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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

How Washington Football Team is rebuilding to change their culture

I miss being able to go to games in person, but this would have been a hard season to see in person; the Washington Football Team struggles to earn a spot in the playoff still this year. (Personal Photo)

The Washington Football Team has represented the Washington, D.C. area since 1937. Since then, they have added three Super Bowl wins, five Super Bowl appearances, and before the Super Bowl, two NFL championships. Unfortunately, the last time they went to the big game was more than 20 years ago. 

Since their Super Bowl XXVI victory, the franchise has accumulated 208 wins, 270 losses and two ties. In recent years, Washington has tried to make sizable free agent signings and trades to improve the team. Injuries have crippled the Washington Football Team in the past. Robert Griffin III injured himself in a playoff game, and before Alex Smith broke his tibia and fibula, he had led the team to a 6-3 record. The real question is, what is the team planning to do this off-season to start winning games? 

Washington has shown to have a top-caliber defense with the addition of defensive end Chase Young and seventh-round safety Kamren Curl. Their defense is their strong suit, so the focus this off-season should be trying to round out the offensive side of the football, specifically the quarterback position.. Washington had four starting quarterbacks last season, including Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Taylor Heinicke. Fans are eager to find out if their team is going to use a draft pick to acquire a quarterback, or if they are going to find one in free agency. 

Last season, quarterback Alex Smith showed that he can still play at the highest level, but 17 surgeries and a near-death experience have taken a toll on his speed and throwing ability. This off-season, fans want to see an all-around improvement in Smith’s skills or a new quarterback on the roster. Washington was tasked with playing the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers in the first wild card round of last season’s playoffs. They were hopeful that Alex Smith would be able to play, but because of a calf injury, backup Taylor Heinicke started in his place.  Just one month before the playoff game, Heinicke was finishing up his engineering degree at Old Dominion University, then Washington called. Heinicke emailed his professors that he would have to postpone his exams to go play quarterback in the playoffs. Taylor Heinicke showed that he belongs in the NFL after throwing for 306 yards, a passing, and a rushing touchdown. This effort earned Heinicke a two-year extension worth almost nine million dollars.

Some top quarterback choices for this upcoming season vary from college to seasoned veterans. Several mock drafts have shown Washington picking Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, and other analysts think the Football Team could pursue a trade. Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterbacks Derrek Carr and Marcus Mariota, the New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, and head coach Ron Rivera’s old quarterback Cam Newton, who just finished a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, are just some of the rumored targets. If The Football Team can keep their defense as strong as it was this past season while rounding out the offense, they could be a serious playoff contender.

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