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#PickSix: It's Finally Week 1

20210908 Week 1 Practice 067

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the team.

The Washington Football Team has a prime opportunity in front of it as it prepares for the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers. Should it manage to pull out a win over Justin Herbert on Sept. 12, it will start back-to-back seasons with victories for the first time since 2011-12.

And with all the excitement buzzing around the team over the past few months, fans are eager to get the season started. So let's see what the burgundy and gold faithful want to know.

-- @grunnin: What will be the biggest matchup of the game: Young/Slater or Chargers WRs/Washington secondary?_

In terms of individual matchups, I'm more excited about seeing Chase Young going against Rashawn Slater. The two actually have a history; they squared off in college, and getting past the former Northwestern Wildcat was a tough task for Young. A lot of people pointed this out earlier this year when evaluating Slater's draft stock. Young has clearly improved since his days at Ohio State, and I want to see all the improvements he made during the offseason in action.

-- Lawrence S.: What's an "acceptable" record for this team after the first four games, given the expectations?

Hey Lawrence. It's good to see your name in the list of questions. I believe all of Washington's first four games are winnable. Granted, some will be tougher than others, the best example of that being Buffalo. The bundle of division games at the end of the year gives Washington some leeway, and the fact that two of the first four opponents aren't in the conference is a big help as well. To me, if Washington enters Week 5 with at least a 2-2 record, it's a satisfying start to the season.

-- Christopher R.: Are we done with the offensive line? Are we currently looking to add pieces to it?

It looks like Washington is currently done adding pieces at offensive line for the most part. Keeping nine offensive linemen on the initial 53-man roster is a little unusual for Ron Rivera -- he had 10 players at the position in 2020 -- but Saahdiq Charles’ ability as a tackle and guard offers some flexibility. The team is also confident in its starters, which received few changes all year. So, I wouldn't expect any monumental moves for now.

-- Shashi K.: Really disappointed by the anemic showing against the Ravens. How likely are they to be better than last year?

I'll give you this, Shashi: that performance against the Ravens was bad. There's no other way to describe it. With that said, it doesn't matter that much in terms of how Washington will perform this year. Hardly any of the starters played, so keep that in mind. So let's look at what we know: on offense, Rivera has added more weapons at receiver with a veteran quarterback under center. On defense, there are more versatile pieces in the secondary, and the pass rush has another year of experience. They'll have to live up to their potential on the field, of course, but I see a roster that is better than last year.

-- Morgan S.: Thought there were some good LBs available but we didn't pick any of them up. Who do you see as potential LB acquisitions?

I know a lot of fans want to see Washington add more depth at linebacker. Out of curiosity,I took a look at which players were still available*.** There are players out there who may provide some help, but here's something to consider: Rivera sees these players, too, and knows more about them than me or you. Up to this point, he hasn't brought in anyone outside of re-signingDavid Mayo*.** I think he's comfortable with the players he has right now.

-- Timothy C.: Has WFT ever considered using Sammis Reyes as a Fullback? Maybe he would be good for blocking during short yardage downs or even running it for a few tough yards.

I could actually see a situation where they put Sammis Reyes in the backfield, although it's not what you might think. Fullbacks are an antiquated position, so I don't envision him ever being in that role. However, the y-back has grown in popularity over the years because of all the options it gives to offenses. They can operate as a blocker since they're so close to the line of scrimmage without sacrificing their ability as a pass-catcher. Reyes' physicality makes him a prime candidate for that role.