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Need to Know: What Redskins could be surprise contributors?

Jun 13, 2015, 5:49 AM EDT

Chr-Thompson-camp-2

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 13, three days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.

Question of the day

A few days a week 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.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up rich.tandler+csn@gmail.com with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep them relatively brief, please. 

Let me take your last question first. I don’t see any surprise starters. I get a lot of questions about the possibility of Martrell Spaight starting over Perry Riley or Jamison Crowder beating out Andre Roberts for the slot receiver role. But it would be highly unusual for fourth- and fifth-round picks to push past established veterans.

So, at least at the start of the year I think the 22 starters will be who the current conventional wisdom say they will be. Certainly things could change in Richmond in July and August but right now it’s hard to see an unexpected leap to the top of the depth chart.

But there almost certainly could be some players who will make unexpected contributions with some solid play. Last year it was veteran Frank Kearse, who went from the roster bubble to recording three sacks, and rookie Bashaud Breeland, who appeared to be a season away from contributing a year ago but ended up starting and making some big plays.

A few months ago it didn’t look like Duke Ihenacho had much of a chance of contributing this year, especially after the team signed Jeron Johnson to start a strong safety. But he has been splitting time with Johnson in OTAs and even if he doesn’t start he could have a role in the defense.

And Josh LeRibeus may have a new life as a backup center. With Chris Chester out the team needs an emergency backup center and LeRibeus, a 2013 third-round pick who seemed destined for bust status, LeRibeus has been working as a fill in with decent results. Here is a good place to insert the no-pads warning; things will get more difficult in July and August and we’ll find out a lot more about LeRibeus and other bubble players then.

I’ll throw one more name out among players who were on the roster last year. I’m hearing that the coaches would like for Chris Thompson to emerge as the third-down back. If he can defy his history and stay healthy he has a very good shot at the role and could be a key player on offense.

Some of the players drafted late this year could make some noise. Spaight should be a special teams standout and CB Tevin Mitchell could be an injury or two away from having a somewhat prominent role.

You have to think that an undrafted free agent or two will make the team. None have really jumped out so far but their big chances will come in camp and in the preseason games. Among the undrafted rookies I’ll be keeping an eye on are TE Devin Mahina and RB Trey Williams.

Timeline

—It’s been 167 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 92 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 3; Redskins training camp starts 47; Preseason opener @ Browns 61

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. wonderfulfaison - Jun 13, 2015 at 8:50 AM

    Rich, I agree with you, but respectfully disagree with your thoughts on Roberts starting at the slot position. I think that IF Crowder has a good training camp he could emerge as the starter, of course, knowing how the NFL will decide on this suspected case of domestic abuse could play largely into whether he starts or not as well.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 15, 2015 at 11:20 AM

      I’m not sure why all the confidence in a rookie starting at the slot. I watched a few games with Crowder and I like the kid. However we’ll have to see if that speed of his transcends to the NFL field. Crowder has many tools for a young player but lack of size and refinement of those skills may take a season. Ryan Grant is my vote for starter if Roberts doesn’t turn out.

  2. ET - Jun 13, 2015 at 9:03 AM

    LeRib now seems to have a decent chance to make the roster. Remarkable. But an emergency center with some experience is a must. If he can fill that need, great.

    I think Crowder and/or Grant will see increasing gametime this year. Roberts was underwhelming last year. If I was a QB, I don’t think I’d have much confidence in Roberts’ ability to deliver.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      I’m not sure about LeRibeus at Center. He actually had a shot at that position earlier in his career and apparently it didn’t work out. I hope he’ll thrive when the pads go on but there was a reason it didn’t work out the first.

      • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:42 AM

        Yeah, LeRibeus had a shot at center as a rookie. That was so 4 years ago man… ;)

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 12:31 PM

          No doubt it was four years ago but if you can’t develop in your primary position by now, considering the guys in front of him, then what are his chances as a functioning center? I hold out better coaching is the answer since the guy does have the potential. He can be a mauler and moves well for his size. We’ll see out it works out. I’m routing for him.

