With training camp just around the corner we know that Redskins fans have plenty of questions about the upcoming season. Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler answer them in today’s Q&A presented by Wendy’s.
Each position you mentioned has a measurable drop off from the first to second string. But right now, I’d have to go with left tackle. Trent Williams is an offensive co-captain, a two-time Pro Bowler and is generally regarded as one of the best in the game at his position. Even when he’s playing through an injury, he’s better than most. The only backup tackles on the roster are raw-but-talented rookie Morgan Moses and 2012 sixth rounder Tom Compton, who served as the swing reserve in 2013. Compton will have to fend off Moses if he wants to keep that job. If something were to happen to Williams, the Redskins would be in a world of hurt.—TEB
Hankerson is expected to remain employed by the Redskins one way or another. He will either be healthy enough to contribute and be on the 53-man roster or he will be on the PUP list. It would be a major surprise if he got released. If he’s good to go two weeks from today he’ll be on the practice field and, given his talent, size, and fairly modest salary ($645,000), he’s pretty much a long to make the 53. If he’s not healthy—and it seems to be a coin flip right now—he’ll be on the PUP list until he is. If he’s not ready by the time final cuts come on August 30, there’s a good chance he’ll go on in-season PUP, which puts him on the shelf for a minimum of six weeks. Of course, this is with the caveat that you never know what might happen but these seem to be the most likely scenarios.—RT
As a rookie, I would expect Seastrunk to be brought along slowly. Jay Gruden gushed about the Baylor product’s speed, shiftiness and ability to score from almost any distance after he was drafted. But after a couple of days of practice, the coach also noted that he’s got a lot to learn. Those areas include pass protection, route running and pass catching, particularly considering Seastrunk hauled in only nine balls in two seasons in Waco. With Alfred Morris entrenched as the Redskins’ workhorse back and Roy Helu Jr. expected to fill the third down role, Gruden has the luxury of bringing Seastrunk along a slow pace. Which is a longwinded way of saying I see the Redskins using Seastrunk sparingly (perhaps tailoring a handful of specific plays to his strengths). And then, if shows appropriate growth, they'll expect him challenge or replace Helu next season.—TEB
It depends on what you mean by the hot seat. The first time this season the Redskins allow a big play or a sustained touchdown drive my Twitter timeline will explode with people calling for Haslett to be fired mid-game. As soon as they allow 24 points or more in a loss, Haslett on the hot seat will be a talk radio topic all week. Jay Gruden, however, will be much more patient. Barring a total disaster I don’t see a change being made during the season. Could there be a change after the season? Sure. Gruden was willing to give Haslett a shot at doing things his way but I don’t see the head coach falling on his sword for his defensive coordinator.—RT
I’ll start with your question about the O-line. Based on OTAs and minicamp, I don’t see any additional changes. From left to right, I expect the starters in Week 1 to be Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus. Could draft picks Spencer Long and Morgan Moses eventually push Chester and Polumbus for playing time? I suppose, but I don’t suspect it’s imminent. Long is coming off a knee injury that cut his senior season at Nebraska short, and Moses could benefit from a season spent polishing his technique and learning the nuances of the position. As far as the safeties go, I think Phillip Thomas has the best opportunity to move into the starting lineup at some point. If you recall, GM Bruce Allen said recently that he had hoped Thomas would have started in 2013 before he suffered that season-ending foot injury. Right now, it’s tough to know exactly how close Thomas is to actually being ready without having seen him in pads. But we’ll find out in the coming weeks.—TEB