Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 5, two days before the Washington Redskins play the St. Louis Rams at FedEx Field.
Three and out
1. Exactly what do the Redskins need to do on the offensive line during the offseason to compete in 2015? There appear to be one and possibly two pieces in place. Trent Williams is the left tackle and if the Redskins stick with a heavy dose of zone blocking it makes sense to have Kory Lichtensteiger back at center.
2. Both of the guard spots are up for grabs. Shaun Lauvao and Chris Chester are not as bad as popular perception may lead you to believe but neither is consistently good enough to be a part of a top-notch offensive attack. Tom Compton is an upgrade over Tyler Polumbus at right tackle but he is not consistent enough to warrant being handed the starting job in 2015.
3. Although Redskins fans are already screaming for the team to take offensive linemen in the draft, there are other ways to upgrade the line. One way is staying in house. In the past three drafts the Redskins have take four offensive linemen—Compton (2012-6th round), Josh LeRibeus (2012-3rd), Morgan Moses (2014-3rd), and Spencer Long (2014-3rd). If you don’t think they are ready to contribute there are options in free agency. After making some cap-related cuts the Redskins should end up with something in the neighborhood of $20 million in cap space.
Out: I would have Moses and Compton have an offseason-long competition for the right tackle job and hope that Moses, who has the physical tools to be very good but who needs a lot of work on his techniques, wins out. Chester would be one of the above-mentioned cap casualties, saving $4 million against the cap. Long and LeRibeus would battle it out for that job. Because of the head-scratching contract they gave Lauvao (4 years, $17 million, $5 million guaranteed), Lauvao would be tough to cut as they would have to eat $3 million in dead cap space. I’d spend a second- or third-round pick on a guard and put him on the fast track to replace Lauvao sometime between the middle of the 2015 season and the start of 2016.
What would you do with the O-line? Let us know in the comments!
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 12:30
—Days until: Rams @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Giants 9; 2015 NFL Draft 147
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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