RICHMOND—The depth chart at right tackle is perfectly clear. Well, sort of anyway.
“You take a look at our tackle situation and I think it is very obvious to everybody who is first, second and third team right now, but there’s a lot of different scenarios that can occur,” Mike Shanahan said this week.
So we have two different sets of scenarios there; who is lining up now and a different dynamic that may be at work when the roster is trimmed to 53.
Right now, as Shanahan said, it’s pretty simple. The starter is Tyler Polumbus, the same player who started 15 games in 2012. Taking snaps with the second team is Tony Pashos, an eight-year veteran who has played with four other NFL teams. And on the third team is Jeremy Trueblood, who spent six seasons with the Bucs before coming to Washington.
Then we get into the “different scenarios”. It seems likely that Polumbus will go into the season as the starter. It’s hard to see how Trueblood makes the team. He has been very stiff and ineffective in both position and team drills. There is still time for him to bounce back but it would take a major turnaround for him to be a serious contender for the 53-man roster.
What about Pashos? This is where it gets complicated. As of right now, Tom Compton is the backup left tackle. Here is what Shanahan had to say about his potential to play the right side.
“If you play the left side, usually you have the quickness to go to the right side – you have that type of athletic ability,” he said. “Usually the left tackle with a right-handed quarterback, is the better athlete, and, we think he has that type of ability.”
It could come down to two things—trust and numbers. Do they trust Compton, a second-year player out of South Dakota, to back up both tackle positions? And can they afford to keep four tackles, Compton, Pashos, Polumbus, and Trent Williams?
The wild card here is Maurice Hurt. He has been on the PUP list and Shanahan said on Wednesday that there is no timetable for his return. When Polumbus missed that one game with a concussion Hurt filled in and did not embarrass himself. Hurt also filled in at left guard in 2011 when Kory Lichtensteiger was out so he has versatility.
Hurt could squeeze out Pashos for the last spot. But it may all depend on if the coaches believe that Compton could be an effective swing tackle and handle the left side if Trent Williams misses a game, or even a series or two.
So, yeah, it’s complicated.
“It’ll be interesting to evaluate a lot of these offensive linemen situations and I’m looking forward to that,” said Shanahan.
We’re looking forward to seeing how it will play out, too.