Quick Links

Camp preview: A big bubble on the O-line

771626.png

Camp preview: A big bubble on the O-line

By Rich Tandler
CSNwashington.comThe Redskins start training camp on Thursday. Were going around the team to let you know what were looking for when practice gets underway. First up is the offensive line.Anticipated starters:LT Trent Williams
LG Kory Lichtensteiger
C Will Montgomery
RG Chris Chester
RT Jammal BrownThere dont appear to be any challenges to the starters in the offing, although Mike Shanahan has been known to bring in competition at a position where nobody really expects one. This will be the same starting five that was in last year when the team averaged 21 points per game and was rolling with a 3-1 record. Although with the exception of Williams none of them is a threat to make the Pro Bowl, the Redskins zone blocking scheme is more about technique and cohesion as a unity than it is about maulers who can win one on one matchups.Key reserves:T Willie SmithSmith did a decent job of filling in at left tackle during Williams suspension. He is the one sure keeper among the reserves and it would not be surprising to see him challenge Brown for the right tackle job at some point, maybe sooner rather than later.On the bubble:T Tyler Polumbus, Tom Compton, James Lee
GC Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis, Erik Cook
GT Maurice HurtIt is entirely possible that at least one of three players who started multiple games last year, Cook, Hurt, and Polumbus, will not be around in 2012. In fact, it would not be shocking if all three of them were gone. It looks like seven players battling for the last three or four spots.Three things to watch:Whos coming in second? As noted, the starters are set but all four or five reserve positions are very much up for grabs. It will be important to watch who comes in when any of the starting five needs a rest. Who comes off the bench when RG3 is in at quarterback will be especially noteworthy as the coaching staff will want him practicing with the best players available.Hows Steiger doing? He may not be the teams best offensive lineman but things sure did seem to unravel when he went out of the lineup in Week 6. Although we have been assured that he will be ready to go for the start of camp that doesnt necessarily mean that he will be at 100 percent. We will keep an eye on how well he moves in pass protection and if he can get to the second level in run blocking.Is Trents head in the game? Williams athletic ability keeps him from making very many physical mistakes. His challenge is staying sharp and focused mentally. If he looks focused on the field, its good news for the Redskins and bad news for any opposing pass rusher who plans on trying to chase down RG3.What do you want us to watch? Who do you think is on the bubble? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter with the hashtag RedskinsTalk.

Quick Links

Redskins Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players that could make big impact

Redskins Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players that could make big impact

Much of the Redskins offseason has been focused on players like Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins, or the addition of guys like Terrelle Pryor and Zach Brown. Further down the roster, however, is where games are won. Here's a look at three players that will have the opportunity to make a big impact in 2017.

  1. Kendall Fuller - Let's be honest: the second-year Hokie had a tough rookie year. He started the season injured, and probably wasn't all the way up to speed when he began playing Week 4. Early on he produced at a good level for a rookie, but quickly, the league saw how to beat him. In a November game against the Vikings, Fuller repeatedly got beat on the inside by Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. After that, the Redskins coaching staff looked elsewhere for a slot corner. 2017 is a new season, and Fuller will be a full year removed from his knee injury. He still has good vision and hips, an NFL pedigree, and should have the first crack at the slot corner role. If he can produce like many expected from him in 2015 - when he was an assumed first-round pick - Fuller could make a big difference for the Washington defense. Third round draft pick Fabian Moreau might also push for snaps at corner, once he gets healthy. 
  2. Stacy McGee - A new addition to the defense, McGee might be the answer Redskins fans want at nose tackle. Last season was by the far the best of McGee's career, and he emerged as a strong run stopper in Oakland. With his frame, and Jim Tomsula's coaching, McGee might play a big role this fall. His biggest hurdle? Staying healthy. In four seasons in the NFL, McGee has only played 16 games one season. Last year, he was limited to just nine games.
  3. Spencer Long - A free agent at the end of the season, Long comes in to 2017 looking to prove he can be a top tier center in the NFL. He excelled in pass blocking and calling the assignments on the Redskins line, but his run blocking could improve this fall. The literal centerpiece of a strong, young 'Skins line, 2017 will be a big opportunity for Long. Don't forget Washington moved up to draft Chase Roullier from Wyoming in the 6th round, and he played center and guard in college. Life in the NFL always has pressure, and Long will be facing some.

Always something on social: Enjoy the weekend folks.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com

How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.

Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.

For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.

Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.