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Need to Know: Playing the odds predicting the Redskins’ 2015 O-line

Mar 5, 2015, 5:12 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 5, five days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Nickel coverage

Question of the day

We’re going back to the NTK format we’ve been using since last month. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

As free agency is approaching, the Redskins may be on the verge of reshaping the offensive line. Or, they may be on the verge of largely standing pat.

The only move they have made so far is re-signing Tom Compton, the starter at right tackle for the last half of the 2014 season. The signing was pretty much a foregone conclusion as Compton was an exclusive rights free agent. Even if he will have to compete for the starting job and even for a roster spot there was no reason not to bring him back.

So who will start on the line in Week 1 in 2015? Let’s do something a little different here. Let’s say I had $100 in casino chips to bet on who starts at each position. How would I divide up the chips? Here is how my crystal ball shows it right now.

LT Trent Williams $100—I trust that this one doesn’t need any explanation.

LG Shaun Lauvao $90, the field $10—The switch of the Redskins to more of a power running scheme will help Lauvao, who struggled mightily at the start of last year but improved as the year went on. At his cap number you aren’t going to see him on the bench. But if Scot McCloughan sees a guard he likes in the second round he could pounce and that rookie could push Lauvao to the bench.

C Kory Lichtensteiger $100—He’s not the long-term answer as someone who weighs north of 300 pounds will be playing in the middle of the line by 2017. Right now the situation is clear—he played well in 2014 and there are simply too many actual problem areas for the team to worry about to devote cap money or a draft pick to replacing a solid performer. For the time being the ideal will be sacrificed at the altar of the pretty good.

RG Chris Chester $35, Spencer Long $45, the field $20—Yes, I know that many of you are disappointed to see Chester still in the running. But he’s on the team as of now and he’s played virtually every snap since he signed with the team in 2011. And he has continually drawn praise from Jay Gruden. Long is younger and cheaper and it’s not at all a stretch to think that if he gets in a full offseason of work he will be ready to start in September. If McCloughan isn’t as high on Chester as Gruden is and doesn’t see what Bruce Allen saw in Long to make him a third-round pick, a free agent or draft pick could come in and take the job.

RT Tom Compton $40, Morgan Moses $30, the field $30—If Moses had not suffered a Lisfranc injury late last season I would have at least $50 on him, probably more. But we’re not sure of his condition right now and if he is not going to be able to participate in OTAs and part of training camp his chances of winning the job go down. Compton was up and down last year and he could smooth out the rough spots if he works with the first unit during the offseason. That could make him tough for Moses to push out. As with the guard situation, McCloughan might not like what he sees and bring in a starter via the draft or free agency.


—It’s been 67 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 192 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 5; Redskins offseason workouts start 46; 2015 NFL Draft 56

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. abanig - Mar 5, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    I know this won’t make most Redskins fans happy, but I don’t foresee a lot of change in our starters on the OL in 2015. The only spot that will change for sure Imo is RG – I do think Long or LeRibeus will start there, I do not think that McCloughan will break the bank there. I think he’ll want to see each of them compete for that spot this season.

    RT could see an upgrade. I’d love to sign Orlando Franklin or James Carpenter who have versatility to play RT & both guard positions.

    Still though, I’m a Tom Compton fan. He had ups and downs in his first time seeing starting action but he’s in the mold of an old HOG from the 80s and early 90s. He just needs a little more development and starting time and he’ll be good.

    Compton held Barwin – the NFCE sack leader – in check when the Redskins beat the Eagles in week 16 last season, so if he can do that, he can start all year and for the next 5-7 years for the Redskins.

  2. Stephfan - Mar 5, 2015 at 5:53 AM

    I think as much as I like Compton they might sign a rt to compete to let him earn the job… As well as Chester and long. I’m not sold on either but I’d I gotta pick one I’ll go with long. They can bring in a free agent or draft a rg. I think they are done with josh leribus starting because he always has a problem. Weight, blocking, etc. they might get two guards this offseason in my opinion. But I’ll go with Trent,Shawn,kory, long or free agent, And free agent.

  3. Stephfan - Mar 5, 2015 at 5:54 AM

    Just hope we get the line back to the good old days, if we get a line we will be better no question

  4. babyteal1 - Mar 5, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    LT – Trent $100
    LG – Shaun $50 Field $50
    C – Kory $70 Field $30
    RG – Spencer $40 Chester $0 Field $60
    RT – Compton $30 Moses $20 Field $50
    You can pay me later Rich!!

  5. bk70 - Mar 5, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    I don’t think the center position is set for 2015. It would be interesting if Cameron Erving from Florida State was selected in the early rounds. I also like BJ Finney from Kansas State (maybe 4th round pick) to add some beef to the OL. I could also see Lichtensteiger moving back to guard during the season.

