There's no way to sugarcoat it: over the past two decades, the Redskins have been one of the most losing franchises in the NFL. The Burgundy and Gold have made the playoffs just four times since the turn of the century and have not won a playoff game since 2007. Memories of the franchise's glory days during the 1980s are nothing but a distant memory now.
One analyst, NFL Network's Bucky Brooks, believes things could be turning around soon in the nation's capital, and second overall pick Chase Young is a major reason why.
In his column released on NFL.com last Friday, Brooks wrote that if the Ohio State pass rusher lives up to the extraordinary expectations many have placed on him, the Redskins are in for a resurgence as a franchise.
"If No. 2 overall pick Chase Young is as good as advertised, the Washington Redskins are on their way toward becoming a Super Bowl contender," Brooks wrote.
Brooks' praise for the Redskins comes just months after the team finished with one of the worst seasons in franchise history. The Redskins were terrible in 2019, and there are still plenty of question marks on both sides of the ball entering 2020.
But this offseason, the Redskins made several organizational changes, most notably firing longtime team president Bruce Allen and hiring well-respected head coach Ron Rivera.
Brooks was asked about his comments by NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano, and he explained that both Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio have a history of unlocking the full potential of dominant pass rushers and riding a dominant defense to the Super Bowl.
"If you go back and look at the history of Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, understand if you get a dominant pass rusher at the top of the [draft] board, if he plays to his potential, he can dominate," Brooks said. "I've compared Chase Young to Julius Peppers. When I was with the Carolina Panthers, we had Julius Peppers. Julius Peppers anchored a defensive line that led us to the Super Bowl."
Brooks also pointed to the success Del Rio had with Von Miller in Denver, as Miller and a dominant defense led the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory in 2015.
"Then, when you think about Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio getting together, Jack Del Rio not only had Peppers during his first stint in Carolina, but he also had Von Miller in Denver," Brooks said. "Both of those teams eventually went to the Super Bowl."
During the Redskins Offseason Updates Live show, Rivera himself called Young a mini-version Peppers.
"[Chase Young is] not quite as big as Julius was. He's built like him; he's a mini version of him," Rivera said. "He's got a little bit more of that initial explosion. Julius was very long and his explosion was good, but because of his length, it seemed even better than it really, truly was. I mean Julius was phenomenal, and this is a young man who could be that type of player."
And later in that segment, Rivera also said that watching Young's film reminded him of Miller.
"Von Miller comes to my mind when I watch Chase and I watch him work out and I watch the tape he's putting out," Rivera said. "I'm pretty excited about seeing him."
The last point Brooks made to support his belief that a resurgence could be coming to Washington was that Young, someone projected to be an all-worldly pass rusher, is joining a defensive line that is already plenty talented.
The analyst pointed to the success of the San Francisco 49ers last year and how 2019 second overall pick Nick Bosa was the final piece needed that transformed their defense. San Francisco rode their dominant defense to the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a Super Bowl appearance last year.
"A dominant pass rusher can make a difference. The Redskins have five former first-round picks on that D-line rotation," Brooks said. "You know who else had that? The San Francisco 49ers. We saw them in the Super Bowl last year."
Brooks comments also caught the attention of Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins, who responded on Twitter.
Bucky know something 🤔 https://t.co/uSKGGQvzBW— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) June 29, 2020
While the analyst isn't saying the arrival of Young will instantly turn a 3-13 Redskins team from a year ago into a title contender, Brooks believes that the pass rusher has the impact to do just that a few years down the road.
"I'm not saying this year, but in a couple of years, we could see the Washington Redskins have a parade," Brooks said.
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