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Need to Know: Redskins shift towards home-grown offensive line

Oct 3, 2015, 5:25 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 3, two days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

A six pack of thoughts on the Redskins

I have not yet emptied my brain of miscellaneous thoughts about the Redskins (blame the long layoff between games). Let’s roll with another six pack of them.

1.I look at Brandon Scherff and I see a pretty good guard at this point. Maybe he can become dominant in a few years to justify the No. 5 pick. But I can’t help but look at the troubles the Redskins are having getting pressure on the passer rushing four and think that Vic Beasley of the Falcons might have been a better pick. But we’ll see how it plays out.

2. Speaking of which, Preston Smith also could help generate more pass rush. He played 28 snaps against the Giants, almost as many as he played in the first two games combined. But it still was fewer than half of the defensive snaps. Smith probably should have beaten out Trent Murphy to start the season. He’s not a magic solution to what ails the pass rush but he would be an upgrade.

3. Perry Riley is going to miss another game with a strained calf. There’s nothing he can do about it but you have to think that he is anxious to get back. Will Compton is playing well in his place. Next year, Riley’s cap number will be over $5 million in the last year of his contract. Compton will get the third-year minimum. The Redskins could save about $3 million by going with Compton over Riley (considering about $1 million in dead cap for letting Riley go). It will be something they will ponder when the season is over.

4. I posted on the Redskins’ issues generating sacks and takeaways yesterday and I didn’t have the space to get into one of the major factors that have make big plays difficult. The Redskins haven’t played with a comfortable lead much. Being ahead allows the defense to tee off on the quarterback and gamble for interceptions. This was an issue last year as well. It’s a bad cycle, where they can’t get ahead, so they don’t get takeaways, setting up field position that is continually challenging. The need to break through it.

5. The Redskins will start just three players who are 30 or older on Sunday; S Dashon Goldson (31), C Kory Lichtensteiger (30), and the oldest player on the team at age 33, Jason Hatcher. Nine starters will be 26 or younger. In addition, the kicker, punter, kickoff returner and punt returner are all 25 or younger.

6. In Week 4 a year ago, the Redskins started just one offensive lineman who was drafted by the team, Trent Williams. The other four, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, and Tyler Polumbus, arrived as free agents. On Sunday, the line will have just one free agent, Lichtensteiger, and four draft picks; Williams, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses.


Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, no media availability

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 1; Redskins @ Falcons 8; Redskins @ Jets 15

In case you missed it

  1. 214hof - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    Not positive, but I think 4 years ago the O-line was Williams, Lich, Monty, Chester, Brown/Polumbus. I get the point tho. Nice to see the Skins actually use the guys they draft for a change.

    • 214hof - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Nvm, it’s says IN WEEK 4, not 4 years ago… My bad.

  2. bk70 - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    “Home Grown Offensive Line” – I always thought that was the way to building a great team…HTTR
    I’ve enjoyed having 9 or 10 OL on the 53 man roster this early part of the season, along with young talent such as
    Takoby Cofield and Austin Reiter waiting on the Practice Squad. If we can such develop another center in time.
    Lichtensteiger is doing a fine job but there must be a plan to replace him in time, and I’m not certain if LeRibeus
    is the best solution.

    • ET - Oct 3, 2015 at 10:12 AM

      LeRibster is most certainly not the best option at center. He’s hanging on by a thread as it is. I’m guessing he’s gone next year.

  3. ericstylezz - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    None of this matters if we can’t score

    • bk70 - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:47 AM

      Trying to stay positive.

  4. sidepull - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    Just as an aside the Patriots and Belichick have begun to reinvent the way O lineman are used. The rotate them in and out as well as switch their positions on the fly at a pretty quick pace. They are starting to mix up the looks for the defense. Results, Brady is killing it, Harbaugh, though complaining, is trying to copy, or just keep up with Bill. Be interesting to watch D coordinators try to shoot holes in Bills plan as they get a grasp of what he is doing. Right now they are rolling people and they play rooks, vets, whoever in their rotations.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Oct 3, 2015 at 9:55 AM

      Interesting …but then again it’s Belichick who I think should go down as arguably the greatest coach of all time (Sorry Vince).

    • bangkokben - Oct 3, 2015 at 11:05 AM

      I doubt Bill does this if Jimmy is under center instead of Tom.

