New faces: Coach Jay Gruden, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Andre Roberts, DE Jason Hatcher, S Ryan Clark, G Shawn Lauvao, rookie LB Trent Murphy.
Key losses: Coach Mike Shanahan, LB London Fletcher, CB Josh Wilson, WR Joshua Morgan, C Will Montgomery, S Reed Doughty.
Strengths: WR, OLB, TE.
Weaknesses: OL, DB.
What’s New: Gruden and GM Bruce Allen have brought about franchise’s latest culture change, from Shanahan’s authoritarian ways to structure of shared responsibility. Gruden is determined to make QB Robert Griffin III more a traditional pocket passer, a transformation that could take some time. At least WRs Jackson, Roberts, Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss give RG3 plenty of options.
Expectations: There’s nowhere to go but up after fifth last-place finish in six seasons, one overwhelmed by tension between Shanahan and Griffin. Improved atmosphere under Gruden alone should be worth extra win or two, but he’s also rookie NFL head coach dealing with headstrong QB. Offseason additions mean offense should be more potent, defense should have better pass rush, and special teams should be better in every aspect — perhaps enough to be competitive in NFC East that doesn’t appear to have dominant team.
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