We spoke to Ken Meringolo of Hogs Heaven to gain some insights into the Washington Redskins.
1. Not unlike the Jaguars -- but in different ways -- the Redskins seem to be falling apart due to instability at the quarterback position following the brutal injury to Alex Smith. Colt McCoy is also now lost for the season, and the Mark Sanchez experiment didn’t go so well. Did you see anything from Josh Johnson last week that inspires confidence going forward?
Ken: Ummmm....long answer no with an “if,” short answer yes with a “but.” Someone is going to play their way into our plans at quarterback, but that ain’t exactly a tall order. Smith counts $51 million against the cap still and Colt is likely our starter next season until either Smith or a rookie could get ready enough to play. A guy like Josh Johnson could play himself into that mix, but like I said...the Redskins are basically the last guy at the bar hoping there is still a lady left in the place they can take home.
2. Other than the obvious issues at quarterback, are there other reasons the Redskins have lost four games in a row, or is this strictly on the signal-caller(s)?
Ken: If only I could blame the quarterbacks for not tackling and getting outrun around the corner by anyone holding a ball in their hand. Our defense has fallen down mightily since a promising early season showing. We are young and strong up front, but our defense lacks speed and lately they have been showing a disdain for tackling...not really a great recipe for a happy holiday season.
3. Adrian Peterson has had a bit of a career renaissance at age 33. Given his history, how did Washington fans perceive Peterson when he was signed, and what is the general feeling regarding Peterson at this point in the season?
Ken: I thought his signing was amazing. The fact a Hall of Famer was willing to come here and show our youngsters what working hard and playing hard looks like is awesome. He has been fun to root for, and I think Redskins Fans are genuinely appreciative of his efforts. Our offensive line has been decimated, which has cut into his production, but he really is the best we could have hoped for when we lost...every single other running back on our team.
4. Are you expecting major changes with Jay Gruden and the coaching staff, as well as with Bruce Allen and the front office, at the end of the season? Why or why not?
Ken: I have officially called the Bruce Allen era over. Dan Snyder needs to move on to the next team president/general manager and see if that new guy can right the ship. Since I believe you have to let a new guy pick everything, I would imagine the housecleaning on the sideline would be pretty complete, but when Redskins fans argue about Jay Gruden’s future, I just say that we are beating up the wrong topic. Gruden is not Washington’s problem. Bruce Allen is.
5. This is obviously a tough question to answer and a very unfortunate circumstance, but from what you have heard, would you expect to see Alex Smith play for the Redskins -- or any NFL team -- again?
Ken: The news is simply terrible and I just hope he comes home from the hospital to his family in one piece. Football is so far down the priority list for him right now. He is the kind of man that could come back, but doing so is going to take time and the prospects seem pretty slim right now. It’s tough from every angle...the team is very, very invested in Alex.
Bonus: score prediction?
Redskins 20, Jags 19
Thank you to Ken for his thoughts and analysis.