      • sidepull - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:27 PM

        Funny the Center is the one constant in the rotations.

        • sidepull - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:28 PM

          But yea Brady does make it go.

  5. redskinsnameisheretostay - Oct 3, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Vic Beasley was my favorite at the 5th pick but I feel Schreff is a better potential career player for this team. Great edge rushers while destructive don’t seem to have long successful careers on one team. My only concern when Schreff was selected was that the team would force him to play tackle which I’m sure he’d struggle at this level. When they moved him to guard I was really happy because he is a mauler that will be one of the best players at that position for a long time. I originally envisioned him playing along side Trent to make a dominant left side.

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Oct 3, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    “Preston Smith also could help generate more pass rush.’

    While I’m still not in favor of Preston playing OLB, any way we can get him on the field more I’m all for that. I still say eventually he’ll grow into a defensive end or he’ll be utilized all along the line like Watt has been in Houston.

    • ET - Oct 3, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      My sense is they don’t exactly know what to do with Preston yet. He’s also still getting up to speed with the pro game. Once Preston is more fluid in his approach, I suspect you may be right—he may be deployed from multiple places in the front seven. I’d love to see that happen.

    • kenlinkins - Oct 3, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      All the Redskins need to know about Smith is that he is a play maker. They have to find a way to get him on the field more often. I understand that he is not a complete player yet, but he finds a way to make things happen and Redskins play makers have been in very short supply the last few years.

  7. abanig - Oct 3, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    This is the best way to do it. Draft your own, develop your own and have them grow as a unit together.

  8. bangkokben - Oct 3, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    Will Compton was a noticeable downgrade from Perry Riley last week. The new scheme seems to favor Riley more than Compton. Compton in pass rush was utter failure. This is something that Riley actually does well from the middle. I think Bradford gets untracked against our D this week with the secondary issues and Compton out there. God, I hope I’m wrong.

    • ET - Oct 3, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      Perry has looked much better in Barry’s scheme than in Hazlett’s. Those horrible coverage mismatches of ’14 appear to be gone, thank God.

      I wonder if Mason Foster will see any non-ST snaps—he’s a solid player from what I’ve seen. I like Compton as a backup or situational player, but he makes me uneasy in a full-time role. Good guy, but we could use an upgrade in this spot.

      • abanig - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:00 PM

        If Riley doesn’t have to think a lot or read and react he’s a good ilb. Riley in a scheme that just lets him go and hit people like the scheme we are running now is good.

        Haz’s Pittsburgh Steeler type scheme was too complicated for our young players. They just couldn’t learn it and execute it. When you have veterans that can learn a scheme and execute it well, the 3-4 scheme the Steelers run works, when you have a lot of young guys, it doesn’t.

        • ET - Oct 3, 2015 at 1:41 PM

          Yeah, Hazlett’s scheme was overly complicated. It also failed to account for the personnel on hand. Hazlett put Robinson and Riley in tough coverage situations on passing downs and also left way-below-average safeties too exposed on too many plays. I do think Hazlett was hamstrung by injuries and weak personnel in several spots, but Barry and Scot have done a better job matching personnel to scheme, IMO. Both inside ‘backers have benefited from the change, but Robinson was/is better equipped for either situation.

  9. mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    Even tho will compton a good amount of tackles last week he looked lost most the time on few the plays keenan Robinson pointed out the man he was suppose to cover or a gap he was suppose to plug-in and he fail to do it left Trenton Robinson as the guy he was suppose to cover…I dont think will compton will replace perry Riley next year my dark horse to replace perry Riley is mason foster this guy is a beast on special teams and playing LB im surprise he was on the streets this guy is physical and hustle on every play kinda like keenan Robinson…scot m.said it wasnt no questions about signing a guy like foster mason hes passionate about the game and got the skills to play the game at a high level

  10. mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    I said it since the pre-season trent Murphy should be benched or cut because I still see a guy whose getting pushed to the ground and on running plays he cant get off his blocks to make a play

    • abanig - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:26 PM

      He shouldn’t be cut, he just isn’t a dynamic 3-4 olb as a pass rusher. He is good against the run, he’s one of the best run defending OLBs in the NFL.

      The Redskins should be starting Preston Smith and using him on passing downs.

      They need to start the process now of turning Trent Murphy into a DE. I said it when he was drafted that in the NFL his best fit is as a DE, not a 3-4 OLB.

