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Need to Know: Five offensive players with work to do during Redskins OTAs

May 22, 2015, 5:00 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 22, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs.

Nickel coverage

OTAs get underway on Tuesday at Redskins Park. Here are five offensive players who will have a lot at stake during this phase of the offseason.

—G Chris Chester—He had Spencer Long breathing down his neck all last year and now Arie Kouandjio could provide a little extra heat on him. At 32 with a salary cap number north of $4 million and the team switching to running scheme geared towards power blocking, Chester will have to adapt quickly.

—WR Andre Roberts—Last year Roberts was a free agent disappointment. It wasn’t all his fault since they brought in DeSean Jackson after signing him, decreasing his role. Still, he caught just 36 passes and dropped seven. The Redskins are very high on fourth-round pick Jamison Crowder, who does what Roberts does—plays slot receiver and returns punts and kickoffs.

—G Josh LeRibeus—When you were drafted by the guy who was around two regime changes ago (Mike Shanahan), have spent three years as a backup and your team spends third- and fourth-round picks on players at your position in consecutive drafts you should start feeling uncomfortable. If LeRibeus is going to hang on it starts with being in top shape for OTAs and making a solid impression.

—WR Ryan Grant—He’s not in any danger of being cut but his situation is similar to that of LeRibeus in that he was picked by the old guy (Bruce Allen) and new guy Scot McCloughan grabbed two wide receivers, Crowder and Evan Spencer, in this year’s draft. Grant was taken as something of a project who would improve over the years but he needs to take some big strides or the two rookies could pass him on the depth chart.

—TE Jordan Reed—Like Grant he’s not going anywhere and Reed is probably not in any danger of losing his starting job. But he desperately needs to stay on the field or the organization will start planning for a long-term future without him. Reed needs to avoid the nagging injuries that have kept him sidelined during offseasons and training camps in the past so that Gruden and McCloughan have some confidence in him.


—It’s been 145 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 114 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 25; Redskins training camp starts 69; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 125

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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  1. Stephfan - May 22, 2015 at 5:23 AM

    I’d like to add breeland as well. I think he needs to improve a lot better to really claim that starting postion because I think if amerson acts right or Hall is heathy and shows he hasn’t lost a step, than he maybe looking at slot duty. I know I’m going to hear it from many on this blog but I’m not sold on breeland starting because he had an ok season at best with really only one good game. Other than the Dallas game he hasn’t shown he can be the starter right now.. Maybe after another year but I wouldn’t mind seeing him at saftey. I think that’s where he can blossom more.

    • mr.moneylover - May 22, 2015 at 8:15 AM

      Breeland deserve the starting job …he improve during the season…would you rather have breeland or david amerson ??? It will be breeland all day…I would be nervous to put David amerson in as the starter because he dont dedicate his time and effort in the film room and wide receivers basically picked on him all last year…breeland was a rookie last year but his teammates said he prepares his self like a vet because he was the first player in the film room studying game tape…wide receivers didnt really wanna pick on breeland yeah he had his worst games against the giants but the refs basically was favoring odell Beckham because he became popular at that time but the two or three taunt fouls on breeland the league admitted to the redskins it shouldn’t have been a flag thrown and another was a couple more flag that shouldnt have been called…but I do agree he need to improve his technique so he can get more INTS but other then that I love his game and attitude

      • Stephfan - May 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

        Money lover I’m just saying that breeland doesn’t deserve it. Refs or no refs he still had uneven play. As did amerson but I would rather have amerson back there if he is all for football. Breeland may study but he got burnt too. It should be amersons job to lose.

        • alextwrs - May 22, 2015 at 11:41 AM

          Way to many “ifs” are surrounding this arguement. Breeland was much better than Amerson and sounds like he prepares much better and gets better results on the field. Yes there should be a compettioin but if you are questioning Amersons desire to study the game then you have him behind Breeland. Plain and simple.

