Redskins' wake-up call: 3 areas to watch
July, 25, 2014
By John Keim | ESPN.com
Three areas I'll monitor Friday:
- The offensive line. It's tough to monitor everything along the front, and the starting line appears to be set. But there are questions: Is there too much penetration allowed? How is Kory Lichtensteiger doing at center? Shawn Lauvao at left guard? Has Chris Chester or Tyler Polumbus improved? There's also the matter of who will make it as a backup. For what it's worth, Thursday Adam Gettis worked at left guard with the No. 2 line while Josh LeRibeus was on the right side. Morgan Moses was at left tackle with Tom Compton on the right side. That, to me, was a little telling. My guess is that, right now, if something happened to Polumbus it would be Compton's job. Indeed, he looks better than Moses.
- Is the passing game any better? It's not just on one person as there were some drops. Quarterback Robert Griffin III was not sharp and there appeared to be some protection issues (tough to know who's really at fault when you can't exactly rewind the play. Still waiting for coaches to share the practice film). There's no reason to worry about one off day by the offense, but you'd like to see improvement the next day. Will we see that from the offense? The weather is supposed to be a lot nicer than rainy Thursday.
- At some point I also want to explore the deep ball game and what it takes to click. How long has it taken DeSean Jackson to get on that so-called same page with other quarterbacks? When you'd watch Michael Vick throw to him in 2012 or '13, he did a good job letting Jackson run under the ball. It took Nick Foles a few games to reach that point. Griffin and Jackson nearly connected on two Thursday, but ended up missing both. Jackson will keep getting open deep so they'll have more chances to improve.