RUSSELL: 7 ways to fix the Redskins

7 ways to fix the Redskins
Photo credit Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

There are so many ways to improve the Washington Redskins and they need a list about a mile long. For brevity, I've narrowed it down to a touchdown and extra point's worth of "ways to fix the Redskins!"

1 – Fire Bruce Allen: No hashtags needed. Just a smart, common sense, simple move that should have been done five years ago. Bruce Allen is not a football man. He's a businessman who masquerades as a politician, one who moonlights as President of Football Operations for a once proud franchise.

It's not working. It hasn't come close to working. Injuries are not the only problem. It is the lack of communication, leadership and common sense that leads to constant nightmarish problems that the Redskins have to clean up.

Recent examples include: 

A. Claiming Reuben Foster two days after he was arrested for domestic violence and cut immediately by the San Francisco 49ers. The team issued an apparent, misleading statement explaining that they received the blessing of several Redskins players that knew Foster from Alabama. The next day, Jonathan Allen and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix both said they were not consulted in any way. Others refused to speak about the issue. 
B. Asking Doug Williams to be the voice of the front office because fans and media will take kindly to a Redskins legend, while also parading him around as a show pony. Everyone knows that he's not fully in charge of personnel in the truest sense of the title.
C. Players such as Chris Thompson, Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger blasted fans at various times for not coming to FedEx Field because they are fed up. Mason Foster and Zach Brown have had various outbursts directed at the coaching staff, fans and the organization. Swearinger's repeated criticisms of coaches, teammates and anything that moved became so bad that he was released, instead of being suspended or a real executive and/or leader taking charge.
D. It was Bruce Allen vs. Brian Lafemina for the most influential person in Dan Snyder's line of sight. We know who won that war, and the decision to fire the highly regarded longtime NFL executive made the Redskins look awful and only adds to the complex relationship the team has with the league office.
2 – Pray Alex Smith can return in 2019: Nobody knows if Smith is ever going to be able to play again, never mind in 2019. If Smith doesn't retire before the new league year (March 13), he's scheduled to cost $20.5 million against the 2019 salary cap. If he retires or is released, he could cost upwards of $40 million in dead cap money.

Even if he does return, Smith struggled to hit open receivers in his nine-plus games and his mobility/play extension is obviously a major question. Either way, the Redskins are in major trouble at the most critical position. 

3 – Re-sign Adrian Peterson: The 33-year old back had a combined 1,250 yards in his first season for the Redskins. He had plenty of negative runs and several quiet games, but overall – who could possibly complain about AP's production?
Hopefully the Redskins will be able to get a one-year deal done for more money and be able to slowly bring Derrius Guice along in 2019, while keeping Thompson reasonably healthy. Regardless of who is at quarterback next year, the Redskins' bread and butter is their running game.
4 – Get a FREAK: Washington had some players with freaky talent at times (Trent Williams, Jordan Reed) but both struggle to stay healthy and elevate their games to the extent that the Redskins need. They lack speed, power, explosion and dynamic difference makers. They're hard to find, but other teams seem to have no problem getting one or two on their roster. Think about the Giants (Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley) or the Cowboys (Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper) or perhaps the Eagles (Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz?) and that's just the NFC East.
The Redskins will likely need a "freak" at edge rusher if Preston Smith leaves via free agency.
5 – Stop the circus: Because the Redskins tend to throw up all over themselves with bad, ill-timed and poorly thought out decision making and a large lack of common sense, they dig a massive grave for their rotting carcasses every year. Some teams stink and there's very little chaos or drama. No matter what the Redskins do – good, bad or stunningly mediocre – they've kept the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus in business. Bad public relations affect how outsiders view your organization, and many on the inside are beyond fed up and looking to get out the first chance they can. That includes proven coaches.
6 – Get a left guard and limit horrible roster management: Please stop with the Shawn Lauvao experiment as a starter. If he can rebound from a torn ACL, he can be a depth player. The Redskins' decision to ignore this position in the draft, free agency and 53-man roster finalization was simply stunning. It was arrogant, as well. For a large amount of time, they didn't even have a player on their practice squad that could help.
Many other positions were inadequately stocked. Somehow the Redskins didn't bother to have a quarterback in the building on the practice squad, learning the system in case something happened to Smith or Colt McCoy. Then both players were lost for the year and Washington was screwed, because they thought they knew better.

They also let Kapri Bibbs go at the beginning of the season and luckily got him back. He went on to score four total touchdowns (productive for this group) and then was released again, only to be claimed by the Green Bay Packers. 

Receiver Simmie Cobbs was not promoted from the practice squad despite the need for a young, developmental player to get game reps, and then the Saints offered to sign Cobbs to their 53-man roster. Only then, the Redskins offered the same. Who do you think he chose? 

The Redskins also chose to re-sign Brown to a large deal despite already knowing that they did not trust him in pass coverage. 

There's more....

7 – Find a way to keep Preston: He didn't have the best statistical season, especially compared to Ryan Kerrigan, but if you watched the Redskins closely, Smith had a better all-around performance than his edge counterpart. Smith should be the top priority, ahead of Jamison Crowder, Clinton-Dix and others.
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