If there were to be a title of the Redskins opening chapter of the 2013 season it should be “On the Mend”. The Redskins were able to overcome an injury-ridden 2012 season and reach the postseason after a five year drought from January football.
Over on Yahoo! Sports is a 2012 season in-review and offseason preview for the Washington Redskins as the team prepares to defend its division crown.
The inspection of the 2012 NFC East champions includes summaries of what when right, what went wrong, and a preview of what’s in store for the team as the offseason is freshly upon us.
Find out what they thought of the 2012 season and what the team needs to do to build on its foundation and emulate the success at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign here:Would you like the good news or the “bad” news first?
Let’s give you the “bad” of the 2012 season first, (don’t worry its not as terrible as it sounds).
Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. That’s what went wrong for the Redskins. From Week 1 to the Wild-Card Weekend matchup against Seattle at FedExField, the team was constantly harassed by the injury bug.
Against the New Orleans Saints on opening weekend, rookie safety Jordan Bernstine had his debut season cut short after tearing several ligaments in his knee.
In Week 2 against St. Louis, defensive stalwarts Adam Carriker (knee) and Brian Orakpo (pectoral) were lost for the remainder of the 2o12 campaign as they were placed on Injured Reserve.
After a gut-wrenching Week 7 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants, the team received devastating news that starting tight end Fred Davis had been lost for the season after tearing his Achilles.
Safety Brandon Meriweather came to Washington during the 2012 offseason bringing with him a plethora of starting experience, Pro Bowl appearances, and playoff action. In the week of preparation leading up to the Saints game, Meriweather sprained his MCL and PCL in his left knee.
After weeks of healing, Meriweather was prepared to make his Redskins debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the injury bug struck the Redskins again. In what can only be described as freak accident, Meriweather collided with wide receiver Aldrick Robinson during warm ups, re-aggravating his knee injury and postponing his debut until week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Meriweather’s insertion into the starting lineup provided an instant spark to the defensive unit, picking off Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and notching seven tackles. However, after going down in the second half, the team announced the he was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve with an ACL tear.
Overall, three key starters on defense and one of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s top targets on offense sustained season-ending injuries.
What went right for the Redskins during the 2012 season and what can the team build on for the 2013 season:
For starters, head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan constructed the league’s most potent rushing attack behind rookies Alfred Morris and Griffin III. The team compiled 2,709 yards and waltzed into the end zone for 22 touchdowns on the ground.
Wide receivers Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, and Joshua Morgan provided Griffin III with reliable targets as each showed they were capable of being the go-to-guy when their number was called. After their first seasons in Washington, Garcon and Morgan will join Moss and the rest of the receiving core for a full offseason of gelling as a unit to help compliment Morris and Griffin III pounding the rock.
The defense was able to reload from the injury epidemic and continually supplied big plays and key turnovers. The return of Carriker, Orakpo, Meriweather, and Bernstine will provide depth to each level of the defensive unit.
The special teams was a model of consistency as kicker Kai Forbath, punter Sav Rocca, and captain Lorenzo Alexander provided clutch plays each week during the team’s seven game winning streak to end the season. New Special Teams Coordinator Keith Burns will have the record-setting Forbath at his disposal along with the possibility of free agents Rocca and Alexander rejoining the club.
With the return of several starters from injuries on top of the first full offseason for key players on each side of the pigskin, the Redskins are preparing to dominate the division once again.
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