Redskins receivers have to step up for Washington succeed (USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES)
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Redskins are going to struggle to make the playoffs this season. That's obvious.
I'm not calling this season a wash, not yet. I actually think the Redskins will be playing meaningful football in December. But when this year does eventually wind down and we look back on the season, there will be three areas of blame: Robert Griffin III, the Redskins defense and coaching.
And that isn't entirely fair.
This past offseason the Redskins failed to address their wide receiving corps. Remember this unit is so plagued without depth, that the Redskins went 1-5 without Pierre Garcon in the lineup in 2012. Shouldn't that have rang some alarm bells?
Garcon is a bonafide stud, and will be a fixture in Washington's offense for several years. Santana Moss has lasted at a pretty high quality for longer than we thought. Outside of those two, is there any receiver on the roster who deserves to be here long term?
Josh Morgan has never caught more than 52 balls in a year and he will turn 29 next offseason. Morgan is average across the board -- speed, size and blocking. It was a mistake to think he would make a big difference this season.
Aldrick Robinson, my and many's pick to have a breakout campaign, is now struggling to find the field after a gut wrenching drop against the Detroit Lions. After playing 22 snaps in week one against the Eagles, Robinson has seen 26 since.
Some will argue Leonard Hankerson has been a bright spot early on for the Redskins. I won't go that far. His biggest statistical game was against Philadelphia -- seven catches, 80 yards, two touchdowns -- a game in which we can all agree that statistics should be thrown out. If Hankerson can become a consistent threat in this offense, you'll really be able to tell.
Following the Redskins seven game winning streak to end the 2012 campaign, the receivers mentioned above played out of their minds. Most of that has to do with Griffin lighting the world on fire and ALfred Morris opening up throwing lanes over the middle of the field. But here's what we've learned about the NFL in 2013: you cannot have enough weapons on your roster.
The Cowboys are a prime example. Already loaded with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and the up and coming Dwayne Harris, Dallas still chose to select Baylor receiver Terrence Williams in the third round. The rookie receiver is already emerging as a much needed deep threat.
Look at what the Packers have built in Green Bay. They've made drafting weapons early on a necessity. Jordy Nelson and James Jones were second and third round picks respectively in back to back years. Randall Cobb was a third rounder in 2011, when Donald Driver and Greg Jennings were still valuable assets. The Packers now have a well oiled machine, capable of matchup problems across the board.
The list of teams with younger and better weapons in the passing game than the Redskins goes on and on. Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati -- even Buffalo has made it a drafting strategy to upgrade at wide receiver.
The point of this article isn't to tell Bruce Allen how to do his job. Most of he and Shanahan's decisions have been successful. Allen was in a tough spot with the salary cap penalty. But believe this: there will be at least two new young wide receivers on the Redskins roster in 2014. Griffin needs more to work with.