-year-old posted eight sacks in 2018 and six in 2019, so he clearly knows how to penetrate the backfield. Look for that number to reach double digits in 2020, though, because he'll be surrounded by his best cast of talent yet, and Del Rio and Rivera will allow him and every other member of the defensive front to play more downhill.

And when his sack and TFL totals climb, national recognition will follow.

Yes, Allen will face some serious compeition to become an All Pro, like JP mentioned. However, the All-Pro team isn't like the Pro Bowl, where once someone makes it a few times, they continue to make it based off their name even if their performance doesn't match. The former is all about production, while the latter is largely based off of reputation and popularity.

In a way, it may actually be easier for Allen to become the Redskins' first All-Pro honoree in a couple of decades than it will be for him to make his first Pro Bowl. 

With this new regime in charge in Washington, there are a few guys I'm extra ready to see in what's essentially a fresh start for everyone. Allen is near the top of, if not at the top, of that list. When he breaks out this year — like, fully breaks out — don't say you weren't warned.

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