The Redskins are breathing easy after an offseason which seemed to exceed their critics’ wildest expectations.
It began with a typical dose of dysfunction, with the organization firing its general manager, Scot McCloughan, in a dubiously roundabout way prior to the NFL Draft.
But it quickly turned for the better with Jay Gruden’s contract extension, and again on day one of the draft, when stud Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen fell into their laps at No. 17.
There are other hallmarks demarcating what looks to be a successful offseason, which, despite straying from the course of McCloughan’s roster rebuild, should — on paper — translate into a successful regular season.
As Jerry Brewer writes for The Post, this offseason — which also includes several prominent free agent signings, and the in-house promotion of Doug Williams to Senior VP of Player Personnel — has the Redskins front office sticking its chest out and thumbing its nose at those usual critics.
“I just get a sense that Bruce Allen, and by extension, Daniel Snyder, feel they’re a little more comfortable than what they really are,” Brewer told The Sports Junkies on Monday. “And that’s my concern.”
“Obviously you’re going to have optimism in June,” he said. “If you don’t, that means your franchise is really bad. But I think they need to understand that, when they committed to McCloughan, they committed to a process, and they’re continuing to act out that process even though they don’t have McCloughan as the general manager any more.”
“I’d like to see them be patient,” he said. “Let’s understand that everything doesn’t go in a linear path. That’s not an excuse for you to not make any progress this year, that’s not an excuse for regression, but I think you have to have all the boxes checked off.
“You know what it’s going to feel like if you win 10, 11, 12 games, but what if you stay stuck in this eight-, nine-win situation? What are you going to do then? I hope they don’t go back to old ways, in which they just change for the sake of change. I just hope there’s a nuanced look to what happens this season, because I still don’t think they’re there.”
Brewer senses a vibe of ‘you all thought we were dysfunctional — your favorite word in the media — when we fired McCloughan, and look at what we went out and did’ around Redskins Park.
Careful to give credit where it’s due, Brewer pointed to their positive free agent signings, noting Terrelle Pryor “after losing Pierre [Garcon] and DeSean [Jackson],” and calling the addition of linebacker Zach Brown a “great, late pickup on a prove-it contract.”
But, Brewer believes much of the narrative surrounding the Redskins’ offseason shifted once Allen fell to them in the first round — essentially, congrats for claiming the prize in front of your face.
“You’re able to get a guy who could have been a top-three pick right there at 17, which I think fundamentally changed everything about how we viewed the offseason,” he said.
“So they’ve gotten better on paper,” Brewer went on to say. “But I think everyone who has followed this football team for the past two decades almost understands that, on paper, it doesn’t mean anything, and June optimism has a way of becoming October disappointment.”