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How do these Redskins compare to the 49ers that McCloughan took over?

Jan 11, 2015, 11:53 AM EDT

Redskins offense huddle Texans

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.

  1. jesse0874 - Jan 11, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    One thing that must be taken into account is the coach of the niners at this time . Mike singletary was a first time head coach and in my opinion was the major reason that the niners were not in the playoffs sooner . As soon as Jim harbaugh got there they were a different team .

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 11, 2015 at 1:07 PM

      This team, the ’04 team, was coached by Dennis Erickson. Mike Nolan came in came in, coached 3.5 seasons before he was fired and Singletary came in. He was canned after McCloughan left and Harbaugh was hired.

  2. jscx3 - Jan 11, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    This skins team has talent. They have a solid rb a deep threat , pass catching te solid lt. Good pass rusher, and maybe a star young cb. They just need to figure out the qb situation, and strengthen ol, dl, and secondary. They do have pieces just need to fill in blanks. Only problem, lot of blanks. Don’t need pro bowlers at every position , just solid team first players. All of the pieces they have are young. I think we do have a starting qb on our would be foolish to give up on griffin or cousins. I like McCoy, but don’t know if he resigns. Let them compete, if either one wins the job and fails then the search is on for new one. It works good for new GM because he is not linked to the old qbs, if one pans out he can focus on all the other positions.

  3. agold831 - Jan 11, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Redskins: Sacks allowed – 36? Are we only counting the 2nd half of the season? I think Sacks and Sacks allowed should be flip flopped or the titles appear to be misleading

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 11, 2015 at 1:04 PM

      I did flip-flop them, thanks. Fixed now.

  4. charley42 - Jan 11, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    I’m a BIG FAN so be easy on me!

    I hope I’m not too biased but I like this team, they give effort and wiped out Jax and beat a good Cowbops and decent Eagles team. I think that there are good parts to this team and I think most of the problems with this team are more psychological than talent-wise.

    • jonevans511 - Jan 11, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      not talent, but defintely execution. too many very easy plays were bungled on both sides of the ball, and when you have a young team this is expected to a certain extent. i just hope the new regime drafts well and develops the talent we have already.

  5. shermanp79 - Jan 11, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    This team has more talent than they did. If we can get something out of Amerson and Thomas with Breeland, we will be much better off. Lets say they add S Collins this year, that gives them 4 young guys in the secondary to grow together. They need to upgrade 2 G positions immediately and get bigger at C position. I would bring in a FA RT. The OL can be better next year but will take a couple of years to get it where it needs to be. I think the WR and RB positions will be upgraded or changed over the next couple of years. There is talk about Garcon being a Cap cut and Morris finishes his R contract after next year. They need youth on the DL. They could sign Suh if available, that is an impact signing of a young guy. By the second half of his contract he could be making plays for a playoff run. The only question, maybe that is too far away. I would be very limited in FA but if you can sign 3 or 4 key guys over the next couple of years, this team could improve quicker than the Niners. If this team is going to turnover half it’s roster, they are going to have to use FA. I don’t believe you do it all through FA . I believe you do have to make the Draft a priority. I think the key is the age of the FA being brought in. Can they find that young guy with a change of scenery could turn into a quality guy. It’s not easy because teams want to keep those guys but they are out there. It’s tough to have patience and I wonder how long Snyder will be willing to wait? We have to allow for at least 3 years of building, to have that foundation of players. I said last offseason I would be fine with improvement. If we get to 8-8 3 years from now, I will be OK with that. The problem is that was last year. We then wasted another year. Where little was improved. We can’t have that. I also got caught up in the hype and started thinking we could win this year. That is now gone. The most urgent thing is the QB position. We can’t have the mess of this past year. Then we need some high draft picks to get talent on this team. That is where you have a better shot of getting top skills positions, DL and a LB like Patrick Willis. You get the Calvin Johnsons, Julio Jones and AJ Green type guys. Look where Suh was taken. We need a few of these type guys and then find the right guys with other picks. This team hasn’t Drafted these type players in 20 years or longer. We probably aren’t as bad as the Niners but we have a long way to go.

