I think at the halfway point of the season, we've seen enough to get a good insight into the state of the offense that we didn't have last year. This year has made it clear how much the threat RG3 posed as a runner, along with the new read-option scheme, was responsible for covering up many of the team's sins and made us look more like a championship-caliber team than we actually were.
We've seen that in the short-term, for us to win, RG3 has to be seen as a legitimate threat to run by defenses, and has to actually hurt teams with his legs, to make the rest of the offense work. For long-term success, however, he's going to have to continue to develop as a pocket passer to help preserve his health and as teams continue to learn to better defend the read-option. That will take time. The thing is, I'm convinced the coaching staff already knew this. As I've said before, that's why they created the hybrid offense that we have now because they knew he wasn't ready to be an NFL drop-back passer yet, esp. coming from such a simple offense that Baylor used, which didn't require him to do many of the complicated things he needs to do at the NFL level. But he was recognized for being not just an athletic QB, but a smart, hardworking one that could learn it in time. So we've just got to be patient and take our lumps as he learns how to do things he never had to do in college. The knee injury cost him his entire 2nd offseason, which clearly hurts development. But once he's able to combine his athletic ability with a greater ability to read defenses and quickly go through his progressions, look out!
It's also clear that we need our WRs to make the plays that are there to be made. The running game is working well enough to set up the passing game, and receivers need to help RG3 out by catching passes that aren't perfect, but still catchable. That wasn't happening enough early in the season, but the emergence of Reed is helping a lot -- not just because of his ability to catch difficult passes, but also because it adds another consistent receiving threat defenses have to worry about. Garcon is now starting to look like a legit #1 WR, making spectacular plays and catching passes many others couldn't. That's what distinguishes the #1s from everyone else. Any decent WR with speed who played in college could play in the NFL if all he had to do was catch perfectly thrown passes. #1s need to make plays which remind everyone why they're the #1 receiver and Garcon is doing that now. We had too many drives stall earlier in the season because of dropped passes which would've gone for 1st downs if caught, including some by Garcon.
On another note, we're reminded that our OL isn't very good and that last year was an illusion -- the OL being one of the sins RG3 and the scheme covered for. It's fine for the read-option game when that's working well, but the line isn't good enough to pass protect when the QB is in a traditional, drop-back role. It will have to be addressed, but we've known this for a while. It will partially be helped as RG3 learns to get rid of the ball more quickly.
We also need more consistency from the #2 WR position, but this isn't all on the receivers. Some of it is their fault by not catching enough catchable, albeit imperfect, passes, but some is also on RG3 for not always making his reads quickly enough to get the ball to them when they're open. From what I've read, he tends to rely too often on waiting for his #1 read to get open instead of checking down to next read, which at times was open for a certain window that he missed. Shanny mentioned that Hankerson did a great job getting open throughout the Chargers game, although he didn't always get a ball thrown his way in those situations. So there's some hope that we'll get better production from that spot as RG3 improves and that we don't have to look for a replacement. That said, I'm guessing we'll bring in some competition this offseason.
Jordan Reed looks like he'll be a stud. 'Nuff said.
Morris and Helu in the backfield are a winning combination and should be for years to come.
All-in-all, we've got a good foundation on offense and a lot is hinging on RG3's development as a dropback passer. It's unfortunate that he lost all of the development time due to his injury, but I still feel good about the future of the franchise. We were spoiled by last year, but we shouldn't measure ourselves against that standard. RG3's injury changed everything and makes that comparison moot.
TL;DR: RG3 needs to stay healthy and run effectively for us to win in the short-term, and needs to eventually develop into a solid pocket passer to win in the long-term (which he has the ability to do, but it will take time). Garcon is looking more and more like a legit #1 WR, and while we need more out of the other WRs, RG3's continued development as a passer might help that without us having to find outside help, although more competition should be brought in. The OL needs to be upgraded, but we've always known that and we'll be in a better position to do that with the cap penalty behind us. We're set in the backfield for years to come with the combo. of Morris and Helu, and Jordan Reed is looking like a stud, which will help propel our offense forward.
Last edited by SkinsFan4Life71; 11-06-2013 at 11:54 AM.