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Washington Redskins Look to Build on Last Season’s Success

The Washington Redskins are currently 40/1 odds to win the Super Bowl next season. Last year, the team was ravaged by injury, losing defensive end Brian Orakpo for most of the season and megastar quarterback Robert Griffin III during the team’s final playoff game. If everyone on this team can stay healthy,, the sky’s the limit. However, they’re going to have stiff competition in the NFC, particularly the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, two divisional rivals across the country that could be the class of the NFL this year.

“Obviously, this isn’t to say, ‘Look, we’re better than these teams that won championships,'” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “But these guys can look at these numbers and they see what they accomplished. They put up the kinds of numbers on offense that can win you championships. So you don’t have to wonder if you can perform like that. You know you already did.”

However, when the team gets Orakpo back this year, it will essentially be like getting a high-performing draft pick. The team finished 10-6 last year with minimal contributions from one of their best defensive players.

“His skill set can’t be replaced easily,” the Redskins’ Barry Cofield said of Orakpo. “Offenses have to game plan for him. Offenses have to fly to him. When he’s wandering from side to side on the line, I see every offensive lineman’s eyes follow him as he goes, because he’s the guy that has to be accounted for. He just makes everyone’s life easier on our defense.”

Last year’s rookie of the year, quarterback Robert Griffin III, overshadowed a player on his own team who would have seriously earned consideration for the award in any other year. Rookie running back Aflred Morris ran for 1613 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, and he knows that it will be more difficult to obtain the same level of success again this season now that defenses are keying on him.

“I don’t think anybody in here thinks it was a fluke or anything like that,” Morris said. “If anything, I think everybody wants to talk about what they can do better, how they can improve, ways they can help more now that they’re comfortable and have seen everything for a year.”

Some detractors have noted that Morris couldn’t have had the success he did without Griffin sharing the backfield with him, but it doesn’t really matter; the Redskins will once again have one of the most devastating offenses in football this season thanks to two sophomore players.

“I don’t think about that because we were paired together and I hope this will be a long relationship between us,” he said. “Not only on the field but off the field as well. When the cleats are hung up and we’re done playing football, I want us to still be friends because he’s just a great guy, real humble, real down to earth. He’s a clown; he loves laughing. I think we’ve got a lot in common.”

With so much competition in the NFC, it’s unlikely the Redskins will win the Super Bowl this year. However, if everything breaks just right, they could certainly win their division and possibly advance to a conference championship.

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