    Whomever is drafted in the first two rounds better become instant starters for 2015.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 5, 2015 at 5:38 PM

      We will see if the Redskins front office agrees with you when free agency begins. They likely think that Moses, not Compton, projects to be the starting right tackle. It’s unfortunate that Moses got hurt, because so much of what he needs is physical repetition under the watchful eye of Bill Callahan.

  6. Bryan - Mar 5, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    Rich when you did this Vegas style system it seems you are giving more edge to players we have and I guess that makes sense in that we don’t who know could be brought in or what cost I should say. Trent 100, lauvao 60, kory 80 based on size nothing else I like him, Chester 10 long 50 field 40, Compton 20 Moses 10 field 70. I just feel there is going to be some change and I’m truly for putting long in and see what you got and drafting or signing rt. I would not be surprised if lauvao isn’t a high priced backup if the new gm goes after guy from sf. I’m also for leribus pushing lauvao. It seems shanny and maybe gruden are under the impression young guys need to sit. Well you can practice and practice but until you have live bullets all the time how you going to know what they have. The pats and Hawks seem to put unproven young guys in and let them learn on fly why we don’t I have no clue. It goes beyond football that until your in the true game or life situation your not sure how someone is going to respond to many time people will say this person is young and not ready. Heck wih that throw the young guys in and lets see if we continue to buy free agents or keep older guys in things are going to be status quo. Leribus I know was to fat couple years ago but the two times I remember him playing a lot he didn’t do bad. Maybe this is me wishful thinking but I agree something needs to be done with online but something also needs to be done with the blocking of the tightends and wrs in running game and rbs in passing game.

  7. troylok - Mar 5, 2015 at 7:51 AM

    We don’t know what the big plan is in Redskins’ park but I suspect that a lack of big offensive linemen in the draft is going to force the team’s hand to go after a few free agents if only for depth. Callahan seems to be a miracle worker and there might be some fringe players out there that he sees as moldable into quality offensive linemen. I am intrigued by the Xavier Nixon signing. I think he was a raw talent coming out of college and a good coach might be able to do something with him.

  8. kenlinkins - Mar 5, 2015 at 8:35 AM

    Rich: How much would it help the O-Line if the Redskins were settled at the QB Position? The Redskins “Three Bears” QB’s (One: Didn’t throw on time and got hurt, Two: Threw to early and got his feelings hurt, Three: Seemed Just Right but only won one game before getting hurt). If what we hear from Redskins Park is correct (i.e. Williams is a All Pro, Lauvao will be better due to power running, Kory L is OK for now, Chester is better than fans believe, and RT, well we saw 3 guys try and fail to hold the fort without success, but Compton or Moses could be the answer) then where is the problem everyone is talking about (besides depth)? Can the TE’s and RB’s be 50% of the problem? (they would have to be ready bad for 2 of 7 to cause all this concern). It would seem to me that the Redskins fans and Redskins front office have two different reads on the O-Line. Are the RG3 fans pushing his problems at QB on to the O-Line? Or maybe the concerns are a trick question and “D: All the above” the correct answer? Do the Redskins have raw talent that the new O-Line coach can turn into a “good” O-Line? If nothing else, this preseason will be fun to watch!

    • redskinscaio - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:44 AM

      The problem, in my opinion, is Tandler’s assessment of the offensive line. For example, last year and the year before, Rich wrote that in his opinion Will Montgomery was borderline probowl. Yet, Will Montgomery was the only Redskin cut before last season started. Or how about the article suggesting Trent Williams would be cut because of his high cap numbers? I see things much differently….

      The fact of the matter is, in my opinion, and I could be wrong as well,
      is that Lauvao is a below average player. I mean he was a backup for the Browns his entire career for a reason before the Redskins signed him in free agency… He doesn’t have the strength to push back his guy.

      Kory L is also a below average center… Wasn’t last season, the first time in his career he even played the center position? Two years ago he had major knee surgery, and his strength is lacking.

      Chris Chester is probably the worst of the bunch. Every time I watched the SKins play, and watched the offensive line, Chester would be 4-5 yards behind the line of scrimmage and on the ground by the end of the play.

      I always liked Tyler Polumbus, 6’8 310 pounds …but he was injured last season …
      On big plays, at least one offensive lineman would get beat and RGIII and company would have less than 3 seconds to get rid of the ball.

      Trent Williams is a Pro Bowler.