      • ET - Jun 13, 2015 at 1:10 PM

        I’m not sure about LeRibster at center, either. Or guard, for that matter. But it would be great to see some return on investment from Josh. It’s now or never.

  3. abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Josh Leribeus started at RG and if Ryan Grant beat out Andre Roberts to be the 3rd/slot wr.

    Ryan Grant showed great hands and route running last preseason, he’s continued that while looking great in OTAs. Don’t be surprised if he beats out Andre Roberts to be the team’s #3 WR.

    I don’t think I ever saw LeRibeus really play poorly whenever he got playing time because of Kory L’s or Lavaou’s injuries over the past 4 years. So I know everyone is high on spencer long, as am I, but don’t forget about LeRibeus.

    I agree about Chris Thompson also. While I don’t expect him to get all the reps as the 3rd down back, I do think he’ll split time with Matt Jones and I think if the Redskins are down by two scores, that they’ll turn to Chris Thompson as their main running back and use him on screens, swing passes and as Griffin’s outlet out of the backfield.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:53 AM

      I feel if we don’t find a replacement for Shawn Lauvao then we are settling for a player that will under perform just like Chris Chester. Lauvao was struggling at Cleveland before he arrived to Washington. I still don’t get why Gruden or Bruce Allen acquired him. If it was Allen than well that makes sense since he doesn’t know much of anything about talent. I thought we were going to get Vinny Cerrato’ed again until the Redskins hired a legit GM.

      I’m with you about Grant. He’s the guy to own the slot this season if it won’t be Robert.

      Chris Thompson reminded me of Tiki Barber at Florida State. I just can’t emphasis though how serious those injuries were that he sustained.

      • berniebernard666 - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:11 AM

        I might partially agree with you about Lauvao but I am willing to wait until I see him this year. Chester had MULTIPLE years with the Skins and failed in pass pro most every season. And even last year MOST of the sacks and pressure came up the middle and as a result of the right side of the line.

        Lauvao may just be one of those players who plays to the level of talent AROUND him and last year that wasn’t very much. There is a reason they fired their offensive line coach. So with better coaching and better talent around him, Lauvao may surprise us. But we’ll see.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 12:33 PM

          All valid points and I agree it’s a wait and see situation. I’m always happy to be proven wrong if we can get some productivity out of players that I have serious doubts on.

      • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:25 AM

        That’s why we drafted Kuandjio. He’s Lauvao’s future replacement

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 12:26 PM

          How much do we know about Arie? I don’t know much about the player myself and it seems that every scouting report out there gives him no chance of becoming a future starter. I usually take the scouting reports with a grain of salt but when they are almost unanimous across the board on the negative, The most common reads are stiff lower body and very poor moving out of his box. it’s hard to have high hopes that this guy as our future right guard. I think he is a project that Scott and company are hoping could develop. However I’m not reading anywhere that he is a projected starter for this team.

          So as a replacement for Lauvao I’m very doubtful here.

        • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 12:35 PM

          Scouts don’t know what’s in a players heart and what their drive is to be a great player.

          I’ve heard nothing but good thing coming out of redskins park about him, just as many positive things as we are hear sing about Crowder.

          In order for this organization to become a winner once again, we must develop our mid round picks into starters like we did in the 80s when Bethard was here and how the best teams in the nfl do right now.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jun 13, 2015 at 4:14 PM

          Developing mid round players into starters is no small task. All shoot for such valued selections but no matter how well you draft and coach mid-rounders will fail or end up career backups. If we get future starters out of the mid rounds of this draft then I have far more confidence it can be done by Matt Jones and Jamison Crowder more than Arie. Hopefully we can get some contributions for all of them this season and promote them to more prominent positions later.

          It’s good that Arie is getting some good things stated about him in OTAs but we all know nothing has been proven until the pads come on. If you got sources on reports on Arie’s performance so far then please provide them since I haven’t been able the get much information on him myself.

