4 Redskins who have shined in a lost season

Chris Lingebach
October 29, 2019 - 9:39 pm

There's not much hope surrounding the 1-7 Redskins. Rather than dwelling on that, perhaps it's more constructive to focus on the positives.

Chris Thompson made his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies – presented by Steamfitters UA Local 602 – and was asked which players on the Redskins roster really 'wow' him. Let's spotlight them.

"Terry, for sure," Thompson began. "AP, still doing it."

What more can be said about Terry McLaurin that hasn't already been mentioned? It's taken all of seven games for him to show he's a star in the making and a complete steal as a third-round pick (76th overall).

The Redskins knew they had something special in McLaurin when they kept him safe on the sidelines in the preseason. McLaurin had his coming out party soon after, hauling in five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in his Week 1 NFL debut against the Eagles. The rookie leads the Redskins in targets (46), receptions (28), receiving yards (458), yards per catch (16.4) and touchdowns (5).

Perhaps his most admirable quality, though, is that he clearly possesses the makeup of a future team leader. McLaurin should have a long career in burgundy and gold.

Thompson, when told he could expand his list to the entire roster, started doling compliments on the defensive side of the ball, too.

"I like Cole (Holcomb) a lot," he said.

"He's always around the ball," replied Junkies host Eric Bickel.

"Yes. He's always around the ball," Thompson agreed. "I love watching him play."

A fifth-round pick (173rd overall) out of North Carolina, Holcomb has registered 53 combined tackles – three for a loss – and forced two fumbles eight games into his rookie season. He's a player inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan identified early in training camp as someone who's "gonna surprise a lot of people."

Holcomb's started seven games for the Redskins and appears to be establishing himself as a future cog of the defense.

"Bostic is another guy I love watching play," said Thompson.

Jon Bostic kicked around the league at a number of different stops before signing with Washington in the offseason. After stops in Chicago, New England, Detroit, Indy and Pittsburgh, the 28-year-old linebacker – a second-round pick by the Bears in 2013 – may have found a long-term home in Washington in 2019.

Bostic – who's second only to Landon Collins with 60 combined tackles (two for a loss) in eight starts – signed a one-year deal with the Redskins, but he's making a strong case for the Redskins to bring him back next year. Bostic also has one sack on the season and has been a central part of the Redskins defense as the primary play-caller.

"I'm gonna leave Landon (Collins) out of it, because I think that's pretty much a given with him," Thompson said. "Like I love how Dunny's been playing so far this year. I think he's really taken a big step in his game and it's something great to see."

"Like, I saw him from when he came in as an undrafted guy playing wide receiver in camp and OTAs, to Coach Gruden deciding to move him over and try him at corner," he said. "It took him a little while, but the last few years he's been in his groove with it."

Quinton Dunbar, 27, arrived in Washington as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2015 as a wide receiver unlikely to make the roster. After a rash of injuries in the secondary in camp that year, Jay Gruden made the call to hand Dunbar over to the defense, to see if he could make the roster as a corner. Dunbar did not, initially, but after a brief stint on the practice squad he was promoted to the active roster.

Dunbar's improved steadily every year since, has become the Redskins' most reliable corner and continues to grow at the position to this day. He won't become a free agent until after the 2020 season.

See? Not all bad.