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20 questions in 20 days: 6 Is the offensive line deep enough?

20 questions in 20 days: 6 Is the offensive line deep enough?

By Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.com20 questions in 20 daysAs we count down to the first game of the Redskins season, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to be looking at some of the big questions facing the team and attempting to look into their crystal balls and answer them.Question 6:Does the offensive line have enough depth?The background:Last year the Redskins started the season 3-1 with the same five offensive linemen playing every snap. Then injuries struck on the offensive line and the teams fortunes took a precipitous decline at the same time. They won just two games the rest of the way and the O-line struggled. The low point was giving up 10 sacks to the Bills in a Week 8 shutout loss in Toronto. The Redskins made some changes at the position, bringing back none of the backups who were on the roster at the start of 2011.Tandler:The Redskins backup linemen could fairly be described as a rag-tag bunch. Two, rookie guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis, were drafted in the third and fifth rounds respectively. Maurice Hurt was a seventh-round pick in 2011 and he received few accolades for his play starting half of the season at left guard. Hurts eight games played were eight more than Jordan Black, the swing tackle who was out of football last year. The Redskins already are starting one backup with Tyler Polumbus, who they picked up in midseason last year, at right tackle in place of the injured Jammal Brown. None inspires great confidence but you can always hide one weak spot. If one starter is out of a game, the Redskins should be OK. Multiple injuries along the line, however, could have us seeing more 10-sack performances.El-Bashir:Among the questions facing the Redskins as they prepare for New Orleans, this probably ranks No. 1. If Coach Mike Shanahan wasnt worried, he wouldnt have attempted to claim two linemen on waivers Sunday. When healthy, the starting unit is adequate. But right now, its not healthy. Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger says hell be ready for the Saints after a second surgical procedure on his right knee in 10 months. But how ready? Its seems doubtful right tackle Jammal Brown will suit up at all this season due to a bum hip. Browns backup, Tyler Polumbus, had a strong preseason, but how will he fare when the games count? Questions abound. But this much we know: If Robert Griffin III is injured as a result of inadequate protection, the O-line will be the least of the Redskins concerns.20 questions in 20 days20 Aug.20Will Jammal Brown play this year?
19 Aug.21Will Chris Cooley make the team?
18 Aug. 22Can Brandon Meriweather get he job done at safety?
17 Aug. 23Is Garon a No. 1 receiver?
16 Aug. 24Can Trent Williams go from good to great?
15 Aug. 25Can DeAngelo Hall be a defensive playmaker?
14 Aug. 26Can Santana Moss regain his old form?
13 Aug. 27Can Orakpo post 15 sacks?
12 Aug. 28Will Leonard Hankerson break out?
11 Aug. 29Can the Redskins flip their turnover ratio?
10 Aug. 30How much can Hightower contribute this year?
9 Aug. 31Was making Billy Cundiff the kicker a good move?
8 YesterdayWill Josh Morgan be worth the investment?
7 YesterdayWhat can Jarvis Jenkins contribute?
6 TodayIs the offensive line depth good enough?
5 TomorrowWill a running back by committee work?
4 WednesdayShould we expect a sophomore slump from Ryan Kerrigan?
3 ThursdayHow many wins is enough?
2 FridayHow much should RG3 run?
1 SaturdayCan RG3 . . . ?

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Redskins' outside LB depth chart looking thin after Galette injury

Redskins' outside LB depth chart looking thin after Galette injury

The Redskins will have to get through the season without Junior Galette, who suffered a second torn Achilles tendon in as many seasons. He won’t be easy to replace but they will have to line up and play 16 games without him just like they did last year.

Ryan Kerrigan, who had 9.5 sacks last year, will start at left outside linebacker as he has since he was drafted in 2011. Preston Smith, who was going to compete with Galette for the starting right side job, will now have that to himself.

Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks just two years ago and Smith has the potential to have that many. After that, however, the Redskins are quite thin.

Last year they had Trent Murphy starting 15 games at right outside linebacker. But he has been moved to the defensive line, adding around 30 pounds to make the position change. Even if the team wants to move him back to linebacker it may not be possible to have Murphy shed the weight.

Assuming Murphy stays on the line, the Galette injury could open the door for a few other players to get an opportunity. Houston Bates played in eight games last year, most on special teams. Willie Jefferson has been looking for an opportunity since he played six games for the Texans in 2013. And Lyden Trail is large (6-7, 270), athletic, and very, very green.

The Redskins also could use rookie Su'a Cravens, their second-round pick, to help out with outside pass rush. He could be of help in nickel situations but at 6-1, 222 he is not big enough to be effective defending against the run from the ouside linebacker spot. 

Training camp is always important for young players but for this group the stakes just went sky high. We will see who responds starting in a few days.

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After promising rookie season ends with terrible injury, Redskins waive Kyshoen Jarrett

After promising rookie season ends with terrible injury, Redskins waive Kyshoen Jarrett

Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the best stories on the Redskins last year. A 6th-round rookie from Virginia Tech, Jarrett found his way into an important role for Washington as the slot cornerback, and saw his playing time steadily increase throughout the season. 

Then, in a meaningless Week 17 win over the Cowboys, Jarrett sustained a shoulder injury. But the shoulder injury wasn't the worst part as he sustained nerve damage that stunted his rehab. 

In a move that surprised few who saw him this summer, on Monday the Redskins waived Jarrett with a failed physical designation. 

From a football sense, the 'Skins secondary should still be much improved after the signing of free agent Josh Norman and drafting Kendall Fuller, another Hokie, in the third round this year. From a personal sense, the Jarrett news is sad to see, as coaches and teammates often said he was a hard worker with what appeared to be a good NFL career in front of him. 

Jarrett played in 16 games last year, making 58 tackles to go with four passes defensed and a forced fumble. 

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With Junior Galette out for the season are any free agents worth bringing in? Greg Hardy?

With Junior Galette out for the season are any free agents worth bringing in? Greg Hardy?

Just days before training camp begins, Junior Galette again tore his Achilles and will be out for the year. Are there any edge rushers available on the gree agent market that the Redskins would consider?

One name stands out: Greg Hardy.

Though a disappointment on the field and a mess off of it for the last two seasons, few players in the NFL can get after quarterbacks like Hardy once did. In 2012 and 2013 Hardy combined for 26 sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl. 

Undoubtedly Hardy's name carries a lot of personal questions. A lot. But that won't scare off everybody in the NFL - in fact, Hardy recently worked out for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The guess here is Washington does not even consider Hardy, but stranger things have happened. 

Another name that will be mentioned is Dwight Freeney. At 36 years old, Freeney's best days are behind him, but the veteran was able to post eight sacks last year with the Cardinals. Arizona smartly deployed Freeney in a strict situational role, and if the 'Skins could come up with a similar plan, he might be a fit. 

Beyond Freeney and Hardy, it's hard to see a current free agent that would be better than the Redskins options behind Galette. And given Hardy's history, it's unlikely he is an option.

Considering Washington won the NFC East last year without Galette, and second-year LB Preston Smith could continue to emerge after eight sacks his rookie season, it would not be a surprise if Scot McCloughan simply stands pat.