The Redskins took Brandon Scherff with the fifth pick in the draft with the expectation that he will be an immediate starter at right tackle that he would and would fortify their offensive line. While it is unlikely that they will be disappointed, he is experiencing some struggles as he adjusts from playing left tackle against Big 10 competition at Iowa to playing on the right side against the best players in the world.
“You know, we saw him at the rookie camp and were excited to see him play for the first time,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden when asked about Scherff’s progress as the team nears the end of its offseason program. “We moved him over to right tackle and he had some struggles.”
The good thing is that Scherff is taking nothing for granted. After every offseason practice that has been open to the media, including rookie camp, Scherff has been staying after practice to get in some extra work with offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Sometimes there have been other linemen joining in but the one constant is Scherff.
“The thing about Brandon that I’ve noticed already is he takes coaching extremely well. He learns,” said Gruden. “If he has a mistake, he’s going to try to fix it and that’s important for an offensive lineman to study the game and learn from your mistakes. Because you’re going to get beat a couple times by some top-level pass rushers. You might lose a block on a running scheme or what have you.”
Gruden is confident that Scherff has the physical and mental makeup needed to succeed.
“The good thing about Brandon is he’s strong, he has great feet and he really cares about the success of a football play,” he said. “With all that in mind, size, strength, takes coaching well, has a great coach working with him. I think he’s going to be fine.”
It should be noted that what the coaches have seen from Scherff in a Redskins uniform so far, both good and bad, has been in helmets and shorts. That limits the evaluation that they can do.
“Unfortunately, offensive line, defensive line and the trenches, you know we’re telling them to come off the ball but it’s more of a thud-ish type thing and you can’t really finish blocks, you can’t really shed people like you want to based on the rules of the CBA,” said Gruden. “It’s difficult for them.”
The pads will wait until training camp opens in Richmond seven weeks from tomorrow. It would not be surprising to see Callahan and Scherff out on the field every day there, just like we have so far at Redskins Park.