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Need to Know: A lot is riding on “developing” right side of Redskins O-line

Aug 3, 2015, 5:28 AM EDT

Brandon-Scherff-minicamp

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, August 3, 10 days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns.

If you need to catch up on what’s happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

A lot is riding on “developing” right side of offensive line

RICHMOND—The Redskins have made no secret of the fact that they intend to run the ball far more often than they did in 2014. But in order to do that they will need for the revamped right side of the offensive line to be effective, if not stellar. And, according to Jay Gruden, that’s not necessarily a given.

“That’s just where they are—they’re developing,” the Redskins head coach said when asked about the progress of second-year right guard Spencer Long and rookie right tackle Brandon Scherff. “Spencer’s got a little bit of a leg-up because he had all of last year. I mentioned it before, Spencer missed a lot of his senior year, so he didn’t get as many reps and he was still developing.”

Long missed a good chunk of his senior year at Nebraska with a knee injury and he played just 16 offensive snaps. He has the benefit of having a full season of being on an NFL roster. That helps, but watching film, attending meetings, and working the scout team at practice doesn’t fully prepare a player to step in and be a starter.

At least he has more experience than Scherff.

“And Brandon, he’s a rookie, you know?” said Gruden. “He’s got a lot to pick up in a short amount of time. Week 1 we have [Dolphins defensive end] Cameron Wake coming right at him, so he’s got to pick it up quickly. He’s played right tackle and right guard in training camp and he’s doing a wonderful job so far. A long way to go, a lot to learn, he’s going to learn from the best, one of the best. Ryan Kerrigan is showing him the ropes a little bit and we’re going to use that knowledge and that experience to his advantage, that’s for sure.”

Wake had 11.5 sacks last year and has averaged over 10 sacks per season during his six-year NFL career.

In practice, the two have been doing just fine, although they just donned their pads on Saturday. We will be a better indication of where they are next week when the Houston Texans come to town and the line will be facing the likes of JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney (if he is off of the PUP list by then) and Vince Wilfork.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.

—It’s been 218 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 41 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 10; final cuts 33; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 52

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  1. abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 7:01 AM

    I have faith the young right side of our OL will develop into good to great players.

    I differ from most Redskins fans because I’m not sold they’re going to be immediate upgrades over the vets we’ve had on the right side the past 3 seasons.

      • abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 9:32 AM

        That’s an extremely small sample size but yeah. I mean I get the opinion that we needed to move on from the vets we had the past three years and that we needed young blood but many fans don’t respect the value of knowledge that comes from a veteran, even if their skills have diminished from what they were a few years earlier.

        In the long run, Long and Scherff are going to be better than Chester and Polumbus I’m almost 100% certain of that. I seriously doubt they’ll be better than Chester and Polumbus were in their first month of last season.

        Anyone who doesn’t believe their will be growing pains with the youngsters on the right side of our OL is kidding themselves.

        • bangkokben - Aug 3, 2015 at 9:47 AM

          Agreed. It has been my point of contention that the primary reason for the upgrades is the run scheme. A better run game will put our QB in better situations and allow for more play action. The pass blocking will come but much later.

        • abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 9:49 AM

          I’m hoping by mid season both Long and Scherff have solidified themselves as starters both as run blockers and pass blockers. Seems like a good timetable to me.

          I think they’re both going to struggle week 1 vs Suh & Wake.

        • bangkokben - Aug 3, 2015 at 10:48 AM

          I think that is a good timetable as well. As far as struggling in week 1, what does that mean? The nature of the position is too only get recognized for failures. Say the redskins drop back for passes 25 times and each get beat on separate occasions twice each. That could result in 4 sacks but 92% of the time they could have each won their individual battles. I think we take that but hope for better knowing it could be worse. Defense has to keep the game close, have to establish a run game, and have to sustain drives. If they fail in all three areas it could get ugly fast. Where Gruden is running the ball on 3rd and long and Mr. Moneylover is complaining about garbage rushing yards.

        • abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 12:48 PM

          Week 1 they play Suh & Wake. Redskins fans should prepare themselves for a disappointing performance from the young right side of the OL against those two pro bowlers.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Aug 3, 2015 at 10:51 AM

          This Team was middle of the pack in run blocking ( although Morris may have elevated them a little) According to their Adjusted Sack Rate they were Ranked 31st in Pass Blocking. The Oline changes were more likely because of the Horrible Pass Blocking. With the 2 weakest spots being replaced and a new Oline Coach I can’t see them being any worse, but I do agree Im not going to proclaim like most fans that this line is fixed. There is still room for improvement and we need to see them in live action in 3rd and long when the Defense has their ears pinned back and are being rushed. If they sustain their blocks then we just might have something going foward.

        • abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 10:58 AM

          I don’t think they are going to be worse than what we got last year (especially not in run blocking), I just don’t expect a great improvement in the first month of the season from two rookies (yes, I consider Long a rookie) over what we saw last year in the first month – maybe two months – of the season.

          I think they’ll improve as the year goes on for sure and I think they’ll be playing at a good level the last month of the season. In 2016 is when I actually expect Long & Scherff to start dominating on the right side.

          It’s going to take some time, some development and some adjustment to the NFL game for both of them. You don’t usually plug in two rookies into your offensive line and automatically get great results.

  2. mrhart76 - Aug 3, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    I think by mid season Brandon will be fine. But week one he’s gonna get schooled. The same with Long. Wake and Suh are gone be coming right at the pups. We NEED to get a nice lead so we can try to run the ball against that line. Because if we get down and Robert needs to pass alot..he’s gonna get broken early.

    • abanig - Aug 3, 2015 at 8:27 AM

      The only way we’re going to have a chance at having a lead is if Long and Scherff do well early.

  3. hk2000 - Aug 3, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    Yeah I’ll wait for your report on their practice against the Texans. I wouldn’t put too much stock in their practice against each other, wither consciously or subconsciously, they do not play the same against a teammate, same with preseason as opposed to regular season, so it will be a while before we can truly gauge how good or bad this team is going to be.

  4. skinsgame - Aug 3, 2015 at 8:20 AM

    Difficult to imagine Long doing any worse than Chester had been doing. The biggest difference for me will be the feeling of potential and promise that comes when you know a player is still learning vs when a player is just what he is. Chester, in particular, was not going to get much better and he was awful.

  5. mr.moneylover - Aug 3, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Agree rich…next week is there real test…I hear Brandon S. Is good at run blocking but struggling in pass protection hes getting push back way to much and thats what they tryna help him improve on before the season start…putting in that extra time after practice will pay off we just dont know when

  6. Capital Defense - Aug 3, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    That right side is about to practice for 3-4 days against JJ Watt, a great learning experience for Brandon in particular. It was time to go with youth, because we need to build the line for our franchise QB that is not currently on the roster.

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