Without a pick until the second round (51st overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft, Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen says the team needs to add depth to the current roster of starters and backups, adding, "You get lucky sometimes."
There has been quite a bit of discussion during the offseason regarding the Redskins defense, as it finished the 2012 regular season ranked 28th overall, 30th in pass defense and last in the NFL in third-down conversions allowed.
In particular, the team has expressed a need to fill some gaps in the defensive secondary—a group depleted by injuries during the 2012 season.
The Redskins finished second-last in the NFL in touchdowns allowed last season.
Allen pointed out the team's desire to acquire players during free agency. He was quick to add that despite meetings with coaches and personnel over the last month, "We do have a lot of tough decisions to make with what the league and players association did to us."
This seemed like a veiled reference to the NFL penalizing the team $36 million spread over last season and this season—drastically reducing the Redskins' salary cap space for the upcoming campaign.
As recently as Friday, the Redskins' second appeal was denied on the grounds that the team has not adequately explained the reason for an appeal. The league had issue with the way in which the Redskins organization structured players' contracts in 2010, when there wasn't a salary cap.
Without tipping his hat or showing his cards, Allen was a straight shooter when speaking of the team's 51st pick overall. "We're going to get a very good player...a player rated one of the Top 40, someone who can help our team."
Allen had high praise for the Redskins staff assembled in Indianapolis for the NFL combine. He said the team's scouts "know all the players in the draft" and do a "great job."
Without missing a beat and sounding eternally optimistic with the offseason acquisitions, Allen said the Redskins get lucky sometimes with coaches' and players' desires. But most importantly, he said, "You hope to get lucky."
Call it lucky, but words cannot accurately describe the gamble that paid off in running back Alfred Morris in the sixth round of last year's draft.
The Redskins have talent in place for the upcoming 2013 season with several players returning after sitting out last season on the team's injured reserve list. With the salary cap restrictions in place, combined with some keen restructuring deals, management can find a way to bring the team together for 2013.
As the general manager of the Washington Redskins, Allen has displayed a penchant for working with the coaching staff and management to forge a cohesive unit which shares a common goal—winning and improving.
Fans and followers of the Redskins do not hear much about him during the season.
That in and of itself speaks volumes about the upper management of the organization and, despite what fans may think or say, owner Daniel Snyder.
19th century poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson may have said it best: "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a bad hand well."
Statistics provided by ESPN.
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