If you’re interested in this article, first please read my take on the offensive identities (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) of all the teams in 2016. That will explain some of the stats in this article, which I will not explain here. As I did last year, I will write a detailed piece on each team.
Jay Gruden enters 4th year as head coach in Washington, coming off back-to-back season of over .500. While 9-7 and 8-7-1 aren't much to celebrate most places, it's the first time Washington has been over .500 in consecutive years since Norv Turner was HC in 1996-97. Gruden the Younger broke into the NFL as an assistant in Tampa for his older brother from 2002-2008. After that he spent a couple of years in the United League before returning to the NFL OC for the Bengals in 2011. After three years there, he got the head coach job in Washington in 2014.
The big offseason news was either the firing of Scot McCloughan or the retention of QB Kirk Cousins on a 2nd application of the franchise tag (these items may be related). Gruden also got a contract extension, fired his DC Joe Barry and lost his OC Sean McVay to a boss job in LA (Rams edition). The coordinators were replaced by Greg Manusky and Matt Cavanaugh respectively, both with plenty of experience elsewhere in those jobs (9 and 8 years), although Cavanaugh hadn't been an NFL OC since 2004. I don't think McVay's departure will affect what Gruden wants to do and I will use Gruden's history in discussing the team's identity. Still, Gruden's boss and his two chief lieutenants have changed, so there may be some affect on his coaching.
In player personnel changes, the top two wideouts from Gruden's previous three seasons, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, are gone. Terrelle Pryor was added in free agency as a replacement for one. The team probably wants last year's top pick, Josh Doctson, to come back from injury and replace the other, but did sign Brian Quick as an alternative. The team's top three picks in 2017 were spent on defense, with RB Samaje Perrine being the first offensive player taken, in the 4th round. TE Jeremy Sprinkle and WR Robert Davis were chosen in the 6th and 6th, along with a 6th round Center, Chase Roullier. No other significant FA losses took place, although RB Matt Jones, a 3rd round pick in 2015 and failed starter will probably...