Boomer Esiason’s affinity for Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan have him convinced the Washington Redskins defense will be good enough to carry a significant load for Robert Griffin III’s inaugural season.

In fact, he told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier that Mike Shanahan’s squad will be much improved in 2012.

Improved enough to make the playoffs? Well, that’s another story.

“The Redskins should be better, 8-8 would be a really good season for them,” said Esiason.

A .500 record is unlikely to give Shanahan his first trip to the postseason since taking over in Washington. The strength of the NFC East makes even the remote possibility seem even less realistic.

“I don’t see them making the playoffs, but if they did they would need guys like Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Michael Vick to get hurt,” Esiason said.

As far as the Redskins young quarterback, Esiason said that Griffin and fellow rookie Andrew Luck should have great careers. However, he doesn’t believe either player will be able to replicate the Cam Newton’s rookie season one year ago.

“They will have a traditional coach with a traditional offense,” Esiason said. “This will not be a spread them out in shotgun on first, second and third downs and let him run around and make plays.”

Esiason admits that this isn’t what Redskins fans want to hear, but Washington will do what is best for the long-term career of the franchise quarterback.  Protecting Griffin at all times should be the team’s paramount objective this season.

It’s an understandable agenda given the high price Washington paid to acquire the second overall pick in this year’s draft.


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