    • deepball1 - Jan 11, 2015 at 9:29 PM

      there is no way that the Skins will pick Collins at number 5 or any other number. He is a STRONG SAFETY and the Redskins need a FREE SAFETY. Collins cannot cover as well as he can hit and tackle.

      • rtcwon - Jan 13, 2015 at 7:34 PM

        They need both.

        I’ll admit I don’t watch much college and don’t pay any attention to draft stuff but from the little I’ve overhead, no way Collins is BPA at 5.

  6. gasngo14 - Jan 11, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Rich whats your thoughts of us trying to hire Dick LeBeau?

  7. colmac69 - Jan 11, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    Small bit karma on cowboys tonight after last wk game………just like rgiii vs giants…..nd to change that rule…..ground cant cause a fumble but it can cause incomplete pass?

    • Joe Greene - Jan 11, 2015 at 8:41 PM

      You do realize that the ground can cause a fumble if you’re not touched by an opponent, right? Bryant caught the ball while stumbling, went to the ground, and lost control there. It’s the right call and it’s a really simple call.

      Oh, and could you add the 23 missing letters from your comment so it looks like an adult wrote it?

      • colmac69 - Jan 12, 2015 at 4:03 AM

        My favourite english professor

        Should have said in certain circumstances ground can cause a fumble so your correct in what you say

        However rule regarding the bryant td needs to be changed,,, that should been td,,, you could have argued that shields brushed bryant before bryant hit ground which would have made him down by contact before ground caused ball to move,,,, the rule has a lot of grey area around it,,,,

        Rgiii vs giants was similar circumstance,,, ball moved bout inch before he crossed line but should been td as well

        Lot of rules need to be changed or tweaked imo

        • rtcwon - Jan 13, 2015 at 7:29 PM

          The rule is fine, the interpretation of “possession” is the problem I have.

          To me, RG3 never lost possession. And as much as I hate, HATE dez, I can not understand how stretching for the end zone is not a football move. If he weren’t near a line to gain, he would have just fell down on his right shoulder. But instead, he put his right hand down to extend his with left.

        • Joe Greene - Jan 14, 2015 at 4:18 AM

          The ball came completely out of Bob’s hands and you think he never lost possession? Yikes.

  8. deepball1 - Jan 11, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    the answer is WHO KNOWS? It all revolves around who the Skins keep this year and who gets cut….and the big question is WHO is the QB? I mean if Griffin suddenly ‘GETS IT” and becomes a much better quarterback, then Scott is inheriting a vastly better team than he did in the 49ers.

  9. httr915 - Jan 12, 2015 at 2:36 AM

    They need to focus on tackling drills they we’re horrendous this year just god awful

    • rtcwon - Jan 13, 2015 at 7:19 PM

      That was 2013, they tackled well this year.

  10. brucealmty - Jan 12, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Colin Kaepernick is off to 11 weeks of QB Camp in an attempt to improve his performance. Just wondering if RG will be doing the same or is his offseason schedule filled with endorsement deal signings and filming.

    • alextwrs - Jan 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM

      Great comment Bruce.

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Jan 12, 2015 at 12:18 PM

      You do understand that athletes can do both, right? A lack of endorsements is not a cause to being a good QB. How many commercials have you seen Blaine Gabbert in? He must be the greatest QB ever!

      • Rich Tandler - Jan 12, 2015 at 12:27 PM

        True. Asked RG about it once, a commercial shoot takes a day. Should they not take a day off.

        By the way, Kaepernick is in plenty of commercials, not a real good example.

      • alextwrs - Jan 13, 2015 at 11:50 AM

        You do understand we have won seven games in the last two years right. QBs have to get better in this league, its called progression.

      • murphsman - Jan 13, 2015 at 4:51 PM

        On the flip side, does that mean Peyton and A-Rod are horrible QBs? Lol

    • Joe Greene - Jan 12, 2015 at 5:17 PM

      Bob probably needs to knock out 87 more Subway commercials.

    • ajbus1 - Jan 12, 2015 at 6:55 PM

      I don’t know what RG’s endorsement contracts look like but you’d have to think there won’t be any new deals and he won’t be representing Subway or anyone much longer. Didn’t he go through some offseason camps/workouts last year though?

  11. alextwrs - Jan 13, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    This isnt about endorsements its about him getting better when he has the time to do so. Archives

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