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Redskins' revamped O-line is making strides


Redskins' revamped O-line is making strides

After struggling at times in recent years, the Redskins’ offensive line has been among the team’s biggest assets through this season's first four games.


  • The Redskins rank No. 1 in rushing yards with 139.5 yards per game.
  • The running backs are averaging 4.4 yards per carry, the third best mark in the league.
  • Kirk Cousins has been sacked five times. That total is tied for the fourth fewest. 
  • Through four games last season, Redskins quarterbacks had been sacked eight times.

Entering the season, the retooled line was among the Redskins’ biggest concerns, primarily because of the inexperience on the right side. But veteran Coach Bill Callahan has helped tackle Morgan Moses and rookie guard Brandon Scherff get up to speed quickly and the duo has performed solidly, as has second year guard Spencer Long, who's replaced an injured Shawn Lauvao.

“I think they’ve been very solid,” Coach Jay Gruden said this week. “We lost Lauvao [and] Spencer Long stepped in and played well. Trent has been excellent at left tackle. Kory Lichtensteiger has been solid at center, making all the calls and communicating. Brandon, for a rookie, and Morgan, for only his second year, those two guys [are] playing together for the first time [and] I think [they] have done some excellent things. I feel like those guys are just going to continue to get better and better. We’re excited about the way they are playing.”

Gruden added: “I think they’ve done a good job. I think there are still things we can improve on, no question about it. We’re working on that every day. I think we’re No. 1 in rushing. I think our third down conversion rate is right around 50 percent, which is excellent. And we’ve only given up four sacks, four and a half, if you want to say five you can–and we’ve thrown the ball quite a bit.”

Of the five sacks yielded this season, blamed the line for only three. PFF says Lichtensteiger has allowed two sacks, Lauvao permitted one while the others belonged to Cousins and running back Chris Thompson.

"I think they've been outstanding,” Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay said. “They've protected the quarterback well. I think we've been able to run the football efficiently. So, they're playing at a high level right now. And I thought it was really encouraging to see–missing Shawn Lauvao last week [and] the way that Spencer Long stepped in in his real, first, big-time action in a game, that really mattered. I thought he responded to the challenge.”

McVay also praised the impact made by Callahan, particularly with the young linemen. Since training camp, Callahan, who was hired in the offseason, has often kept his unit on the field after practice for additional work on skills and technique—and it certainly seems to be paying off.

“I think Coach Callahan does an excellent job with those guys,” McVay said. “We've got some veteran leadership up front with guys like Kory [and] Trent that do an excellent job keeping everybody in line. And then the young three guys that are playing for us are continuing to get better each and every week.”

On Sunday, the Redskins’ line will be tested by a Falcons’ defense that’s been good against the run (85.3 yards per game, which ranks 5th) but not so spectacular against the pass (305 yards per, 30th). Atlanta’s pass rush has also mustered only five sacks, which is tied for the second fewest in the league. 

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NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The 2018 NFL Draft is finally here. It's time to file away the mock drafts and frame your big boards for memory.

Tonight, Thursday April 26, the best college football players in the country will learn which franchise they will begin their professional football careers with.

The NFL Draft is the biggest non-sporting event on the sporting calendar, and the 2018 edition is no different. Taking place at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, the 2018 NFL Draft is sure to be bigger than ever, with four quarterbacks and a freakish running back all vying for the top pick.

The Cleveland Browns are on the clock, and will make the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft around 8:30 p.m. tonight.

The Washington Redskins have the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and won't make their draft pick until around 9:45 p.m. ET.

But we are keeping you up to date on all things NFL Draft with our life blog and draft tracker.

NFL Draft 2018 Redskins First-Round Tracker and Live Updates:

PreDraft Coverage:

5:05 PM - We did a  bracket challenge for Redskins fans, giving you the chance to vote on who the Redskins should take at No. 13. If it were up to Redskins fans, Georgia LB Roquan Smith would be the choice.

4:45 PM - Since we are on the subject of the Edmunds brothers, let's ask and answer this question: When and where will both Tremaine and Terrell go?

4:30 PM - One option for the Redskins at No. 13 is Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds. He just so happens to be the focus of an exclusive NBC Sports Washington webseries. "E-Boyz" takes a look at draft prospects Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds, as well as their brother Trey, a running back for the Saints and their father, Ferrell, and former two-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Dolphins.

E-Boyz — Ep. 1: The Players
E-Boyz — Ep. 2: Ferrell
E-Boyz — Ep. 3: Danville
E-Boyz — Ep. 4: Celebration

4:10 PM - The first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft won't be announced for another four hours. But we have a lot to prep. Let's get started with draft music. Players in the green room get to select their walkup music. Josh Jackson deserves to be the No. 1 overall pick. 

4:00 PM - Welcome to our live update tracker of the 2018 NFL Draft. The draft doesn't get started until 8:00 p.m. But there is a lot to go over until then.

Here is a good place to start. 

- Draft Day Primer: JP Finlay goes over all the Redskins' options
- Top Prospects: RB options for the Redskins
- Top Prospects: WR options for the Redskins
- Need To Know: Rich Tandler's Seven-Round Redskins Mock Draft
- Mega-Mock Predictions: DC Media choose No. 13 pick


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Get ready for the NFL Draft, and get ready for plenty of surprises

Get ready for the NFL Draft, and get ready for plenty of surprises

In some circles of modern culture, producing shocking commentary or content seems like the top goal. Being shocking gets clicks, gets attention, and in turn, gets dollars. 

On NFL Draft night, nothing should be shocking. Remember, last season there was no way Jonathan Allen would fall to the Redskins at 17. There was no way Kansas City would trade up for QB Patrick Maholmes. There was no way Chicago would trade up for Mitchell Trubisky. But all those things happened.

Sure, for months draft experts have expounded about what will happen, but the truth is, once the Browns are on the clock, nobody actually knows anything. 

With that in mind, let's look at a bunch of options that should not shock Redskins fans. 

  • Don't be shocked if Washington takes Minkah Fitzpatrick. They want him.
  • Don't be shocked if the Redskins draft Da'Ron Payne over Vita Vea. Washington loves Payne's potential to be a disruptor in the pass game and his incredible strength. 
  • Then again, don't be shocked if the 'Skins take Vita. Plenty of folks like him too. 
  • Don't be shocked if a team makes a move for Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. That could happen after the Redskins pick at 13, but Washington's pick could also prove important in the race for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
  • Derwin James will be on the 'Skins list, but don't be shocked if he goes off the board before the Redskins pick. 
  • Don't be shocked with a trade back, but remember that isn't the goal. With four QBs expected in the Top 10, an elite talent should make it to Washington at 13. If that happens, the Redskins should take advantage of adding a blue chip to their squad. 
  • Don't be shocked if Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds ends up wearing the Redskins draft hat. Also, don't be shocked if he plays some outside linebacker in the Washington 3-4 scheme, not just the inside LB role most project for Edmunds. 
  • Don't be shocked if a seemingly sure thing slips all the way to 13. Perhaps that's Quenton Nelson? Or Denzel Ward? Remember, there was no way Jon Allen was supposed to fall to 17 last year.

There are some things Redskins fans should be shocked by. 

  • Washington should not trade up. 
  • Washington should not draft a running back at 13 unless Saquon Barley is available. He won't be.
  • Washington should not draft a wide receiver at 13. 
  • If one of the top four QBs is available at 13, Washington should vigorously work the phones to move the pick. Move down a few spots and get Payne should be the exact plan in that scenario. Arizona at 15 needs a QB. 


Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!