Redskins mailbag: Part 1

ASHBURN, Va. -- So we're at that point in the season: Fans looking for hope; draft chatter and possible firings plus a question that is good, but explainable. Enjoy.

John Keim: Anything to cherish when you're not winning? Hard to say. But I get the question: You want hope for the future. I do like Bashaud Breeland, but it's hard to say how good he'll be as a starter. If Robert Griffin III plays well, then that's where you can start to really cherish something from this season. Keenan Robinson's development is another. And if their two rookie offensive linemen, Spencer Long and Morgan Moses, develop, then those are two more positives. But there's so much time remaining in this season.

Keim: I've always thought this was a rebuild. Their defense, for example, had too many older players, which would be OK if they weren't past their prime. The offensive line was not solved and would take another year, whether from the development of draft picks or another offseason to find better talent. There are many parts they still need. If Robert Griffin III develops, then that answers the most important question they still have. He showed two years ago what can happen when he plays well - there's a trickle-down effect. Look at Dallas; the Cowboys' defense isn't great, but receives a ton of help from an offense that doesn't turn it over and scores often. When you look at the Redskins' defense, there are a lot of remaining needs from two safeties to youth along the line and possibly one or two linebackers. It seems more daunting than it has to be because they can win with a few moves. But this group has to prove it can make those moves.

Keim: Yes. But it really has as much to do with Trent Murphy's development as anything. If he shows that he can be an effective every-down linebacker, then you obviously don't either have to re-sign Orakpo or draft a guy in the first round. If Murphy shows he's not an all-around guy, but could help as a nickel rusher and there's a playmaking outside linebacker available in the first round when they draft, then sure, that's an option. There's such a long time between now and the draft and so many variables will come into play.

Keim: Because the defense is 24th in points allowed and the offense is 22nd in points per game. So they don't give up as many yards and they do gain a lot of yards, but scoring matters. And the Redskins struggle big time in this area. Also, turnovers matter greatly: the Redskins are minus-9 in turnover differential, which is worst in the NFL. Add a special teams that does almost nothing to contribute big plays and gives them up and that's how you get to 2-5.

Keim: No. I have a hard time seeing Allen getting fired. Though you can argue with having him be the president and general manager and getting tugged in non-football directions (like defending the name, etc.), but the organization can counter by saying he's only been in this position one year. Now, I think they need to hire a strong football guy to be in charge and let Allen focus on what he does well: negotiate contracts, be an ambassador for the franchise. But you can't do all that and run the football operation. It's such a silly setup. Obviously, of this group, Haslett is the one who would have the hottest seat. If the season keeps going poorly, I can see the Redskins making a move there and giving the other two time. Gruden, after all, is a first-year head coach.