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Redskins have multiple scenarios at tackle

polumbus-practice.png

Redskins have multiple scenarios at tackle

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.

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.