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3 Players that Surprised and 3 players that Disappointed in 2021

taylor made

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I think we can all agree that there wasn't too much to be excited this year but there were some bright spots on this lineup that might be going unnoticed. Without further adieu.. 

3 Players that Surprised

1. SLB Cole Holcomb - North Carolina 

I think Cole could be considered a feel good story considering he was a fifth round draft pick and has quietly developed into a quality starter. Our linebacking corps has gotten deservedly its critics but Cole really stepped up this year and actually had a career year. He played almost 100% of our teams' snaps when he was healthy. No one talks about missing Cole during that second Dallas game but we really missed him when we got blown out.  As you can see Cole really improved his pass coverage with seven pass deflections. The highlight of Cole's year was obviously that INT touchdown when the team was all but out of the first game against Dallas. He gave the team a legit chance to win the game. Tremendous play!

142 combined tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL, 2 forced fumbles, 7.8% missed tackle percentage, *SEVEN pass deflections*, 6 QB Pressures. 1 touchdown


2 LG Ereck Flowers Miami

I think fans talked more about Ereck his first year that he was with the team but he actually performed better this year and you barely even noticed him on the field most of the year because he was THAT solid. He was mistake free all of the year with ONE penalty. Great job Ereck!


3. QB Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion 

When its all said and done Taylor had a solid year. He showed that he can play in this league and I would not be upset if we had Taylor start next year as well. That does not mean that we should not draft a QB with either our first or second round draft pick. Everyone is quick to move on but he put up respectable numbers and this was only his first year starting. Obviously the Cowboy games were lowlights and he was streaky- he did put up an impressive 4 game stretch after the bye.

The team was 7-8 in games we started with Taylor.  3419 yards passing, 20 TDs, 15 INTs, 313 rushing yards. 

Washington Football Team's Taylor Heinicke scores with a beer maker: 'He is  Taylor #Budlighticke from now on.' - The Virginian-Pilot


3 Players that Disappointed (No pictures for these players!)

1. CB William Jackson 3

Expectations are sometimes unfair but WJ3 was brought in to be the team's #1 corner-back and that proved too much for him I think. He was absolutely awful the first half of the year. His tackling has been an issue and he doesn't seem to give a great effort. He only played in 12 games and he seemed to be no better than a player like Danny Johnson at times. He was a big downgrade from Ronald Darby IMO. 

A career high 59.1% completion percentage against, 100.4 QB Rating against, 8 Pass deflections, 11.4 Missed tackle percentage

2. SS Kamren Curl 

This one might raise some eyebrows but like I said above expectations are sometimes unfair and Kam Curl took a step back from his awesome season last year. That's not to say Kam played bad but he just didn't put up the game-breaking stats like he did his 3 INT rookie season. Some of that can be attributed to coaching since he was sharing duties with Landon but he did take a step back with a 93 QB Rating against him and 0 INTs. 

3. DE Chase Young

Chase was deservedly the Rookie DPOY last year but when you are on pace for less than 3 sacks on the year before his injury, he deserves all the criticism he can get. Sometimes its not all about the sacks but sometimes it IS. He was also down in categories like TFL and QB Hits as well. This was more of a situation where Chase wasn't bad but he was just average and as our #2 overall pick you expect to be an elite franchise player. Chase seemed like he was pressing all season and playing undisciplined. Hopefully Chase can rebound after his ACL injury.


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I know what you're saying about Kam, but I also have to put some of that on the DL & the QBs we faced. Just think, Kam’s game-changing plays last year usually came bc the DL had great pressure which created an opportunity for our DBs like Kam to make a play. Also, he made most of those game-changing plays when we played mostly backup QBs like the int return for a TD against Nick Mullens & the 49ers.

I think Kam was pretty steady from his rookie year to his 2nd year. 

Chase’s stats were disappointing but, as I showed the video clip of his plays in the thread about him earlier in the year he was like a step away& some bad ref calls away of having around 10 sacks in the first half of the season. I think if our back 7 would’ve played better the 1st half of the season that Chase would've gotten home more and had more sacks.

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I think Curl and WJ3 can be laid directly at the feet of the coaching staff and decisions that they made.  

For Jackson.......why do you pay the man #1 corner money, with the success he's had in man coverage, and bring him in to play zone?  If he doesn't fit the system YOU want to run, DONT sign him.  It is literally that simple.  We saw the Eagles do this with Nnamdi Asomugha.  It doesn't work.  I can't lay that at the feet of Jackson, because when you saw lack of effort and an issue tackling, it could literally be a side effect of him trying to process what is going on in front of him.  

For Curl.....this staff wanted to play Collins at SS, knowing full well that Curl is not a FS, but they did it anyway.  His struggles there to start the season, and throughout when they moved Collins back into coverage, is not something I can blame him for.  Curl was a late round pick because he lacked athleticism.  That was evident when playing high and not in the box.  

For me, I think the biggest disappointment this year was Jamin Davis, who still couldn't get steady reps at the end of the year even with all of the injuries and ineffectiveness at LB.  

Second, the defensive line as a whole really let us down throughout the year.  All of that talent there, and we struggled to get to the QB even when we brought pressure at times.  

Third, it is low-hanging fruit, but Curtis Samuel.  I didn't think he was worth that kind of money, and then he spent most of the season injured.  A bad signing initially, who we now can't rely on to stay healthy.  

As for who surprised, my first would be Landon Collins doing a pretty good job at LB.  He would be overpaid there, but we could do a lot worse than having him there next year.  I still want to move on, but this wouldn't hurt me as much as bringing back Jon Bostic would.  

Second, JD McKissic proved to be a huge weapon.  I expect there will be some suitors lining up for him, and I don't think we can let him get to the FA market.  

Third, Charles Leno.  Frankly, I did not expect this from him.  With the Bears drafting his replacement and letting him go, I thought his best years were behind him.  Instead, he may have had arguably his best season, and earned himself an extension.  

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Biggest disappointment for me has to be the young DE duo. If for no other reason than the extremely high expectations. These guys spent the summer discussing how they were going to challenge the Redskins’ sack record for a duo, if not the record for the league as a whole. 

Here’s a quick list of some duos that finished the season with as many or more combined sacks than Chase Young and Montez Sweat:

▪️ Bills rookie DE duo Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham

▪️ Bucs NT Vita Vea and Giants NT Dexter Lawrence, tipping the scales at a combined 689 pounds

▪️ Dolphins S Brandon Jones and Browns CB Troy Hill, barely registering on the scales at a combined 374 pounds

▪️ Dolphins rookie FS Jevon Holland and ILB/team accountant Andrew Van Ginkel

▪️ Denver LB Malik Reed, who went undrafted in 2019, and Jets DE Bryce Huff, who went undrafted in 2020

▪️ Daron Payne and Landon Collins

▪️ Jonathan Allen and @turtle28

A combined 6.5 sacks from those two jokers is a disappointment I could not have imagined coming into this season. I’ll freely concede that sacks aren’t everything, especially in small samples, but all the best pass-rushers in the league don’t seem to struggle too badly with getting QBs on the ground. 

These guys were supposed to be the faces of our franchise, but instead they fell flat on those faces.


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I’d add Leno to the surprised list. Of course, we have to wonder how much of his solid season came because it was his contract year, and probably his last chance at a big payday . Hopefully it was because he found a scheme fit here and pairs really well with Flowers. 

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