      • David Weaver - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:54 PM

        If you don’t find someone to replace RG3 you are going to have a player who will under perform….lol. Do you think that the Washington Indians will win more than five games this year….lol.

  4. Ronnie Teseniar - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    Why haven’t the Redskins made any moves to get someone with a little more experience to try to be the backup/emergency center role? If anything he could a least bring competition to LeRib who obviously needs someone to light a fire under him to get some kind of value out of the bust. I’m sure there is a free agent out there that has center and guard experience we could pick up for more competition. The only reasons I could think of is that they are waiting till training camp to evaluate the line before bringing in more players or Scot is trying to get the organization to really buy into we want to mold our players into “Redskins” and he is giving him his last chance. Thoughts would be much appreciated Rich.

    • berniebernard666 - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      why is it OBVIOUS that LeRibeus needs someone to light a fire under him? So far he has only had one chance to start and that was at the end of 2 seasons ago and he did pretty well at guard. I understand that the offensive line coach decided that Josh wasn’t ready and lobbied to keep him on the bench last season. However, that line coach was so good that he is fired and no longer employed with the team.

      The Redskins have a history of letting people go who have talent, and the Redskins fans have a history of buying into the coaching decisions also claiming that “THAT GUY CAN’T PLAY”. It happened with Walt Harris who went to Chicago and led the league in int’s the next season. It happened to Ryan Clark who then went to Pittsburgh and earned a SB ring and went to a Pro Bowl. It happened to Antonio Pierce who went to the Giants and went to the Pro Bowl. It happened to several other Redskins who were let go but went on to become Pro Bowl players and or earn SB rings.

      So for some of you fans to buy into whatever a coach says must be gospel, I would say go right ahead. I am not a Cult member who accepts the spoken word of nitwits. I watch film and think in a logical manner. When someone has ability, they don’t just lose it because somebody says “they’re not ready”…..or “they didn’t have a great practice”. What some fans need to learn is coaches are just men. Men who look at things a certain way and SOMETIMES they look at things the WRONG way and make mistakes and sometimes sports writers buy into that and ASSUME that because a guy is not playing he must not be very good. It happens.

    • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:24 AM

      Because at some point you have to let your young players play to give them a chance to show what they’ve got. I’d much rather see LeRibeus or Long play at RG and C if we have injuries than a 30 year old.

  5. gonavybeatarmy - Jun 13, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Rich-

    Slight correction. LeRibeus was a 2012 draft pick.

    Semper Fi,

    Chuck

  6. bangkokben - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    The strong opinions that we Redskin fans have over the final 15 roster spots is so ridiculous – especially when you consider where we are in the off-season. (I include myself in this folly.) We, the fans, have only the preseason games and the glimpses that are reported by the media who painstakingly remind us of their LIMITED access. Yet we fans are divided on who should be the emergency center, slot receiver, fourth corner, 3rd down back or even starting left guard. The team just wrapped up their last week of OTAs before the mandatory mini-camp and the media may have had three days of access. Yet we, the fans, are so sure that our late round draft picks are going to bump off established veterans who the organization has already made large investments ($$ and cap space) for their services – not just this year but future years. The outrage that some fans had over Lache Seastrunk getting cut last year. Silly. On top of this silliness, if so-and-so (insert fan’s favorite late round draft pick) doesn’t start by the sixth game of the year, it’s all on the coach or the organization for not developing players. Fans, I’ve got news for you. It could get worse. Bacarri Rambo could actually be worse than Madieu Williams. Phillip Thomas could be worse than Reed Doughty. Andre Roberts could be worse than Santana Moss and Crowder could be worse than Roberts. Kouandjio could be worse than Lauvuo. Even Long could be worse than Chester. I don’t think so, but he certainly could. I get it. We all got opinions and keep them coming but many times these opinions are the equivalent of preferences. And many times the debate over who should be the punt returner is the equivalent of per-schoolers arguing over whether blue is better than green.

