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GM: Expectations for Redskins are not 'outrageous'

Saturday - 9/8/2012, 1:37am  ET

AP: 60a945f7-3a60-4c3c-84d3-c06176e6708a
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III sits on the bench during the first half of an NFL preseason football game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Landover, Md. Griffin was not scheduled to play in the game. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

'As (RGIII) learns, he's going to get better'

Redskins GM Bruce Allen


WASHINGTON - It's a whole new year, and with some slight roster shifts the Redskins face a whole new opportunity this season.

The question on every Washington fan's mind: Will RGIII make a difference to the team's performance?

"I don't know if the expectations are outrageous," team GM Bruce Allen tells WTOP. "Most people expect we're going to come in last place."

Still, the vigor of the new quarterback who led his Baylor Bears to tie their record 10 wins in 2011 can't help but reshape the 'Skins.

"He expects to do great, and that's our goal," says Allen. "He's been here every day working. On the day off he comes in first thing in the morning. He wants to be a good player and we're excited to have him."

Washington faces a "hornets' nest" in its first regular-season game this Sunday at 1 p.m. at New Orleans. The Saints made headlines last year for a bounty system instituted by coaches, and will be eager to overcome the negative attention.

"That team is very fired up," Allen says. "They're mad at the commissioner, they're mad at the world."

So how do you think the Redskins are going to fare this season? Check out the results of our annual newsroom poll, and send us your predictions. Use WTOPTalkBack on Twitter, or post to our Facebook page.

Max Smith, reporter: 5-11
Skins could go anywhere from 4-12 to 7-9, but I'm predicting 5-11 with the rookie QB, and the team coming off a rough year.

George Wallace, Redskins beat reporter: 7-9
If there ever is a good 7-9, this will be it. You will see improvement each week with Robert Griffin III at QB, the defense will keep this team in a number of games and might even win a couple for them. There are still holes in this roster and will take another year or two to reach the playoffs. If we see improvement each week, then it will be a successful season. If they get to 8 wins, it would be a huge success.

Nick Pisano, assistant editor: 6-10
Tough-ish schedule, tough division. Better than last year, but not by much. Wouldn't be TOO surprised to see 7-9, but not really feeling it. Also, go Giants!

David Burd, reporter: 9-7

Mitchell Miller, assistant news director: 6-10
It's good RGIII is one of the fastest quarterbacks in NFL history. He'll need every bit of that speed, running the offense behind an O-line that was battered before the season even began. Defense keeps getting better; unfortunately the record doesn't. 6-10.

Megan O'Rourke, traffic reporter: 6-10
The skins will be lousy as always. 6-10

Dimitri Sotis, anchor: 5-11
I love the Skins, and every year I allow that love to get in the way of rational thinking…for years I've wrongly predicted a 10-6 season. NOT THIS TIME! I think the Skins will go 5-11. { my heart still says 10-6 - go RG3! }

Dave Preston, sports reporter/anchor: 6-9-1
6-9-1. Because in addition to the OL held together by duct tape ... regrettable Rex relief appearance ... runningback roulette second guessing ... scuttled secondary and "Get Gano Back!" banners Redskins Nation needs a week of dissecting Coach Shanahan/RGIII's handling of OT.

Lacey Mason, digial editor: 11-5
I don't have any football cred to lose here so...

With my limited football knowledge, there's room for optimism. And, as a Nebraskan, I'm compelled to believe former Huskers Roy Helu (Once, when I worked at Blockbuster, he gave his change to two cute kids to buy candy), D.J. Gomes (we totally had Spanish together), Niles Paul and Adam Carriker can take it to the next level. Oh, and RGIII's pretty cute.

Dave Johnson, sports director: 9-7
I went with 8-8 last year and that turned out to be a stretch even after the Redskins started 3-1. This time I believe the Redskins are capable of a winning record. It is the third year for the defense in the same system and Robert Griffin the third is the real deal. Still RG 3 is a rookie and that's why I think 9-7 would be a huge step forward.

Mike Jakaitis, morning drive editor: 8-8
The Redskins schedule is brutal down the stretch. 8-8 at best. Kirk Cousins finishes the year at QB.

Judy Taub, editor: 9-7
I'm optimistically going to say 9-7.

Rob Woodfork, sports/traffic reporter: 9-7
This team was a competent (not elite, not good...competent) quarterback away from being the 9-7 team that stole the NFC East last season. I doubt nine wins is enough to take the division this year, but the front seven is as good as any 3-4 team in the NFC, the running game is a bit underrated, and if RG3 is simply efficient (if not dynamic) the Skins could be much better than expected.

Brian Beddow, sports/traffic reporter: 8-8
The Redskins have finally settled down and are doing it the right way. Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan are taking a slow and steady approach to building a successful franchise. I expect with a new QB and an ever changing Offensive Line they will most likely struggle in September and October but look for them to finish strong in November and December and give us a preview of what's to come.

Jonathan Warner, sports reporter: 7-9
Here we go for my fearless prediction: Last year, I correctly predicted 5-11. I see improvement this season, but only by a couple of games - best scenario being 7-9. RG3 will be entertaining, show flashes of brilliance on occasion and play like a rookie on others. His success will hinge on the offensive line keeping him upright. The secondary is also a big concern. They can't fall behind early The Redskins offense is not built for high-scoring games

Ari Ashe, editor: 6-10
In football, it all comes down to the QB. With RGIII at the helm and Pierre Garcon at WR, the Redskins offense will be a little better than last season. But even the best rookie QBs rarely turn around a team in one season. Remember the Colts went 3-13 in Peyton Manning's first year.

Julie Ashe (Redskins fan): 8-8
Like last season's 3-1 start, the Redskins will again open up strong. But the Redskins weaknesses will show in midseason and the coaches will waffle between RGIII and Rex Grossman. Let's face it, Washington is know for two things. Political controversies and quarterback controversies. Players again will feel disenchanted as they struggle to try unsuccessfully to grab that last playoff spot.

Mark Lewis, midday anchor: 7-9
My usual new season optimism for the Redskins IS there this year… but I think the schedule may be too tough for me to find 8 or more wins. The building blocks are there… but I'm still worried that the offensive line will let us down. I'm going with 7-9.

Craig Heist, sports reporter: 7-9
The Redskin will finish the year 7-9. A little better than last year but with a rookie quarterback in Robert Griffin III, the Skins need to have more around him than what there is or appears to be right now. He will have his growing pains with his on-the-job-training. In fact, I predict Andrew Luck will have a better rookie season. Yep, thats it -- 7-9.

Laurie Cantillo, program director: 9-7
I grew up in Denver, and after being a long-suffering Broncos fan, I witnessed the magic of Mike Shanahan with back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and '98. With an exciting player like RGIII to energize the team, this will be a winning season for the 'Skins at 9-7.

Jim Battagliese, director of traffic, transit and sports operations: 7- 9
I'm predicting 7-9 season for the Skins.

WTOP's Paul D. Shinkman contributed to this report. Follow Paul and WTOP on Twitter.

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