By Ron Leyba
It is not often that one player can define an organization, but this will be the case of the 2014 Washington Redskins. No, the one player isn’t RGIII – which ship has sailed, in fact, that ship never had a chance. Surprisingly, DeSean Jackson is about to become the face of the Redskins.
On April 4th, the WR officially left the Eagles organization and became a Redskin. The deal is for three seasons, and DeSean will be making a total of $24 million. This has led to a great deal of concern for many people. Jackson has become infamous for his off-field associates, and is regarded by many as a criminal. Despite this, he is looking for a new start with his new team, and it seems as though he is the perfect player to make an impact.
Before the addition of Jackson, the most skilled WR on the Redskins was Pierre Garcon, and that isn’t saying much. With this addition, the Redskins have become a better-rounded team. Firstly, DeSean is one of the fastest WRs in the league, and he is notorious for blowing up man coverage. By doing this, you can expect teams to play more zone coverage, allowing for a lot of shorter gains, screen passes, and slot plays, which would allow for shorter 5-8 yard gains. Next, Jackson also possess some of the best hands in the game. Downfield, one of the biggest problems was for Redskins WRs to hold on to the ball. With Jackson, you can expect him to bring down any reasonable throw. Aside from his pure talent, the newly added WR will also force teams to be more cautious. Because of his skills, you can expect him to force secondaries to move towards double coverage, leaving the field much more open for the other receivers.
Having said that, the largest area that Jackson will contribute to is improving RGIII. RGIII was drafted as the future face of the franchise, but his college-like play has made him obsolete. Jackson has the ability to change this. If the last two seasons have taught us anything, it is that the read option has no place in the NFL. Sure, the read option seems fancy and endearing in college, but in the big league, it will never work. Jackson not only brings talent to this team, his brings a new identity.
With this addition, Washington will finally be able to stop pretending to be a college team and actually act like an NFL team. With Jackson on the deep routes, RGIII will be able to work in the pocket for the first time in his career, and actually develop as a passer. Jackson’s route running abilities, strong hands, and athleticism will allow RGIII to have the first real deep threat of his career (Pierre Garcon doesn’t count), and the Redskins will actually have a fighting chance at making the the playoffs.