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Season 2016 Grades, Evaluations, Questions

Greetings. Today is the final regular season update from BBQ.

The 2016 season is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the competition. We bid farewell to Redskins football games for several months. We will try to make some sense of it all as BBQ hands out grades, evaluations and questions. Feel free to offer your own grades, evaluations, questions, and opinions for the 2016 season.

Let’s take a look at it all.

Question: Has Kirk Cousins earned a long term contract?
Answer: Yes and BBQ believes it will happen before any tag can be applied. However, Cousins needs to work on certain aspects of his game such as red zone woes. Aaron Rodgers threw for 500 fewer yards, but had fifteen more TD passes. Winning against quality competition is also an issue. Better accuracy on screens, passes to the flat, and short routes need work.
Grade: B

Running Backs:
Question: We keep asking this question: What running game?
Answer: Matt Jones couldn’t cure his fumblitis. Robert Kelley demonstrated flashes at times, but seems better suited to a relief role. Chris Thompson excelled as a third down back and did a superb job of blocking – especially picking up blitzes.
Grade: D+

Wide Receivers:
Question: Does it seem strange that the two leading wide receivers may not return?
Answer: Not really. DeSean Jackson is brittle and not committed to the offseason program. Pierre Garcon could be asking for too much money as someone who is now on the wrong side of thirty. Both had a great season. Jamison Crowder continues to shine.
Grade: A-

Tight Ends:
Question: Did Vernon Davis help to elevate this grade?
Answer: Absolutely. When Jordan Reed needed a rest during games or had an injury, Davis stepped up and became a reliable target. Reed could be one concussion from seeing his career end. The hope is that he can stay healthy for 2017.
Grade: B

Offensive Line:
Question: Did the offensive line struggles late in the season lower their grade considerably?
Answer: Just a bit, but the line had one of its best seasons in nearly a decade. The left guard position became a drag on the team and injuries played a part as well. The right side is solidified for at least six years, possibly longer.
Grade: B

Defensive Line:
Question: Are there any grades lower than an “F”?
Answer: No, but if BBQ could give out such a grade, it would be featured here. An absolute overhaul is needed along the entire line. Chris Baker is a rotational player at best. Ziggy Hood is a backup at best. Ricky Jean Francois is a rotational player at best. Cullen Jenkins should retire. Matt Ioannidis is a practice squad player who could improve in the coming years. Kedric Golston should retire. You get the idea.
Grade: F

Question: And what grade would you give to this group?
Answer: It’s a mixed bag as Ryan Kerrigan had an outstanding season. The Redskins were able to utilize Mason Foster’s talents to its fullest and he played with a spirited determination. Will Compton has the same determination, but he simply lacks the talent. Preston Smith was a huge disappointment in his second season.
Grade: C

Question: Is this another “mixed bag” grade?
Answer: Very much so. Josh Norman had a good season, but he needs to get his emotions under control. Silly personal foul penalties and unsportsmanlike infractions truly hurt the team. Bashaud Breeland struggled for most of the season, but seemed to find his calling as the nickel/slot corner late in the season. The hope is for Kendall Fuller to start and be effective across from Norman in 2017.
Grade: C-

Question: Will having Su’a Cravens move to strike safety in 2017 help this group?
Answer: Absolutely. He should shine at this position. This unit struggled for much of the season. A new free safety is needed and a good one can be found in the draft as this class is quite good. DeAngelo Hall needs to retire. Duke Ihenacho and Deshazor Everett should be retained for depth.
Grade: D+

Special Teams:
Question: Do we need to find any replacements for this unit?
Answer: No way. Dustin Hopkins will only get better. The Redskins have a sad history of letting young kickers go and then see them excel elsewhere – David Akers, Graham Gano, Nick Novak to name a few. Tress Way had another great season. Jamison Crowder was good on punt returns. The future is bright for this group.
Grade: B

Question: Was BBQ surprised at the big moves yesterday?
Answer: Not really. It needed to happen and now the team has a chance to acquire some coaching talent/expertise for the defense. While the offense had a solid 2016, it was plagued with red zone difficulties, running back woes, and wilted against elite teams. The defense struggled and was not able to have any kind of impact for the entire season. Special teams had a fine season.
Grade: C-

General Manager:
While most are willing to praise Scot McCloughan for his first two years, BBQ thinks it is too early to fully grade his performance thus far. Judging drafts takes time, but free agency does deserve greater scrutiny. However, we must render a decision and grade him for the 2016 season. He neglected the defensive line this season and had no upgrades at safety. Upgrades and additions in other areas have been mixed. He must do a much better job during the 2017 offseason.
Grade: C-

How would you grade each position, the coaching staff, and GM for 2016? Who do you want for defensive coordinator? How much of the upcoming free agency should be spent on defense? The draft? Will you watch any playoff games?

This is our final blog on the 2016 season. Next week we will post the first look at free agency, then the first mock of 2017.

On to the offseason as we kick off 2017.

Hail to the Redskins!
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