        • lop - May 30, 2015 at 7:58 AM

          “Breeland doesn’t deserve it” wow. You do realize Amerson was ranked the worst cb last year and hall coverage is up and down.

          Breeland had the best coverage performance since shawn springs , he deserves to start.

  2. Stephfan - May 22, 2015 at 6:00 AM

    And yes I know breeland is a defense player.. I have no offense players to add

    • Rich Tandler - May 22, 2015 at 6:30 AM

      Defensive players coming on Tuesday.

      > >

  3. sidepull - May 22, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    How come RG3 is left off of this list? Maybe its just too obvious. Surely he has work to do and has a lot at stake. The organization as a whole has a lot riding on him. The rest of the list is is not going to cripple the organization. If Rg3 doesn’t get it together it is real concern.

    • bangkokben - May 22, 2015 at 10:09 AM

      Agreed. Not sure if I agree that his failure will cripple the organization. It appears to be finally being built for a quarterback to succeed as opposed to before when it was succeed or we’re picking in the top five. (ie. The Shanahan mentality: o-line, defense; who need that?)

      Congrats to the quarterback and his wife for there first child. Conspicuous timing. Right before OTAs. I know in Thailand many seek an auspicious day and time and schedule a c-section. I not suggesting this. It just seems the timing worked out great for Robert.

    • berniebernard666 - May 22, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      I agree that GRIFFIN should top this list. I realize it is like beating a dead horse into the ground but it is without question the one position that must improve for the team to move forward.

      Notice that I said position, because actually you could just list Griffin and Cousins as the same player. One of them must win the job as a long term QB or else both of them will be gone next year,

      (in the oh by the way topic) everybody should check out Hutson Mason. Extreme accuracy, tall, great decision maker, few turnovers, and leadership. His interviews and game film show somebody who can develop into an NFL starter because he has a quick release and makes ultra quick decisions. I have no clue why he was forgotten in the draft but I think Scott M. found one.

    • Rich Tandler - May 22, 2015 at 10:45 AM

      Yes, obvious and discussed elsewhere, although I should have noted that the list is “besides RG”.

  4. colorofmyskinz - May 22, 2015 at 6:44 AM

    You nailed all of these Rich! I would add, Jordan Reed is a dainty little girl. The TE is supposed to be a work-hardened workhouse for the offense. Capable of being on field most plays. Capable of filling in as a 6th lineman, pass protector, and blocker for running backs. He is NONE of those. He has great hands and is fast, but has very few characteristics of a true TE and how they are used in the NFL today. If he is not on the field for 16 games this year, I would make TE a top priority next year. I don’t think he makes it through game 3 without “a hangnail-type season ending injury”. I am calling a spade a spade.

    • shermanp79 - May 22, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      They should of addressed TE position in the Draft. Hopefully Paulsen can return to 2012 form and not drop so many balls. We need an all around guy. A true TE size, a guy who can be a big RZ target. A big guy running down the seam would be a nice target for the QB. We have 2 undersized TE on this team. They aren’t blocking TE other than Paulsen. So aside from injuries with Reed, I think we need a true#1 TE on this team. I prefer Reed as a #2 guy with Paulsen as the blocking back up.

      • ET - May 22, 2015 at 11:01 AM

        Paulsen was a disappointment last year in receiving and blocking. He needs to get back on track, or the Skins will find another solution.

    • Rich Tandler - May 22, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      I truly hope you don’t think that a concussion, which has cost him the majority of the games he missed due to injury, a “hangnail” injury. And a hamstring is what it is, he’s hardly the first pass catcher to miss multiple games with that injury.

      And the 1980’s called and they want their TE back. The game has changed, colleges aren’t supplying third tackles who can also catch passes. Jimmy Graham is bigger then Reed but he is one who looks like Tarzan, blocks like Jane. Reed can be a very good tight end if he figures out how to stay on the field.

  5. murphsman - May 22, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    When is Moses expected to be ready to start practicing?

