Just the idea of putting the words “dangerous” and “Washington Offense” together in a sentence back in February would have brought loud roars of laughter. In 2020, Washington ranked 30th in the league in total yards; coming in 25th in passing (216 yards per game), and 26th on the ground (100 yards per game). The team saw four different quarterbacks get starts throughout the season (shocker, right?), and just two of those four (the two with the lowest number of starts – shocking again…), remain on the team.
Now, with the 2021 NFL Draft complete, and the majority of free agency in our rear-view mirror, Washington has positioned itself to be the most prolific offense in the NFC East.
How can this be true, you ask? …well, let me show you!
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick (Magician)
RB – Antonio Gibson (Versatile Weapon)
3rd Down Back – J.D. McKissic (Versatile Weapon)
WR – Terry McLaurin (F1)
WR – Curtis Samuel (Weapon)
WR – Dyami Brown (R) (Best deep threat in college football)
Slot – Adam Humphries (Diverse Slot)
TE – Logan Thomas (Matchup Problem)
TE – Sammis Reyes (The Freak)
LT – Cornelius Lucas (Long-Limbs)/Samuel Cosmi (Humble Mauler)
LG – Ereck Flowers (Big Nasty)/Wes Schweitzer (Mr. Flexability…LITERALLY)
C – Chase Roullier (The ROCK)
RG – Brandon Scherff (All-Pro)/Shadiq Charles (Leg Day)
RT – Morgan Moses (Iron-Man)
This lineup look DRASTICALLY different from the one that ended last season. Let’s take a look at the key changes.
QB: FitzMagic, although not my top offseason choice at quarterback, gives this unit a veteran leader who is beloved in the locker room, offers a bit of Moxy and Swag, isn’t afraid to push the ball downfield, and will use his legs when needed. My gripe here is that Washington doesn’t have a quarterback of the future, but regardless, Fitz gives us a big upgrade to what we had here last year in terms of pure arm talent.
RB: This unit has remained the same from last year – however the biggest upgrade is having the dynamic and versatile Antonio Gibson heading into year two. We all saw the maturation and improvement in his running style (mainly how he ran with patience and set up his blocks), during the second half of 2020. With a full offseason to work with our coordinators and put in time with the strength and conditioning program, he should be able to take his game to the next level. We still have third down specialist and receiving threat J.D. McKissic in year two under Scott Turner as well. This unit should be an exciting one to watch!
WR: This is where the offense vastly improved. Last year, the team was searching for ANYTHING opposite Terry McLaurin. The result of not having a compliment to F1 resulted in him being consistently double teamed by opposing defense. Still, the dynamic second year receiver hauled in 87 receptions for 1118 yards and four touchdowns.
Fast forward four months and this unit has a whole different look…and depth to boot! Ron Rivera targeted his former Panther Curtis Samuel in free agency and landed him on a three year, 34.5M deal. The speedster, who can line up all over the formation (including in the backfield), will bring a playmaking presence that has been absent for a few seasons opposite McLaurin. The team also signed veteran slot specialist Adam Humphries to a one year deal. The 27 year old had his best season as a Buccaneer in 2018, catching 76 passes for 816 yards and five touchdowns from the slot. He spent the past two seasons with the Titans in a reserve role. To top things off, Washington got what many are calling one of the best value picks in the third round in North Carolina deep threat Dyami Brown. The 6’1” 190 pounder had back-to-back 1000 yard receiving seasons in Chapel Hill before declaring early as a junior. He will provide situation starting potential and depth as a rookie in this potent lineup.
TE: Washington went into the offseason with a pretty big need at TE2. Although there is no clear-cut favorite to take over the position if/when Logan Thomas leaves (he’s a free agent in 2022), we did sign a very intriguing international prospect in former collegiate basketball player Sammis Reyes. Reyes, who stands at a chiseled 6’5” 260 pounds, dazzled scouts at the University of Florida’s Pro Day in April – so much that many teams sought out his services as a free agent after the workout. The Chilean athlete chose to sign a fairly lucrative offer to come to DC and begin his NFL career under the tutelage of tight end guru Pete Hoener. Washington also drafted John Bates in the fourth round of the NFL draft, adding a bit more depth to the tight end room.
OL: For the most part, the unit returns intact for 2021 – which is a GREAT thing for chemistry and continuity. There will, however, be competition at left tackle and left guard…as there should be. Samuel Cosmi should be give the opportunity to compete at left tackle in training camp. Will he win the job…that I don’t know, but I would not count him out! At left guard, we brought back Ereck Flowers via a trade with the Dolphins one year removed from him leaving as a free agent. He’s the front runner there, but will need a strong camp to hold of Wes Schweitzer, who played well last season. Saahdiq Charles is the wildcard here. He can play either tackle or guard, and can and should be in the mix at both. What this depth provides, is the opportunity to move on from two players who were starters to begin the season last year and struggled mightily in those roles – Wes Martin and Geron Christian. Regardless of who starts, from top to bottom this unit is improved.
Ron Rivera talked about upgrading his team’s speed during the offseason, and he did just that…and then some!
Below you see some of the 40 times that our offensive players have posted.
Curtis Samuel – 4.31
Terry McLaurin – 4.35
Antonio Gibson – 4.39
Dyami Brown – 4.44
Adam Humphries – 4.53
Sammis Reyes – 4.62
*Samuel Cosmi – 4.84
– Do you want to hear something scary? Our defense may be just as fast – if not faster!…but that’s for another story.
How does Washington stack up against the NFC East’s skill positions?
QB – Daniel Jones
RB – Saquon Barkley
WR – Kenny Galladay
WR – Darius Slaton
Slot WR – Kadarius Toney
TE – Evan Engram, Kyle Rudolph
– This group is the closest one in terms of being very dangerous in the division compared to Washington. Although the speed at wide receiver doesn’t quite match that of The Football Team, they are very skilled throughout that lineup. The question marks include injury and quarterback play; with players like Barkley and Golladay both returning from time missed in 2020, and Daniel Jones really having struggled in year two. If things all come together for the G-Men, watch out NFC.
QB – Dak Prescott
RB – Ezekiel Elliott
WR – Amari Cooper
WR – CeeDee Lamb
WR – Michael Gallup
TE – Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz
– On paper, the Cowboys have a dangerous offense, led by Prescott and Elliott. They may not have as much pepper as the Giants and Washington Football Team, but the talent is there, and it has produced in the past. The issue here is will Dak be fully healthy from his gruesome ankle injury, and can they get any production from the tight end position. Their offensive line should be back to form again after suffering injuries the past two seasons, so that will help the running game and keeping Dak upright.
QB – Jalen Hurts
RB – Miles Sanders
WR – Jalen Reagor
WR – DeVonta Smith
WR – Travis Fulgham
TE – Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert
– The Eagles bring up the rear of the NFC East. It’s not that they don’t have talent, but outside of tight end and running back, that talent has yet to produce. The Eagles will head into 2021 with a new starter under center, two diminutive, yet speedy wide receivers on the outside, and a offensive line that is shaky at best. This will probably be a whole different conversation in a few years, but for now, the danger level is not too high.