    • ET - Jun 13, 2015 at 1:06 PM

      The strong opinions that we Redskin fans have over the final 15 roster spots is so ridiculous …

      Uh, what else are we supposed to do? I’m confused by your assertion :)

  7. mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    I really wanna find out how the wide receiver and linebackers depth chart postion play out…I think there will be some surprise starters simply cause jay gruden keeping things from the media this year last year he was brutally honest with the media….after he said there wont be joint practices it end up bein joint practices…this year hes keeping things in house about players especially when asked about rg3 and David amerson…

  8. mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:53 AM

    Jay gruden has praised Jamison Crowder but he said he dont wanna get to happy until they put on the full pads and do live tackles…so you just dont know who will really emerge into a starting role or backup until training camp…breeland was a late round pick but end up starting most the year… martrell spaights said he got a few things to work on but cant wait until they put on the pads so he can show the coaches his tackling he said its difficult not going full speed cause no pads on theres no question he martrell spaights gotta improving his covering skills but thats all herd he gotta improve on he cant be any worst then perry Riley…and our draft picks practice with the second unit simply cause jay gruden dont wanna give these guys the job they wanna make them earn and work for it thats thats how you change a culture for the next group of rookies that comes in next year….so far jay gruden really havent praise nobody he wanna wait and see until training camp and pre-season

    • abanig - Jun 13, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      True but when your a HC coming off a 4-12 season you have to play the players you trust the most. 9 times out of 10 any coach is going to trust a veteran – at least in the beginning of the season – over a mid or late round draft pick to perform well enough that they contribute good plays that lead to wins for the team.

      With rookies comes more mental mistakes, even if they have more physical ability than a 30 year old.

  9. mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    But we got players who been in the NFL for more then a year and still make mistakes…mistakes is gonna happen ….I would rather for a rookie to make a mistake and learn from it then a player who is a vet that never improved his game..if these rookies need a whole year to develop then you gotta question the coaches and the scout department…midseason thats understandable but not a whole season…I think will compton will start this year next to keenan Robinson thats my prediction and they might give martrell spaights a few plays here and there

    • mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      If spencer long still struggle after a whole year of grooming his game then its time to give a rookie a shot at right guard as bad as chris chester was playing last year and just knowing spencer long couldnt push him to get his starting job it makes me nervous about spencer long starting…the media giving spencer long the starting role but it could be somebody else who is opening coaches eyes we just wont know until training camp start

  10. kenlinkins - Jun 13, 2015 at 6:01 PM

    Rich: After reading how bad the Redskins roster was talent wise for the last few years and with so much roster turn over already seen, why wouldn’t Redskins fan hope to see a few break out players this year? If the bar has been set so low and it takes a few years for a new GM to remove some of the over paid / under performers, wouldn’t that help a younger guy to over take starters on a team with only 7 wins in two years? With new position coach’s all over the place and a wild open roster, why couldn’t by mid season a few of these guys work there way onto the field? I for one will be disappointed if some of the hold overs do not lose their jobs by mid season. IMO there has to be more than just a few guys breaking out this year (i.e. gaining playing time) or the new GM has missed his mark. There has been a ton of roster moves already and IMO we Redskins fans should be reading names that are new to us come Monday mornings!

  11. mr.moneylover - Jun 13, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    I think preston smith will start…but maybe its just me that I think some vets that was here last year should lose they starting job if they not doing they job…rookies are hungary to play….breeland was hungary to play and soon when deangleo went down he dedicated his time and effort in the classroom and on the practice field I dont see why not some vets lose they job…if jay gruden start the same players from last year thinking it will be a different result that will be a slap in scot m. Face….all because new safeties and new players on the O-line it will result in wins it wont…redskins gonna need good LB depth good CB depth good WR depth and good TE depth thats whats gonna help get more wins…scot m. Got the eye for good football players but do jay gruden do ??? I guess we will see