      Preston Smith and Jackson Jeffcoat are better edge pass rushers than Murphy. Murphy needs to continue to get bigger and stronger and made into a DE.

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:44 PM

      I herd all the hype that trent Murphy was gonna be a beast this year because he put on weight…he havent made a play yet that made me say wow this guy good.. jackson jeffcoat need to get some playing time I said that in the preseason but jay gruden dont know how to run a team and we got a new defensive coach who tryna redefine himself as a coach…im looking forward to next year instead when Jay gruden is gone he disappointed me as head coach

      • bangkokben - Oct 3, 2015 at 3:31 PM

        I heard the hype about Murphy too. Basically that meant that Murphy was going full speed in OTAs while the rest of the team was saving it for pads.

        • abanig - Oct 6, 2015 at 7:21 AM

          You can never believe too much what beat reporters and bloggers write in the offseason. It literally means nothing once the games count.

      • bangkokben - Oct 3, 2015 at 3:33 PM

        I heard the hype too. Basically it means that Murphy was going all out in OTAs and the rest of the team was holding back until pads.

  11. cowboyhater - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Just to think about the promising o line for next year is pretty exciting. No use trying to think this team will do any better than what we saw last week against the Giants. Philly is faster, and their defense is better than what I thought. It will probably be another long day, but let’s hope they stay competitive throughout the game and not lose faith during the season and see them start giving up on the year. I think SM will be looking for that as year goes on and if you don’t give effort when this season is over then you are gone. I’m looking forward to next years draft, and what FA’s they will target to continue to upgrade this team. Next year, my expectations will be much higher and I will really hold SM to a higher standard. Yes, I’m already giving in to this year, and putting my hopes into next year, plus what I have supposed at the beginning of the year, with a new coach. Is it just me or am I just not feeling it this year, and if you are a realist as a skins fan you should pretty much know where this season will end up as well. Sorry for being the debbie downer, but it could be the rainy week bringing me down.

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:37 PM

      Im with you…I dont trust jay gruden as head coach….his decision making is horrible he didnt think about throwing the ball deep not 1 time against the giants witch benefits the giants the giants sent everybody in the box to stop the run and thats why they got the win…

  12. mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Brandon scherff is off to a great start im surprise hes doing as good as he is along with morgan moses…losing junior gaullet really hurt this defense and jay gruden was so wrong by not giving ryan kerrigan no snaps in the preseason now ryan kerrigan gonna have to take most of the year to get settle to bein his self again and that goes back to what I said all off-season we have a bad head coach whose making bad decisions for players…theres no way rashad ross or Jamison Crowder should be on the bench most the game those two probably the fastest guys on the field but instead jay gruden wanna play andre roberts

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      Not to mention he decided not to play desean jackson who wasnt use to sprinting 50 yards and look were that got desean jackson a hamstring injury…idc who you is you gotta play some in the preseason to get yourself ready for the regular season…kerrigan got 1 sack when he couldve had about 8 he got handled by a rams rookie and thats not good when you want to want to get pressure on the QB

      • goback2rfk - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:47 PM

        They Skins gave Kerrigan something like 16 million as a sign on bonus to go with his 5 year contract. He better step up or that contract is certainly not justified. He should have somewhere between 13 – 16 sacks this year and has 0.5 sacks so far and only 6 or so tackles. It seemed like he played harder when he was trying to earn the contract, now that he has the money he is set and not playing with urgency.

        • abanig - Oct 3, 2015 at 1:24 PM

          Redskins fans have overrated Kerrigan for four years and devalued other players on the team. His lack of production does not surprise me.

        • goback2rfk - Oct 3, 2015 at 9:43 PM

          Sonofwashington should have a way to log in for comments other than facebook.

        • abanig - Oct 3, 2015 at 10:36 PM

          Used to. I’ll bring it up with the person who runs the site.

    • mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:52 PM

      @rfk…its not his fault he wasnt put in the best situation…he was pissed off at jay gruden because he wanted to play in the preseason but jay gruden wouldn’t allow him ryan kerrigan knew that the preseason will help him get off to a good start and jay gruden is on record saying he regret not letting desean jackson or ryan kerrigan get some snaps in the preseason

  13. mr.moneylover - Oct 3, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    I would like to see mason foster play next to Keenan Robinson but that wont probably happen this year because we got dumb running the team and dumber running the defense

  14. hk2000 - Oct 3, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    Are we ever gonna get passed that 5th overall pick? It’s done, we needed O linemen, and had they drafted Beasley, a lot of fans would’ve been upset as well. And BTW, I thought the choice was either Scherff or Williams, would we have been better off with Williams? Do we know how our OL would’ve been had we not drafted Scherff? Those hindsight arguments are always pointless. I haven’t been following other teams- does anyone know how Williams is doing for the Jets?

