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After stellar rookie season, no more questions about Brandon Scherff, only expectations

After stellar rookie season, no more questions about Brandon Scherff, only expectations

Redskins GM Scot McCloughan never blinked when the criticism mounted about 2015 first round pick Brandon Scherff. Drafted No. 5 overall, many questioned if Scherff could play tackle in the NFL, and if not, that was too high of a pick to justify taking a guard. So said conventional wisdom anyway.

If McCloughan does anything for certain, it’s not be confined by conventional wisdom. The GM didn’t waiver in his support of Scherff, and when the experiment at right tackle didn’t work, the rookie moved in to play right guard, and the results were great.

"The thing that’s encouraging about Brandon is when you look at what he was able to accomplish last year, first time transitioning inside to playing guard, and I thought he showed continuous improvement throughout the course of the year," Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. "He’s a conscientious guy – really tough. I think he competes well in both phases – excellent athleticism."

Tough is usually a word used to describe Scherff, and it showed as a rookie as he played almost every snap for Washington last season. Literally, he played every snap but one, almost unheard of consistency for a rookie offensive lineman in the NFL. And he didn’t just get by, Scherff showed he has the goods to become a Pro Bowl caliber guard, and cemented the right side of the Redskins offensive line along with tackle Morgan Moses.

“I always tell Brandon, I feel like he’s going to be an All Pro guard,” Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams said of Scherff. “He has the talent to do so, and he’s definitely putting in the work to do so.”

This offseason, the praise surrounding Scherff has grown considerably. Williams clearly expects the now second-year player out of Iowa to be a force this fall, as does coach Jay Gruden. 

“The more times you see the same play over and over again against different defenses,” Gruden said, “the better you’re going to be.”

It can be tough to judge the quality of play among offensive lineman; there aren’t many stats to track and generally linemen don’t want to hear their names called. Consistency and protecting the quarterback are what’s most important, and Kirk Cousins believes in the right side of his O-line.

“I think that’s where a lot of the excitement comes from. When you look at certain players who played at a high level last year with limited experience, and you can go on beyond just those two, but certainly those two,” Cousins said of Scherff and Moses. 

“There’s a lot of excitement there. You see them every day, pre- and post-practice working with Coach Callahan and you just keep stacking days on top of each other and if you do that, good things are in store. So very, very excited to have those two guys and our entire offensive line.”

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.