      So, I believe that the Skins should draft a pro bowl caliber guard to play alongside Trent Williams and move Lauvao to the right side. Grab another tackle in the second and fix the defense next year. If we’re going to be bad, at least, we can lose 45-42 every week instead of 21-17 every week, where at the very least, RGIII is lighting them up instead of running for his life..

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 5, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        Hope you don’t mind that I deleted a duplicate post. Folks, you can edit posts if you make a mistake.

        If you can find a 2013 quote of me saying Montgomery was playing like a borderline Pro Bowl player, please send it my way. Perhaps early in the year coming off of his solid 2012, but not after that.

        You like Polumbus? We just have to disagree. Never better that sub-JAG.

        Finally, this isn’t my assessment of the line. It’s what I think the people who make the decisions are going to decide. I would never have given Lauvao $4 million a year and Chester would have been benched last year and gone now. But going on what I know, what I hear, what I see, this is how I see it shaking out. Take to or leave it.

      • captblood3000 - Mar 5, 2015 at 10:50 AM

        Lichtensteiger played center in college (Bowling Green). It’s his natural position.

        And the line on Will Montgomery back in 2012 was that he was “the best center in NFC East”. In retrospect, that was faint praise indeed.

    • abanig - Mar 5, 2015 at 4:26 PM

      I 100% agree with this. When one Qb gets sacked twice as much as the others, it’s clear its not all on the OL and when every time you watch a play you see a TE or RB miss a block, or you see Griffin (who I do want to be the QB) hold onto the ball to long like Jason Campbell and Patrick Ramsey (who I also wanted to be our long term QBs) you would realize that most of the sacks given up in 2014 were NOT the OL’s fault.

  9. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 5, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    But if Scot McCloughan sees a guard he likes in the second round he could pounce and that rookie could push Lauvao to the bench.

    This gets my vote.

    • boysheadcoach - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      mine too

    • ET - Mar 5, 2015 at 4:01 PM

      My vote, too. I think McC takes an
      OL in the first four rounds, maybe one of those big bruisers from SC or Florida St. With Moses uncertain and Polumbus/Chester put out to pasture, some depth and flexibility will certainly be needed.

      • unklewheez - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:46 PM

        And ignore defense?

    • abanig - Mar 5, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      Which is fine. I think everyone would endorse that but Lauvao was battling a knee injury and getting used to the ZBS the first month of the season. The second half of the season he started to play better and he finished strong. So, if we don’t take and OG or sign a true upgrade, I think we’re fine with the guys we have.

      Hopefully, Chester is gone and replaced by someone else, but it doesn’t have to be a drsft pick, and hopefully Long beats that player out and plays like an ole’ Hog!

  10. vtsquirm - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Williams, Lauvao, Licht, LeRib, a free agent that we will bring in…

  11. captblood3000 - Mar 5, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Having a “plan A” prior to the draft should not preclude drafting more offensive linemen. I like the Giants’ philosophy here: they’re always looking to get better on the offensive line.

    At right tackle, if the Redskins think Compton or Moses will be a more than adequate starter there by opening day 2016, but Moses won’t be ready by opening day 2015, they can sign a veteran to hold down the position in 2015. They won’t have to make a splash signing there. Compton or Moses can be the swing tackle in this interim state.

    The Redskins “drafted” their big developmental center when they signed Tyler Larsen. Larsen wasn’t drafted in 2014, then had the misfortune to sign with the Dolphins. Another commenter astutely mentioned B.J. Finney, another big center, as a target in this year’s draft.

    Rich, what are Chester’s cap numbers and dead money numbers (if cut) at various dates through 2015? And I assume you’ll look at the defensive line before too long?

      • abanig - Mar 5, 2015 at 4:34 PM

        Moses’ injury is a 6-8 month injury which means he should be available to start participating sometime during training camp.

        You are right that we can’t count on him though and I agree we need to take a center to develop behind Kory L. Preferably in the 4th round or later.

        • captblood3000 - Mar 5, 2015 at 5:50 PM

          I said the developmental center is already on the roster, he’s Tyler Larsen. If Finney is an upgrade, and his number comes up, draft him. They’ll have grades on both of them.

          Yes, Larsen went undrafted in 2014, but that center class was deeper than this year’s. And few of this year’s centers top 300 pounds.

  12. timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 5, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    I think since Free Agency is deep with Defensive linemen we are gonna be Drafting Offensive linemen Early and Often and if any of the guys we Draft win a spot they will be starting. That goues for LG,C,RG,RT in my opinion theyall need replaced except Williams. I think if “LeBlah” can be more committed and come in in shape he could possibly start. I would like to se him play Center. Im intrigued to see what Spencer brings. Hopefully he adjusts to the speed and shows something. This year might be a wash for Moses, but on the plus side he will have time to get use to playing the right side and may look better ( fingers crossed ) I don’t like the Idea of moving him to gaurd. Too tall. That all being said I would li ::) e to see them Draft

    OT/OG Jamon Brown Louisville
    OG John Miller Louisville ( I think he can play Center too )
    OG/C Shaq Mason Georgia Tech

    Thats 3 guys I think are versatile and could compete to start or be Quality backups.

