Redskins

Redskins

To celebrate the end of 2019, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey started discussing the best Redskins players of the last decade.

Let's be clear, it's been a bad decade for the Redskins, with no playoff wins and a record of 62-96-1. Yuck. 

Still, there were good players in those bad times, and this is the time for reflection. 

So, here is their roster for the Redskins' all-decade team for the 2010s. The guys agreed on every position — except the most important one. And instead of compromising at that spot, they decide to argue over it.  

Quarterback (1) - Robert Griffin III/Kirk Cousins

JP: Let's start with a bang — the best Redskins quarterback this decade was Robert Griffin III. Forget about the decline of his career, which was lengthy and sad and kinda annoying, and remember the 2012 season. RG3 was electric. He completed 65-percent of his passes and threw 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions. He also ran for another seven TDs and accounted for more than 4,000 yards of total offense. The Redskins went to the playoffs on the back of a season-ending seven-game winning streak largely thanks to Griffin. Sure, Kirk Cousins compiled more stats, was much more durable and played at a high level for multiple seasons. Cousins was good, but give me the mountaintop instead of that steady high plateau. In short, there was only one season this decade where a Redskins Super Bowl wasn't an absurd idea. That was 2012. And that was because of RG3. 

 

Pete: JP is a convincing fellow. Among other things, he's persuaded me that Reese's Sticks are better than Reese's and it's more than OK to hit iron off the tee. But he's not getting me to take Robert over Kirk for top Redskins QB of the 2010s. From 2015 to 2017, Cousins started all 48 of the team's games — by the way, if there's any fan base that's learned to appreciate a healthy signal caller after the past 10 years, it's this fan base — topped 4,000 passing yards in each campaign and averaged 27 touchdowns. That's not just a "steady high plateau," that's excellent production. Now, this particular all-decade team would have to make sure it played as few games on Monday night as possible, but Kurt Kirk is the franchise's fourth-leading passer behind Joe Theismann, Sonny Jurgensen and Sammy Baugh. He belongs on this squad.  

Running back (1) - Alfred Morris

Notes: Only one running back makes this all-decade team, and the choice is an easy one. Morris is Washington's fifth-leading rusher of all time, and his rookie year, where he rushed for more than 1,600 yards as a no-name out of Florida Atlantic, is the best rushing season of any Redskin ever. Adrian Peterson also gets consideration for his remarkable 2018 campaign and his return in 2019. 

Wide receiver (3) - Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Santana Moss

Notes: The Redskins inked Garcon to a major contract and he absolutely delivered on it. In five years in D.C., he posted 68 or more catches four times, including a franchise-best 113 in 2013. Know what never looked fun? Trying to tackle Garcon after the catch. Jackson, meanwhile, overlapped with Garcon for three of those seasons and went over 1,000 yards in two of them while sprinkling in tons of long highlights. Moss, finally, gets the nod as the third target. While he did the majority of his damage in the previous decade, he did go off for eight touchdowns in 2012 and had a career-high 93 grabs in 2010. Jamison Crowder also got discussed as a strong slot wideout, but couldn't overcome Moss for the third spot.

Tight end (1) - Jordan Reed

Notes: Reed's future is in doubt and his career will never be as decorated as it could've been without injuries, but he still had some standout times with the organization. And what he did in 2015 — 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 end zone trips — was beyond standout. 

Offensive linemen (5) - Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses

Notes: Williams is one of the easiest picks in this story, and on the all-decade team he won't be alienated by anyone. Scherff is also a lock at right guard, and while Moses has started to fade since 2018, he's still the logical pick as the other bookend. Center and left guard is where it gets tricky, but Roullier has earned it by being a stalwart early in his career and Lichtensteiger is a decent option along the interior.

 

Edge rushers (2) - Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo

Notes: Kerrigan is currently one sack short of the Redskins' franchise record with 90, while Orakpo holds the sixth spot on that list with 40. Sorry, Chase Young doesn't qualify here yet.

Defensive linemen (2) - Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne

Notes: Yes, Ioannidis — who was actually waived at the start of his career — slides into the first spot on the D-line. He's seen his sack totals climb each of the past three years as he continues to improve tremendously. After him, Payne just barely beats out Jonathan Allen and Chris Baker, though any of those three have a case. 

Linebackers (3) - London Fletcher, Mason Foster, Perry Riley

Notes: Hopefully you enjoyed edge rusher and defensive line, because the rest of this defense is thin. Fletcher is a no-brainer, as he was still a tackling force in the 2010s and nabbed five interceptions in 2012. Beyond him, however, it gets difficult to find two more worthy linebackers (hey, at least we're going with a 4-3 scheme). Foster and Riley sneak on because they held down their starting spots for a somewhat notable amount of time. Yep, that's the tiebreaker.   

Cornerbacks (2) - DeAngelo Hall, Quinton Dunbar

Notes: Injuries and a position switch clouded the latter half of Hall's Redskins career, but the first half featured a handful of critical and memorable plays. In all, he intercepted 17 passes from 2010 to 2013 and scored six touchdowns from 2010 to 2015. If this all-decade team goes up against an all-decade opponent that's starting Jay Cutler, watch out. After Hall, there is perhaps an argument for Josh Norman, but he's a hard corner to turn to now considering how his tenure is ending. Dunbar makes it as a DB who's logged at least one INT in five straight years and one who's blossoming more and more. Bashaud Breeland also deserves recognition. 

Safeties (2) - DJ Swearinger(?!), Landon Collins (!?)

Notes: This one should almost be left blank. In fact, if you want to feel nauseous today, just scroll through all of the safeties who've lined up for this team since 2010. Swearinger takes one spot based on picking off four passes in 2017 and 2018, while Collins falls into the other despite 1) only playing for the Redskins for one year, and 2) not forcing a turnover in that year, simply because his reputation is better than the likes of Reed Doughty, Madieu Williams and Brandon Meriweather. LaRon Landry would've qualified if he finished out his impressive 2010.    

Specialists (3) - Nick Sundberg, Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way

Notes: Let's take a moment to appreciate that Sundberg has been the long snapper for this team for the entire decade. He's literally the only choice thanks to his longevity and reliability. Hopkins has been kicking for the Redskins since 2015 and owns a career field goal percentage of 84.6. That's strong, and he's racked up plenty of 50-yarders as well. Then there's Way, who's finally a Pro Bowler and who's become a legit weapon for Washington. These three are as steady as it gets as specialists. 

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