This story submitted by Scott Hirsch
For true Redskins’ fans, one of the most offensive parts of the Redskins is not the name but the play of the Offensive Line.
Gruden basically went so far as to say ‘calm down, folks!’ suggesting he may keep more starters than Trent Williams.
The reality appears that Gruden is blaming poor Offensive Line play roughly as follows:
- 50% to the O-line itself including adjustments called by the line,
- 20% to Wide Receivers/no RB screen passing game,
- 15% to RG3’s slow release and lackluster mechanics and
- 10% on Kyle’s bad play calling.
Gruden has acted to address all of these issues by getting 4 new Offensive Linemen, 3-4 new Wide Receivers with a focus on good hands and precise route running, focusing on RB screens, focusing on RG3’s release and mechanics, and hopefully not calling woefully predictable plays.
So who starts on the Offensive Line against Houston?
From left to right: Williams, Lauvao, (Center too close to call now), LeRibeus, Compton.
Let’s explain the rationale. Trent Williams is obvious. As far as Guards go, Spencer Long will be by far the best Guard on the team if he stays healthy. It’s a question of time to when he starts, but I think starting him the first game isn’t necessary so why force it. Josh LeRibeus is the 2nd best Guard on the team. Since he cannot yet be trusted to stay in shape, starting him now with Long breathing down his neck is a low risk proposition. If LeRibeus arrives in shape next year, he or Long can switch to Center. If LeRibeus decides he prefers being in a buffet line over being on a professional Offensive Line, Long will certainly be ready.
Lauvao violated the cardinal rule already for a Redskins Left Guard – do not fall on Trent Williams’ legs. His tape isn’t super impressive either, but hopefully his run blocking mistakes can be coached up plus his size and nasty attitude on the field are a big plus.
Cutting TyPo makes the most sense because Tom Compton is a better athlete and player. Coach Foerster claims Compton has been working his tail off. If Compton cannot unseat TyPo by now without Shanny cronyism holding him back, one has to wonder how long Foerster will remain an Offensive Line coach. In comparing TyPo to Compton, short-armed TyPo is helpless against a bull rush and Compton is poor against inside spin moves. Bull rush is the more common move, but keep an eye on Compton vs. the inside spin move in training camp and in the preseason. Compton would be wise to stay after practice with Trent Murphy and work on his weakness.
Obviously, Morgan Moses will eventually start at Right Tackle, perhaps by the end of this year but more likely by next year and Compton would then go back to being a Swing Tackle backup. Keeping TyPo would mean cutting Swing Tackle Compton which would be a rather head scratching move.
With these changes, the weakness on the line will be most likely be Center. If Kory wins out at Center, it’s hard to see the physics of a sub 300-pounder holding back 340 pound Nose Tackles. At least the Running Backs will know where to focus their blocks this year.