    If we trade down in the 1st I would like to see us get

    OT Collins LSU
    OT/OG Brandon Scherff Iowa ( He was ratted pretty high coming out of college and has bin dropping just like QB Teddy Bridgewater did I think he will be a Pro Bowl Guard for years and we should get him. Yes even at #5 WONT COST A LOT ROOKIE PAY SCALE )

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 5, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      Rich I only put caps on at the end because people seem to forget Rookies aren’t getting the Huge Contracts they use too. Its a whole new ball game with the Draft with Trades and Drafting people will be willing to Draft and Trade because the $ isnt as much anymore.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 5, 2015 at 3:55 PM

        That’s OK. But you can make text bold and have the same effect.

    • abanig - Mar 5, 2015 at 4:37 PM

      If we don’t trade down, there’s no OT worth taking at 5 and drafting a RT at #5 is one of the worst decisions as far as positional value. Most RTs aren’t drafted inside the top 15, they are drafted late first round or later. Arguably our best OL in the past 20 years was Jon Jansen and he was a second round pick

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:46 PM

        Do you think a Pro Bowl lineman that can solidify that position for posibly 10 years isnt worth it? With the Rookie Pay Scale the money is no longer a factor. I would take a Walter Jones type player.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 5, 2015 at 6:04 PM

      Tim, if you draft more than two offensive linemen in a given draft you will cut a higher percentage of your draftees. That’s not good.

      In what round do you propose to draft these developmental players? Shaq Mason only played guard at Georgia Tech. That makes him a project at center. The same goes for LeRibeus.

      Finally, Morgan Moses doesn’t need to “learn to play right tackle”. He played only one year at left tackle at Virginia. Before that, Oday Aboushi was the left tackle and Moses played right tackle. The problem is, Moses is more athletic than he is skilled. I trust Bill Callahan will teach him what he still needs to learn.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 5, 2015 at 7:58 PM

        Me wanting to get that many Olinemen should show how bad I think ours are and I think dach one of these guys are better than most on our roster so if Chester LeBlah Lichtenstein the Cleveland guy get cut than so be it we still need depth and atleast 1 or 2 on the practice squad every one of them will be signed somewhere we are weak all over. Shaq did pretty good playing Center at the Senior Bowl. Mayok said he’s projected to be a center in the NFL. Either way I think he is a good Prospect.

        • captblood3000 - Mar 6, 2015 at 7:10 AM

          Yes. Cut Lichtensteiger and draft Mason to play center. He can learn on the job. I should know better than to argue with you.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 6, 2015 at 7:16 AM

          I didnt say that I said if one of th em wins a spot and we need depth.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 6, 2015 at 7:18 AM

          I would much rather have a draftable player than an undrafted free agent battling for the spo.,

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 6, 2015 at 7:22 AM

          Also Shaq can play multiple spots and played G very well so why wouldn’t you want to bring a player like that in?

  13. timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 5, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Me wanting to get that many Olinemen should show how bad I think ours are and I think dach one of these guys are better than most on our roster so if Chester LeBlah Lichtenstein the Cleveland guy get cut than so be it we still need depth and atleast 1 or 2 on the practice squad every one of them will be signed somewhere we are weak all over. Shaq did pretty good playing Center at the Senior Bowl. Mayok said he’s projected to be a center in the NFL. Either way I think he is a good Prospect.

  14. Please draft good - Mar 6, 2015 at 12:29 AM

    What about that Ohre guy? He’s still got some football left or is he done? He could be a steal plus he’s got great character.

  15. wildbill1952 - Mar 21, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    Could one of last year’s under-performing OL turn it around and be a really good OL? Sure. The odds are long but it could happen. Could all 4 of them turn it around? Highly unlikely. Compton is going to give up 1.5 sacks per game. Same with Chester. At Center, Lichtensteiger usually has help so the sack numbers won’t show, but being pushed into the backfield on almost every pass play and the inability to move a nose tackle out of the way on running plays means another poor offensive season. Lauvao is helped by having an all-Pro at his side, but on his own, he’s the same guy who was cut by Cincinnati. Williams should start out healthy, but he played hurt almost all last year. This OL is one injury away form being the same, or worse, turnstile it was last year. Archives

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