Here are five things we learned from the Redskins' 2015 season.
They aren’t good enough yet—Over the next few weeks we will go into some detail about where the Redskins need help. But to look at the view from 10,000 feet, the running game needs to get better and the secondary needs to be strong enough to allow the defense to send more pass pressure. That is the minimum they will need to do to be able to keep participating in the playoffs and to win games once they get there.
We know who the quarterback next year will be—Kirk Cousins will be back. It may be on a one-year franchise tag tender or it may be on a longer term deal. He still has a lot to prove but the fact of the matter is that his deal is up and the Redskins have no choice but to keep him around. Cousins will either be tagged or he will get a long-term deal by the March 7 tag deadline.
Jordan Reed is a keeper—He can’t be covered by a linebacker and he’s too big to be handled by most defensive backs. Reed is still learning the game and he is going to get better; 100-catch seasons with 15 touchdowns will be the norm for him over the next few years.
Jay Gruden is a pretty good coach—The second-year head coach got about as much as you can expect out of a team that wasn’t even supposed to get much more than six wins. They had to deal with more injuries than all but a handful of teams; at times it seemed that they were held together with duct tape, chewing gum and chicken wire. Gruden may need to polish his game management some and at times play calls were too predictable. But he is headed in the right direction.
Scot McCloughan is the right man for the job—He has barely started to build this team and they are already ahead of schedule. Draft picks like Preston Smith and Brandon Scherff were key contributors; others like Kyshoen Jarrett exceeded expectations as they filled in the gaps created by injuries. And guys he pulled off of the street like Mason Foster and Will Blackmon were immediate fits.