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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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Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

Gruden's advice for injured Josh Doctson: Be patient and hurry up

RICHMOND - News that first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson would begin training camp on the PUP list was obviously a disappointment, but Redskins coach Jay Gruden says the team is being cautious.

"We weren’t very satisfied with the way his Achilles was coming along," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Doctson. "He’d have a lot of soreness in the morning when he’d wake up. We're going to keep him down for a little bit until he’s good to go 100 percent."

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Gruden made clear that Doctson has not had surgery on his Achilles, but is receiving extra treatment. The lingering issue has forced Doctson to miss significant time since he was drafted, both in OTAs and minicamp. Missing actual training camp practice is a new thing, and a bigger deal, for the rookie.

"I don’t think he’s very far away, it's more cautious right now because it is a significant deal, an Achilles for a wide receiver with his explosion," the coach said. "You don’t want that to reoccur."

The path to playing time for Doctson was already going to be tricky, with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon solidified as starters and Jamison Crowder locked in the slot. The injury will make that even tougher.

"He’s frustrated, he wants to be out there. He’s a great competitor."

Gruden said the best thing for Doctson right now is patience, as the team's priority is for him to be healthy for 16 games, not training camp. The flip side, however, is the coach wants his first round pick on the field.

"Be patient," Gruden said, "but hurry up."

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Cousins confident but for now 'it's all just talk'

Cousins confident but for now 'it's all just talk'

RICHMOND—Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is ready to move on from all of the talk about how he and the Redskins offense will perform in 2016 and start to see it on the field.

“I think we're going to find out,” Cousins said when asked about where he is in the process of taking ownership of the starting quarterback job. “It's still so early in the development, we're still in the first day of camp in the preseason so we'll find out as we go.

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“For right now it's all talk but there's no doubt that you have more comfort if you've played and have been the starter and have been out there and had experiences. What we went through last year has helped me having confidence going forward. Hopefully it translates into a great offense and a lot of production but it's just talk right now until we go out there and do it.”

Cousins started the 2015 season off slowly after being named the starter just two weeks prior to the start of the season.

But he came on strong in the last 10 games, throwing 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. If he takes another step forward the Redskins’ offense could be one of the best in the league.

But, as Cousins said, for now that’s just talk. We will see how it turns out when they start playing the games.

RELATED: COUSINS SAYS CONTRACT TALKS NEVER REALLY GOT CLOSE

 

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Kirk Cousins happy with pay raise, won't have any complaints

Kirk Cousins happy with pay raise, won't have any complaints

RICHMOND — By now the story is almost tired.

Yes, the Redskins and Kirk Cousins could not come to a long-term agreement after the quarterback signed a one-year deal. Yes, the Redskins and Cousins did not even really come close to terms. But now, on the first day of training camp, the contract discussion can end.

Why? Cousins explained it best.

RELATED: COUSINS READY TO BACK UP ALL THE TALK

"I feel comfortable. I got a pretty good raise this year," Cousins said, referencing his  nearly $20 million salary for this season.

"Last year I was looking at a one year deal making a lot less than I'm making this year. I feel fine," he said.

Most important, Cousins made clear "you’re not going to hear any complaints from me."

On Wednesday Redskins coach Jay Gruden said he expected Cousins to be focsued solely on football, not contracts. Gruden's expectation came true with Cousins comments Thursday, which is good news for both. 

"In this league it’s one year at a time – whether you’re on a long-term deal, one-year deal or two-year deal," Cousins said. "I mean, I had a four-year deal as a rookie but it didn’t feel like a four-year deal, it felt like a one-day deal every single day I was here."

Gruden and Cousins showed a lot of potential as a duo in 2015, and the 'Skins hope to grow from last season's moderate success.

"We’ve got a long time until September 12 against the Steelers so we’ll just keep building until that day and trust that each day is a step in the right direction."

YOU CAN WATCH COUSINS ENTIRE THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

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