  6. ET - May 22, 2015 at 11:16 AM

    I look forward to seeing Chester cut and then picked up by Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, where he can join his ol’ buddy Polumbus in reducing a different fan base to weeping, bitter lamentations and the gnashing of teeth.

    • bangkokben - May 22, 2015 at 11:31 AM

      Kyle’s system might work there, especially with a defensive minded coach. They have also gotten nothing out of their two 1st round tackles (Baker and Matthews) and have a solid quarterback that they can afford to turn their line into Redskins 2012. The caveat is, if Kyle goes (fired or becomes HC somewhere) then your line is no good for the next regime – see last season. In two years, we have replaced Montgomery and Polumbus and the writing is on the wall for Chester and Lichtensteiger. By next year we may have a completely rebuilt line if contract issues don’t work out with Williams.

  7. weneedlinemen42 - May 22, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    I was really hoping for some serious competition at TE, and more particularly for Logan Paulsen.

    He’s fumbled and lost the ball on number of critical occasions and his blocking isn’t nearly good enough to override his limitations as receiver. It’s not just that he isn’t “a weapon”, he isn’t even reliable.

    Unfortunately, there doesn’t really seem like much competition.

  8. weneedlinemen42 - May 22, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    I’d like to think that Shawn Lauvao is also on this list. From the available figures, his contract seems “more cuttable” than that that of Andre Roberts and, if anything, Lauvao was the more disappointing performer last year.

    At least Roberts had some sort of excuse, doubling up as first string returner for the first time since his rookie year.

    • ET - May 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM

      I kind of agree—Lauvao was certainly underwhelming last year—but I also think the power-based line scheme will benefit him, as will an additional year in Gruden’s system. He could blossom into a decent starter. That’s my springtime optimistic view, at least.

      • rtcwon - May 22, 2015 at 2:10 PM

        While horible at run blocking last year, he was decent at pass protection. Hopefully he’ll be better with scheme change but last year’s version was a decent starter, just not worth the contract given.

        • skinsdawg - May 23, 2015 at 12:24 AM

          That was the tag-line on Lauvao when we signed him- that he was a good solid pass-blocker, but a bad run-blocker. Well- he was terrible at both last year. The reports, and rankings show that he was even worse than Chester- and I did not think that was possible. They should both be gone- especially with the contracts they have. New starters- and heck- most guys should be that good, as back-ups. They are just plain bad. As for the shift to the power-run game, that’s bad for Lauvao. He’s a poor run blocker. And the knock on him has always been that he has ZERO ability to slam into anyone- and move them. The shift makes him basically a very bad Guard. Time for major changes on the line- as usual. I say get one more guy in free-agency, after a few solid players are cut for salary and cap reasons- over the next several weeks. One more of those- and then we go with the young guys. Long. Moses. And the rookies. (2) of them should emerge by mid-pre-season. That’s my hope.

  9. artmonkdaman - May 22, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Hello Rich,

    I know the wide receiver position is stacked, but confused by comments about Grant having to “…make some big strides?” He had a very strong showing in preseason and when given a chance he did well. I am not sure I saw him drop a pass, made difficult catches, and looked good after the catch. I thought he pushed those in front of him and they gave him playing time which speaks a lot for his rookie season. So I agree he must continue to grow, but to go as far as needing to make big strides so new two rookies don’t take his spot, is over board.

    • weneedlinemen42 - May 23, 2015 at 7:24 AM

      I thought he looked like an interesting prospect during the limited reps that he got, but I think he may be “high floor, low ceiling” possession receiver.

      He seemed to run really good routes for a rookie, and looked like a polish, multi-year pro. What he didn’t show was any sort of explosiveness or pose any real threat to make plays after the catch, nor be effective in and around the end-zone.

      Before the draft I would have thought that he was a lock for the 53. However, drafting two receivers who both have strong ST résumés suggests that McCloughan might regard a back-up receiver who doesn’t contribute to ST as an unsustainable luxury. Archives

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