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Will the Redskins’ O-Line get bigger?

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Will the Redskins’ O-Line get bigger?

Jay Gruden has not been a head coach for very long but he seems to be as good as any of them when it comes to answering questions without giving out much information.

Last week at the NFL Combine he was asked about the offensive line a couple of times. Here is what he said the first time.
“We’re looking very closely out our scheme from last year, looking for what to carry over into next year’s playbook. Obviously, there’s some good things we did with the outside zone. That will still be part of our offense, no question about it. The key to football nowadays is being diverse. You have to be able to run the football outside zone, you have to be able to run some gap-blocking schemes and some draws. We’ll get everything introduced and figure out what we’re good at, and go from there.”
A bit later he addressed the line again:
Those are good players, but sometimes on third and eight, they get pushed back a little bit. They’ve done some great things in their career, obviously. But if you get the bigger guys that don’t move quite as well, then you lose Alfred Morris and his strength, and that’s the outside zone and the stretch and finding lanes and holes to cut through. So, it can come back and bite you if you want to go big, depending on what you’re doing. You have to get better. But I like the guys we have on our team and we can work with them.”
Much has been made out of the fact that the offensive linemen that Gruden worked with in Cincinnati were bigger than the group that started in Washington the last two seasons. But, as Gruden pointed out, bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially when it comes to taking advantage of what Morris can do best.

As noted, Gruden wasn’t giving many hints about any changes he might be contemplating along the line. But it does appear that he is delivering a message to the current members of the offensive line.

Hey, Tyler Polumbus! If you want to play right tackle at 305 pounds, that’s fine. But you’d better be able to blow back the man in front of you when we need you to or I’ll find someone who can. And Kory Lichtensteiger, I can live with 284 at guard if it helps you get over and block for Alfred on the stretch plays. But you’d damn well better stonewall pass pressure when it comes up the middle. Or I’ll find someone who can.

Polumbus don’t have to turn into a Joe Jacoby-like mauler. But by adding some strength and using the right technique a smaller offensive lineman can be successful in moving a defensive end from Point A to Point B against the defender’s will. And proper technique (and perhaps some use of the quarterback’s mobility) can go a long way towards Lichtensteiger tightening up the blocking on those third and eight plays.

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!