Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The Redskins and offensive line depth
By Dan Graziano
Lots of people asking about the Washington Redskins' "right tackle battle," but I don't think there is one right now. Mike Shanahan said during minicamp that people who were starters last year go into training camp as starters. And while he may not knock your socks off, the fact is Tyler Polumbus didn't do anything last year to cost himself the job. Yes, they brought in Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos as other options there, but if you'll recall, they signed those guys before they re-signed Polumbus, so as much as anything those moves were hedges in case the position was open and they needed someone to fill it.
No, I think the Redskins plan to start the same five offensive linemen who started 16 of their 17 games last year, because continuity matters, because certain of them (Trent Williams at left tackle, Will Montgomery at center and Chris Chester at right guard) played very well and because they believe Robert Griffin III as a running quarterback helps mask some deficiencies. But as the guys at csnwashington.com discuss in this post here, the question about the Redskins' offensive line is whether they have enough depth to withstand injury, or to replace someone if performance should dictate that someone need to be replaced.
For me, the issue isn't whether Pashos is a better option than Polumbus to start at right tackle. It's whether guys like Josh LeRibeus and Tom Compton have advanced enough (or can advance enough in the next couple of months) to be reliable backups. Because what happened last year with the Redskins' line -- staying so healthy that they started the same five guys in all but one game? That doesn't happen every year. Those are the offensive line issues to watch in camp -- the ones at the backup spots. Because the odds are, someone's going to need to emerge from those ranks and help out at some point in 2013.