    • bangkokben - Jun 14, 2015 at 10:07 AM

      It’s not just you who think veteran heads need to roll. Ken above you thinks the same. You both think if the coaching staff can’t get most of these rookie draft picks on the field it’s failure. At this, I scoff. The ‘skins aren’t going out with the same players. For one thing, it’s too early to tell. Secondly, the defense already has 5+ new starters. Two safeties, one corner, if Hall starts – that’s different too since he played two games last year, Orakpo’s replacement, Paea, and Knighton. If Riley wins the job, fine. It’s a new system and maybe one better suited for Riley. I think we’d both agree that the last system didn’t make him stand out in a good way. On offense, the right side of the line is different. There is plenty of change. At least seven new starters from week 1 last year a new o-line coach, a new power running philosophy, a new defensive system with completely different coaches. IT’S NOT THE SAME! So let’s see how the training camp battles sort out before we demand more change. Give time for Spaight, Smith, and Crowder to develop. Player development doesn’t have to happen in year one. That’s the Shanahan way. Morris, Reed, and Griffin’s best seasons were year one. His other draft picks aren’t anywhere closer to starting. Kam Chancellor didn’t start any games his rookie season. Richard Sherman started ten. Let our guys develop.

      • abanig - Jun 14, 2015 at 10:38 AM

        100 % agree preach brother preach!

        The Redskins could have as many as 8 new starters out of 22 players that started last year and they have a lot more youth on their squad than they had last year.

        I swear sometimes people just spot off things without thinking

  12. gurnblanstonreturns - Jun 13, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    Evan Spencer and Kyshoen Jarrett on special teams – playmakers!

  13. Bryan T. - Jun 13, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    What of LB Trevardo Williams? I’ve heard some interesting talk of him, and while he won’t start, maybe a chance in nickle packages?

  14. David Weaver - Jun 13, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    Stop making such a fuss over Washington and who’s going to start. We all know that Washington is a garbage basement team that is not going to make any noise in the NFL. Washington has the same chance of winning a Super Bowl as Tiger Woods have of winning another major…..NONE. It would be a huge accomplishment for them to just win six games….lol. RG3 is a bust and his back up is suspect. Let it go….Let it go

    • Rich Tandler - Jun 14, 2015 at 5:40 AM

      So you come to a site called “Real Redskins” and you’re shocked, shocked to find talk about the Redskins? Really?

      We’ll continue our conversation, thanks. You are free to steer clear of the site if you’re not interested.

    • abanig - Jun 14, 2015 at 8:12 AM

      Go back to your “real Cowgirls” site and let Redskins fans talk about the team

    • hk2000 - Jun 14, 2015 at 10:39 PM

      I don’t mind fans of other teams coming here and giving their opinion- ridiculous as it may be, but I think it’s a cowardly person who does that without first declaring who their team is. Start by stating who you route for, then fire away, we’d be willing to engage you had you done that, otherwise, you’re dismissed.

  15. skinsdawg - Jun 15, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Here’s the thing: Lauvao sux. He is just not good. Period. And he should be in his prime right about now. And as for LeRibb….. give me a break. The guy ain’t gonna do anything. He’s had what- 4 years now, to gain somewhat of a foothold on the line, and to try to beat out terrible players. And he can’t do it. He’s not good. He’s been proven to be not motivated enough to take control, and get the job done. Time to move on. I’m all in now for Spencer Long, if he’s healthy. And I love Willie Smith. I think the guy is legit. Not a star maybe. But legit, either as a back-up, or the starting RT. Then you move the Sheriff over to G. With Long. Find a veteran back-up C after the salary-cap cuts start rolling in. Develop Arie K. And maybe add one more legit G in F/A as well. Then get rid of the over-paid dead weight. Chester was a good start. So my starters on the line are: Trent / Scherff / Likk / Spence Long / Willie Smith —- or Trent / ??? F/A or Arie K ?? / Likk / Spence / Scherff . I still think there will be one more new starting OL, once the Salary Cap cuts srart rolling in. Gives you time with Arie K / Long. Compton I think is OK as a back-up swing tackle.

