During the offseason, the new regime in DC added several key additions for the 2020 NFL season. Some of these moves are similar to the way the 49ers built their roster prior to their Super Bowl appearance.
San Francisco is riding high after a 13-3 season and a Super Bowl appearance. Despite losing, the 49ers are set for the future due to the roster-building of John Lynch. Lynch created solid rotations for the offensive backfield and the defensive line by adding depth to both positions.
The 49ers weren’t a flashy team like the Chiefs and the Ravens, but they were able to win with high caliber players at each position. Based on moves made this offseason, the Washington Redskins are setting themselves up for similar success.
The Redskins began their offseason by revamping their entire coaching staff and front office. Notable additions include head coach Ron Riveria, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and offensive coordinator Scott Turner.
The introduction of Ron Rivera gives the Redskins a stable head coach who players respect. Riviera has a history of success in his past including a Super Bowl 50 appearance. The Redskins drastically improved their defense with former head coach Jack Del Rio filling their hole at defensive coordinator. The addition of a respectable coaching staff was the first of many moves of the rebuild.
John Lynch knows that games are won in the trenches through quarterback pressures and run-stuffing, which is why the 49ers had the best defensive line in the NFL. The 49ers had a solid D-line rotation with Nick Bosa, Deforest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Dee Ford, and Arik Armstead who they acquired through the draft and free agency.
The Redskins are building their defensive line in a similar way that the 49ers have been doing in recent years. The Redskins are mirrored the 49ers draft by drafting premier pass-rushers and run-stuffers early in the draft, as the Redskins have drafted a defensive lineman in the first round every year since 2017. With the addition of Chase Young through the 2020 draft, the Redskins now have a rotation that consists of Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Daron Payne, and Johnathan Allen; all first-round picks.
The 49ers never had a lead back during the season and instead relied on a “running back by committee” approach which included Matt Brieda, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman. The 49ers running game was extremely successful having multiple RBs play at different times.
The Redskins have the personnel to commit to the running style, similar to the 49ers. The Redskins crowded backfield consists of Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice, Peyton Barber, J.D. Mckissic, Bryce Love, and rookie Antonio Gibson. Peterson and Guice will be playing a “lead-back” role for the team with the rest of players fulfilling complementary roles.
According to Head Coach Ron Riveria, rookie Antonio Gibson will be used similarly to Christian McCaffrey due to his receiving skill set. Having a solid running game will ease some pressure off of young quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Now, Redskins are set up for success. With defensive additions like Chase Young, Sean Davis, Thomas Davis, Ronald Darby, and Kendall Fuller, the Redskins are poised to have one of the best defenses in the NFL. With a brand new defense, beefed-up running game, smart coaches and a bad division, the Washington Redskins are my pick to go from worst to first in the NFC East.
Photo credit: Redskins Wire