by Brian Tinsman

WASHINGTON — One football pundit got caught being positive about the state of the Washington Redskins, and he isn’t backing down.

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms recently made waves on his Bleacher Report podcast by claiming the Washington Redskins would be a team contending for the playoffs in 2015.

Given the chance to hedge his bets in an interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan, Simms instead doubled down on his praise of the burgundy and gold.

“It’s a positive time of the year,” he admitted. “I’ve liked a lot of the moves the Washington Redskins have made this offseason, I really have, on both sides of the football.”

Simms launched into more than two-straight minutes of roster analysis, highlighting each acquisition and personnel grouping that he liked.

“Drafting Brandon Scherff to shore up the offensive line a little bit, which has been a weak spot the last few years, especially pass protection,” he listed. “You’ve got a running back who is a franchise running back in Alfred Morris, and he’s certainly one of the better ones in the NFL.

“Your wide receiver and tight end play? I would put it up there with anybody. DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and of course Jordan Reed and Niles Paul–extremely talented guys as far as the tight end position. There’s a lot of talent there and you’ve got a premier left tackle.”

His single concern with the offense, which he acknowledged was a big one, is the play of the most important position on the team: quarterback.

“Hey, listen, we all know the quarterback thing is a question. There’s no doubt about that,” Simms acquiesced. “One of those guys is going to have to prove it to me before I believe that they’re truly a franchise quarterback.

“So that’s an issue, but the rest of the roster is stand-up.”

His praise grew even more effusive for the defensive side of the ball.

“What was the weakest spot of your defense last year?” he asked rhetorically. “I mean, hands-down it was your safety play. [With] Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather, it was below NFL average standard.

“They improved that by trading for Dashon Goldson and also signed [Jeron] Johnson from the Seattle Seahawks–love that. Chris Culliver is an underrated corner who has been very good for the 49ers, when they were going to all of those NFC Championship games.

“And then your front-seven–the front-seven is legit. You’ve got the best run-stopping nose tackle in football for $4 million on a one-year contract, in Terrance ‘Pot Roast’ Knighton. Jason Hatcher, in the middle of that defense, is a beast and has been a beast for a long time. I like the guys you’ve got on the edge.”

Simms expanded on his praise of the edge rushers, building huge expectations for rookie outside linebacker Preston Smith.

“The Preston Smith kid, I thought, was one of the best picks in the draft, in that early second round” he said. “He’s a beast who can play a lot of different positions for any defense.

“Preston Smith should fill that void [left by Brian Orakpo’s departure], with a little bit of help from Trent Murphy.”

Simms expanded on his analysis, but long story short is that Simms is an informed believer in the 2015 Washington Redskins.

“I just think it’s a roster that has all of the pieces to be a playoff-caliber football team,” he said. “Now it’s going to be on the coaching and quarterback play just to get it over the edge.”


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