    WR- I like Crowder and Grant. 2 different types of players, and both can handle the slot, once they are comfortable, IMO. Croweder is going to need some time though. Grant should be mostly ready. I’d give him serious reps. And if he can handle it in Pre-Season duty, with 1st Teamers, then I’d get Robert’s Salary Cap $ back. He’s expendable. Heck- Evan Spencer is bound to be ab;e to bring you at least that level of talent. Also- Chris Thompson will never play more than 5 or 6 games a year- if he’s lucky. I would have kept Lache Seastrunk any day of the week- over him. I want to see what the new backs can do- in that 3rd down role. And my last comment- I agree 100% with Ken Linkins. No disrespect to Rich. I like Rich, and I understand what he’s saying. But IMHO, that philosophy just doesn’t cut it. Move out the dead weight from the 4-12 Team. And move on in the youth. New starters. New back-ups. Youth. Speed. Strength. Agility. Speed. Stamina. Speed. Strength. And um….. speed. If none of the young guys beat out the below average players we had…. then we are in trouble. As usual. I like Preston Smith. I want to see him emerge. In fact, I say P Smith starts opposite Kerrigan. And if T-Murph has gotten as strong as they say…. then move him to middle LB along-side 52 Keen Robinson. Wow. They could be lethal in the middle. And Smith and Kerrigan LIGHTS OUT!!! That’s my 2 cents.

    • abanig - Jun 16, 2015 at 5:38 AM

      Not gonna happen. Lauvao did play poorly in the beginning of the year but his last few games were much better last year and just like with LeRibeus, Long, Kuandijo, Larsen, Tom Compton, Reitner & Moses; Bill Callahan was brought in to get the most out of these guys and to get them prepared and developed. Lauvao is going to have at least one more year in DC.

      http://overthecap.com/salary-cap/washington-redskins/

      Look at the dead & if you cut Lauvao and Roberts, they’re not going anywhere this offseason because it’s going to cost a few million to cut them. My guess is this will be their last year in the team – same with Hatcher & DJax – but both will be on the team this year. What your proposing is just a year too early.

      There’s no way that Scherff is moved to guard, the coaches and McCloughan have constantly says he’s going to play RT. I don’t know what the infatuation is with Willie Smith and many in Redskins nation, he’s a fine back up, but in 4 years in the nfl and with 3 teams Smith hasn’t looked down a starting spot! Not even on three horrible offensive lines – the Redskins OL, the Raiders OL and the injury ravaged Chargers OL of the past few years.

      As for LeRibeus, he has some talent. I’ve never seen him totally play horrible when he’s had to play for Kory L or Lauvao because of their injuries the past 3 years. I get expectations were high for him, but I often times think LeRibeus gets a bad wrap. Everyone should know he wasn’t going to start over Forester’s pet project , Chester @ RG or Shanahan’s pet project, Kory L @ LG. IMO LeRibeus was a bad fit for the zbs, I have no clue why Shanahan every thought a 315 to 330 pound bowling ball that isn’t too athletic and fast would be good for the zbs. I was shocked Shanahan drafted LeRibeus over Brandon Brooks who now starts at guard for the Texans and over some of the DB prospects in 2012. That being said, I think Leribeus first the power-man-blocking scheme better and if Callahan can get an UDFA like Ronald Leary for the Cowboys to be an above average guard, then he can fix LeRibeus’ issues and get him to be a more quality player.

      As for your point about moving Murphy to ILB, that’s just not going to happen. Murphy has been playing DE or olb since high school. You don’t just take a player with those skills and move them inside, especially not when in college @ Stanford in 2013, he led the nation in sacks with 15. Murphy has a good array of pass rushing moves, he has more moves than Kerrigan and more than Rak ever did. Murphy needed to get bigger, stronger and get more explosion and he has this offseason. He’s added 10 pounds of good weight and everyone says he’s more explosive than last year. If murphy is moving anywhere in the future, it’s to DE. If he adds another 15 to 20 pounds over the next few offseasons like he just did this past offseason, Murphy won’t be starting at ROLB in 2016 or 2017, he’ll be starting at RDE and I’m sorry, but Murphy is never going to be an ILB, that’s just not his skill set, he’d be lost having to drop that far into coverage.

