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In-depth chart: Offensive line

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In-depth chart: Offensive line

The Redskins 90-man offseason roster is set, at least for the time being. Its time to take a look at who they have, who will start, and who will be around when the Sept. 9 opener in New Orleans rolls around.We started the series earlier this week with a look at the offensive backs, today its the offensive lin.TacklesStarters: Trent Williams (left), Jammal Brown (right)
Reserves: Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus
Fighting for a job: James Lee, Tom Compton, Nick MartinezWilliams and Brown could be as strong as any starting tackle tandem in the division or they could be missing in action. Brown has had hip problems bothering him for both of his season with the Redskins. Mike Shanahan has said that he appears to be in great shape now but that could change in October or November. Williams needs to steer clear of a positive drug test to avoid a one-year suspension. Even if he does, hes missed five starts in the past two years due to injuries so he will need a reliable fill in.Smith was pretty good filling in for Williams when he was suspended last year but he is not the franchise left tackle the team will need in the long term. He could be Browns eventual replacement on the right side.Polumbus is a utility reserve, he could play any line position but center in a pinch. His presence could allow them to keep the veteran Lee or the rookie draft pick Compton on the roster as he could count as both a guard and a tackle.GuardsStarters: Kory Lichtensteiger (left), Chris Chester (right)
Reserves: Maurice Hurt, Josh LeRibeus
Fighting for a job: Adam Gettis, Nevin McCaskillLichtensteiger might not participate in OTAs but a nine-month recovery period from his torn ACL and MCL should have him ready in time for the start of training camp. That will give Hurt andor LeRibeus a chance to get some work in with the first unit.Chester started to play better as the year went on as he adjusted to the zone scheme and he is a keeper, at least for the next couple of years.Hurt didnt embarrass himself when he was plunged into the starting role in Week 9. It was an admirable performance by a player who went from rookie practice squad tackle to starting guard in a three-week span but that doesnt mean that it was up to snuff. Hell have to improve if he wants to stay around in the long term.LeRibeus could end up being the backup center if the Redskins decide that the 6-6 Erik Cook is too tall to get the proper leverage to play in the middle. Gettis could make the 53-man roster or he could end on on the practice squad depending how fast LeRibeus can learn two NFL positions.CenterStarter: Will Montgomery
Reserve: Open
Fighting for a job: Erik Cook, Grant GarnerMontgomery did not miss a snap last year, although he did play almost three games at left guard after Lichtensteiger went out. That was how long it took to see the Cook was struggling at center. Cook would have to show some vast improvement during training camp if they are going to give him another show as a backup.Garner is a pretty good undrafted free agent pickup and he has a chance to stick on the practice squad, especially if LeRibeus and Gettis both make the 53-man roster.Days until: OTAs start 3; Minicamp 25; Preseason opener 83; Redskins @ Saints 114Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

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

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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