    • kenlinkins - Oct 3, 2015 at 4:59 PM

      IMO Scherff was the safe pick and the smart move for a new GM who had a ton of holes to fill. The new GM could not allow the first round pick to be a bust. The new GM may have got lucky that Moses worked out at RT or maybe he saw that early or maybe he counted on the new O-Line coach making headway quickly. It really doesn’t matter now as the Redskins have the raw stuff required to have a good running game if the head coach knows what he is doing (and the jury is still out on that subject.) I like Williams but with all the D-lineman free agents signed, the O-Line was the place to use the pick.

    • kenlinkins - Oct 3, 2015 at 5:04 PM

      Williams stats, 161 snaps, 78.5% of plays (that a lot), 3 solo tackles, 12 asst, a half sack in three games. Jets ar 2-1.

  15. kenlinkins - Oct 3, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    IMO this is a real cross roads game for the Redskins 2015 season. A 1-3 start could be the start of falling off the cliff I assumed wouldn’t happen until week 11 or so. It is a NFC East game, a game to get back to 500%, Cousin’s recovery game after a very bad Thursday night game on national TV, Soft part of the season, and ends the first quarter of the season. IMO the GM will take stock on the first quarter results and place his first true steak in the ground as far as improvements are concerned. While I do see reason for hope and also see some improvements, if the Redskins do go 1-3 my biggest concern would be the head coach. Gruden must understand that if he is going to be able to lead the Redskins back to winning football games he should be able to beat the Eagles, but that could of have been said the last 3 weeks as well and he is 1-2, looking at 1-3. I have the Redskins showing up flat, falling behind early and losing 32-17. I hope I am wrong but Cousins has yet to show me he can win when the Chips are down, and IMO the Redskins are all in early this season.

    • goback2rfk - Oct 3, 2015 at 8:49 PM

      I would say the season would be close to being over with a loss tomorrow. Going 0 – 2 in the division would certainly be near impossible to overcome. Its not like we are in the running for a Wild Card this season.
      We will learn a lot about the redskins tomorrow. No excuses, they have had extra time to prepare and they better not come out flat. Cousins seat is getting hotter and hotter and a shitty performance tomorrow may leave him with 1 foot out the door. Good luck to the Skins tomorrow

      Defense is do for some turnovers and Sam Bradford obliges. I got the Skins grabbing 1 INT and 1 fumble tomorrow.
      Skins Win A Close Won: Skins – 20 Eagles – 17

  16. gurnblanstonreturns - Oct 3, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    1. That’s short-term thinking. Scherff is much better for this long-haul rebuilding effort.

    2. I have no problem working Smith in as a rookie. Again, long-haul.

    3. McCloughan will not pay Riley $5m. Get ready for a pay cut or just a cut.

    4. The turnover problem year after year with one fumble recovery in the first 3 games this year makes me think The Curse of the Danny – because it sure defies reason or any kind of statistical probability.

    5. and 6. Great signs that McCloughan is on target in year 1 of this multiyear rebuild.

  17. knowledge - Oct 3, 2015 at 11:55 PM

    Vic Beasley all day, but it’s the redskins u should have known they were going to miss that pick up

    • abanig - Oct 4, 2015 at 9:20 AM

      They haven’t messed up the pick, Scherff has been great for a rookie OL

    • kenlinkins - Oct 4, 2015 at 9:49 AM

      Beasley does have 2 sacks and has been on the field 65% of the defense for the Falcon. Scherff has been on the field for 100% of Redskins offense. I think that both teams did the right thing with thier picks for the long term.

    • jonevans511 - Oct 4, 2015 at 10:47 AM

      you say that based on what? his performance through the first month of the first year of his career? Scherff has been the model of consistency since he’s come in to the league, do not devalue the importance of a plug & play Olineman. You can like Vic as much as you want but give it time. In fact, let’s make a mental note to check in 5 years and see what happens. Archives

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