  16. skinsdawg - Jun 15, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Excuse me- Keenan

  17. skinsdawg - Jun 16, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    abanig- you make some damn good points, and I hear all of what you are saying. I agree with quite a lot of it, too. But the bottom line is this: The O line has sucked for the last what….. 7 or 8 years now? I mean, what is it with this organization? What do they not get up there in DC? Gibbs went to 4 Super Bowls, and won 3 of them. How did he do it? With the best O-Line and (arguably) D-Line in Football. They smashed everyone in their path, and then solid, skill players did what they were supposed to do. And bingo. They won. It isn’t rocket science, although of course it is more difficult to achieve…. than on paper. But the Skins of old did it with fundamentals, and on O and D Line. Not flashy and over-priced Skill Players. Monk and D Green were a couple that come to mind. Otherwise, guys they got in free agency that were not high profile, and guys they developed that were mostly around that (Bobby Mitchell discussed) talent line. A great formula.

    So on the O Line….. how freakin’ long are we going to be stuck with the same ole crap? I mean damn. Change it up. I’d rather get beat and killed with new / young guys any day of the week…. then with the same ole over-paid, dead weight. CHANGE IT UP for the Love of Holy Creatures everywhere. I realize you can’t do it all over night. So you stick with Trent (stud), Likk (solid at C IMO), and then you find a way to work with Moses, Long, Compton. W Smith, Scherff, and Kuondjo…. and I am certain another Free Agent Salary Cap sacrifice will be available at either G or T. I also believe Scherff starts- and I’m great with either G or T. I just want 5 LEGIT linemen. So I disagree with you a bit there, and I am still hearing Scherff could go either way. However, I do agree….. likely the RT. And I’m good with that. So Long at RG (thnk goodness Chester is out). And then a F/A at LG. I do liek Willie Smith though. I think you under-rate him. His rookie year with the Redskins may have been his best. Go back and check out his games vs Eagles X 2 (Trent Cole) and NYG (Jason Paul Pierre I think ?) and even DeMarcus Ware for Dallas. If I’m not mistaken….. not one sack. He’s big. He’s athletic. And he pass protects well. Not the greatest run-blocker, but less important IMO, with RT. And he’s not a terrible run-blocker. Like I said… just gimme the best 5.

    I also don’t think Murphy is going to wind up having the kind of explosion you talk about. I don’t think he has the athletic ability in the NFL. That’s why he broke NCAA records for sacks…. and didn’t go in the 1st round. Most people had him a 3rd rounder. Good player? Yes. Solid run-stopper on the edge? Yes. But I just don’t see it with the pass rush. Here’s where I have to be careful though- he’s a 1-yr guy. Heck- he might end up being awesome. But I don’t see it. I think he’s a tweener. Something of a hybrid 4-3 DE (if he added weight), or a 3-4 OLB without the extreme athleticism to be a legit pass-rusher. I think Preston Smith has it all. He just needs time. And how do we know Murph wouldn’t be ab;e to play ILB? You have a great point- he’s never done it. And he’s never had to drop back into pass coverage. But…… if he’ athletic enough to do what you’re saying…. and to be an edge rusher, then he’s athletic enough to drop back (on a limited basis) with TEs and many RBs. You have safeties for quicker backs. ILB’s are almost always less athletic than OLB/s JMHO. Also- as to your point about him never doing it…. well he never played 3-4 OLB either. He was a college DE. Not going to cut that in the NFL. Again- just my H/O.

    Great discussion. I appreciate all the ponits you made. You know your football. And at the end of the day- you are probably right about most of it. These guys aren’t going to take any chances. But if I had my way, I’d like to see them make a run at these changes. LOVE to see Preston Smith at OLB- opposite Kerrigan. Get him ready as quick as you can. They say he’s picking it up FAST!! And just gimme 3 new O-Lmen to go with Trent and Likk. And I’m happy! Heck- our biggest problem will wind up being QB anyway. Again.

