SNIDER: The Redskins kids are all right

Rick Snider
December 01, 2019 - 5:33 pm
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It's not easy discovering phoenixes among ruins, but the Redskins are finding hope in the midst of another lost season.
 
Derrius Guice has spent most of the last two seasons injured. Now healthy, he gained 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries in the 29-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Guice looked like predecessor Clinton Portis in dominating the second half.
 
First-rounder Montez Sweat continued his recent rise with 1.5 sacks before leaving the game injured. He's finally sealing the edge.
 
Rookie receivers Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims each grabbed three passes, while Terry McLaurin added two. Big yardage is secondary to big catches in this offense, because rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins is working on a short field.
 
And Haskins continued his steady improvement despite not finding the end zone. He still turns into sacks and lacks pocket awareness, but is also starting to move the chains when needed. Haskins' numbers – 13 of 25 for 147 yards with a 69.9 rating – is mediocre, but there's hope the 15th overall pick is still the future.
 
The Redskins are now 3-9 and drifting ever further from the top three draft picks next spring, but losing a game-changing prospect is the price of improvement. Washington was largely expected to open 0-5 and finish with maybe five wins this season by some national pundits. That the early losses were so lopsided dampened even modest expectations, but the key was whether the Redskins could weather the early losses to develop young players.
 
So far, things are getting better. The playoffs remain a lottery-like long shot. Still, improving late to carry over into 2020 is the most important part of this season and maybe things are starting to come together.
 
That said, the worry is late-season success may fool Washington into not making needed changes. Certainly, a new coach is coming, but even more so is a front-office change if fans are to once more dominate FedEx Field. Fans won't be placated by Haskins & Co. winning a few games in December. They want president Bruce Allen gone, and now worry owner Dan Snyder's reported "reviews" will be tainted by a few victories.
 
Are these wins simply "fool's gold" or rising stocks? The next few weeks will tell.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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