Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, August 18, two days before Washington Redskins play the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field.
Moses’ performance forced changes to right side of Redskins O-line
RICHMOND—Coming into training camp the expectations for Redskins offensive tackle Morgan Moses cold not have been much lower. He got a little bit of game experience with one start at left tackle in 2014 but a Lisfranc injury he suffered in practice late in the season appeared to be costly. Moses spent the entire 2015 offseason program rehabbing instead of refining his blocking technique.
Moses’ chances of contributing this year seemed to further diminish when the team drafted Brandon Scherff fifth overall and said that he would be the starting right tackle. With Trent Williams ensconced on the left side it didn’t look like there was a spot for the 2014 third round pick.
But as the Redskins entered the second week of training camp, the first-team offense featured a new alignment with Scherff moved in to right guard and Moses at right tackle. At first the company line from the coaches was that the shift was an experiment and cross training in case of injury. As the days wore on, however, and the lineup didn’t change it become more and more apparent that the change was permanent, or as permanent as things get in the NFL.
The revamped right side of the line played well in the team’s preseason opener and it appears virtually certain that Scherff and Moses will anchor the right side in Week 1 when the Dolphins come to town.
According to Jay Gruden, Moses essentially forced the change.
"Well, I think Morgan, his emergence really, watching him in one-on-ones and watching him in pass pro and watching him in the team drills at right tackle when he was asked to do that,” said Gruden. “He was playing extremely well, and obviously when we moved Brandon inside to guard he looked very comfortable in there. With Morgan's emergence at right tackle and Brandon's comfort level at right guard, it was a natural fit and so far they've worked out very well together. We are happy with the transition Morgan has made and obviously Brandon."
It seems to be a pretty good bet that the Redskins were not anywhere near convinced that Moses would be ready to become a starting right tackle this year when the turned in the card for Scherff on April 30. If they had known that they would be moving Scherff to guard after a week of training camp they might have gone in another direction with their top pick and perhaps would have targeted a guard later in the draft.
But now they have spent the No. 5 pick on a guard and Scherff, as Gruden said earlier in training camp, has to be “really, really good” to justify the pick. That means Pro Bowl at least, perhaps even All-Pro. Whether or not he turns out to be that good, I do think that the organization deserves some credit for taking the action they believe is best for the team, potential criticism be damned.
—Former Redskins running back and kick returner (and current CSN colleague of mine) Brian Mitchell was born on this date in 1968.
—Today’s schedule: Practice at Redskins Park 3:00
—It’s been 233 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 26 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.
—Days until: Preseason Lions @ Redskins 2; final cuts 18; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 37
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