    • berniebernard666 - Jun 17, 2015 at 11:35 AM

      not quite sure you understand this but WHERE you are drafted is no indication of how you will play in the NFL. What round you are projected for is no indication of your “explosion” off the ball once you are in the NFL for a year or 2. I think perhaps you are too stuck on what so called “experts” write about.

      Trent Murphy looked pretty good last year for playing only half a season. After putting on 10 pounds, and gaining more hand techniques, I look for him to continue to progress to a 6 or 7 sack LB this year. but hey, that’s just my opinion.

      • abanig - Jun 17, 2015 at 1:17 PM

        Where you are drafted does have some importance, especially early on in your career. There are players who make teams if they are drafted in the first four rounds of the draft the first 3/4 years of their career that wouldn’t be on the team with the way they haven’t performed since we drafted them.

        Phillip Thomas and Josh LeRibeus come to mind as two guys we likely would have cut in the past if they weren’t a 3rd & 4th round pick.

        In the middle/end of a career, no, it doesn’t matter where you were drafted but in the first contract it does.

  18. berniebernard666 - Jun 17, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    so Josh Leribeus isn’t as bad as you originally thought? I have no idea why some of you thought he should be cut. He did a very good job in the one time he was able to start 2 years ago and since then he has controlled his weight, put on muscle, stayed out of trouble, and been a solid Redskins Park activity performer. There has been nothing negative about Josh except the stupidity of the coaching staff starting Chester.

    To borrow a line from Mark Twain: “The Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. LOL

    • abanig - Jun 17, 2015 at 11:56 AM

      Per usual, sometimes fans don’t get the context right or they misremember exactly what a reporter said/wrote.

      In 2013, LeRibeus reported to the offseason work outs way out of shape! So much so that he wasn’t even considered to be someone they would activate until he lost tens of pounds. I’m not sure the weight he was over his listed weight, but I believe it was in the neighborhood of 30/40 pounds.

      When someone who’s a second year player trying

      • abanig - Jun 17, 2015 at 12:09 PM

        To make an nfl roster, the coaches expect to have them show more commitment. LeRibeus showed he didn’t give two craps about the skins and thought he could just show up after his rookie year and it showed. He was basically deactivated the entire year.

        Reporters like Rich and Chris Russell said LeRibeus was “in danger of being cut,” they never said he definitely would be.

        There is a difference!

        Come back to 2014 and reporters and coaches were talking about how much better he came into the offseason program at and how he looked better in the offseason workouts. Still, we had just signed Lauvao & drafted Long, so whether we kept LeRibeus was in question all offseason.

        Again, no one said he’d definitely be cut but predicted he “could be.”

        Based off of how LeRibeus performs when he gotten his opportunities in 2012 & 2013, as long as he’s in shape, he should make the team and maybe even beat out Long for the starting RG position is he really balls out.

  19. skinsdawg - Jun 17, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    C’Mon man…… we’ve had the worst O-Line in Pro Football the last several years running….. and Le Ribb can’t even scratch for 3 or 4 years….. with the bums they were running out tehre each week? And while the Coaches’ jobs were on the line? Except for a couple games where injury forced them to bring him in. And he did OK. If we’re being nice bout it. Bottom line- a lot of you guys love these players. You love the Redskins. I get that. I do too. But just b’c they are Redskins…. does not mean they are legit NFL Quality players. Definitely not starters. There’s a reason we win 3 or 4 games every year, and come in last place. It’s because we have the worst players. TIME TO UPGRADE on guys like Le Ribb, Chester, etc. Why are we even arguing over this? It’s like debating on whether you’d rather get hit in the head with a bag of wet cement. Or hot tar. Um….. neither. It is time. Time to upgrade. This new GM gets it. I think you will see one more OLman after the Salary Cap cuts start up. And next year, they’ll draft another OLman or even 2. And we’ll be needing a QB it looks like. No clue what to do about that. I’m still pissed they didn’t get Brice Petty- instead of the Florida RB. I think Petty was still on the board. I think in a year or 2…. that guy will be legit. JMHO

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