Jan 11, 2015, 11:53 AM EDT
If Redskins fans want Scot McCloughan to build a winning team, they will need to be patient since he will build mostly through the draft. How patient? Well, McCloughan started picking personnel for the 49ers in 2005. They didn’t have a winning season until they went 13-3 and lost in the NFC title game in 2011.
But McCloughan doesn’t think it will take that long to bring at least some degree of success to Washington. Why? He believes he’s starting out with better material to work with.
“Coming in here, this roster, from what I know about right now, was much more improved than the 49ers,” he said during his introductory news conference on Friday.
It’s easy to say that before really digging in to the roster and seeing what’s there and, more importantly, what isn’t. But does that statement pass the smell test? Let’s compare the 49ers in 2004, the year before McCloughan came to that organization, to the Redskins team he is now in charge of.
Here are a few numbers to chew on.
The first glance tells you that these are two pretty bad football teams. Neither ranked in the top 10 in anything listed here. Mostly they were well below average. We don’t want to get too much into the weeds on analyzing the numbers here but they do show that the ’14 Redskins were probably a bit better than the ’04 Niners but both had well-deserved poor records.
How about the players? Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey split the snaps at quarterback. They combined for a sub-mediocre passer rating of 69.9. Last year Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, and Colt McCoy combined for an 88.8 passer rating. While the futures of all three of the Redskins QB’s are up in the air, they are probably will have better careers than Dorsey and Rattay.
At running back, Alfred Morris is better than Kevan Barlow. On their worst days, ’14 Redskins wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson can run circles around Cedrick Wilson and Brandon Lloyd, the leading wide receivers for those 49ers. Neither offensive line was anything to write home about but that 49ers team didn’t have anyone as good as Trent Williams, who has been named to three straight Pro Bowls.
49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young was still starting but past his prime while future Redskins defensive end Andre Carter was injured for about half of the season. Nobody came close to matching the 13.5 sacks that Ryan Kerrigan posted this year; end John Engelberger led the ’04 49ers in sacks with six. Neither secondary had a standout player.
I’m not sure that this Redskins team is “much” better than that 49ers team, as McCloughan said but it does appear that the ’14 Redskins are a bit further away than rock bottom than the ’04 49ers were. McCloughan probably does have a few more effective players to work with than he did 10 years ago.. But he still has his work cut out for him.
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