NFL: Can DeSean Jackson Make the Washington Redskins a Super Bowl Contender
- Updated: April 12, 2014
The Washington Redskins made a big splash on the free agent market this week when they signed free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles. There is no doubt that Jackson will improve a sometimes sluggish offense of the Redskins, but will he be able to take this team from mediocre to Super Bowl contenders?
It depends on how you look at it. It is a good move from an X’s and O’s perspective because of the attention Jackson will draw from opposing teams’ coverages. It will give Pierre Garcon, Andre Roberts and Jordan Reed more one-on-one matchups and open up the running game for Alfred Morris since defenses will need to play more two-safety-high defenses and fewer eight-man fronts. This will allow the Redskins to be more balanced offensively, which in turn will help QB Robert Griffin III’s overall efficiency.
As far as the locker room/team dynamic, leaders such as new signee Ryan Clark will be crucial in making sure an example is set as far as how to be a true pro, and making sure that the players do their part in holding Jackson accountable. Rookie head coach Jay Gruden, along with management, will need to have all their bases covered with a plan to deal with any potential issues that could come up. If the coaches can handle his ego, they should be able to get the most out of Jackson.
The real question will be his off the field potential distractions. We don’t know all the specifics of Philadelphia’s concerns with him, but since Jackson spent close to 48 hours in Washington before a deal got done, the Redskins presumably feel any concerns are manageable. As far as any locker room issues are concerned, Gruden cut his NFL coordinator’s teeth in Cincinnati, so he has some experience dealing with this sort of thing and thus should be able to keep this situation under control. It is a good move on offense, but won’t answer every question.
The biggest problem from a year ago was on defense. The Redskins still have numerous holes to fill on defense, with legitimate question marks remaining in the secondary (signing former Steelers safety Clark was a wise investment). If they can improve on both sides of the ball they should be able to compete in their division, and if they can make the playoffs than the sky is the limit for this team this year.