Although it’s a little early in the offseason to handicap position battles, it’s definitely worth noting that guard Spencer Long has also been getting some work at center.
“Getting more and more comfortable,” Long told me on Monday at the Redskins charity golf tournament. “Obviously, I’d be lying if I told you I was as comfortable [at center] as I was at guard, but that comes with time. The more practice I get at it, the better I’ll be. I’ve been working at it daily.”
“It’s something that I’m definitely prepared to do if I’m asked,” the 25-year-old added. “It’s something I’ll continue to work at.”
What does it mean? That’s unclear…for now.
Starter Kory Lichtensteiger along with backups Josh LeRibeus and Austin Reiter are the three centers currently listed on the Redskins’ roster.
Long, meantime, made 14 starts in 2015 at left guard after replacing Shawn Lauvao, who was playing well when he went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 3. Lauvao, though, is expected to return at some point and, assuming that he does, it could create an opportunity to reshuffle the line.
But that doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Lichtensteiger is by far the most experienced center on the team. It’s also important to point out how quickly Jay Gruden reinstalled Lichtensteiger as the starter last January after he missed most of the season with a pinched nerve in his shoulder. Long, on the other hand, is more than five years younger and has a big size advantage but has played in only 18 games, all as a guard.
On Wednesday, the Redskins will open practice to reporters for the first time this spring, giving us a better picture of the pecking order at a number of positions, including those along the O-line.
We’ll also get a better feel for exactly how much work Long is getting at center—and how much progress he's made.
“You’re the guy that has to be orchestrating everything up there,” Long said, asked about playing center vs. guard. “While making the calls, you have to focus on your snaps, too. ...You have to have a certain poise, to make the right calls confidently and also get the snap off when you’re exhausted. It’s just a different position; you’re at the head of it.”