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Redskins OTA to-do list: Offensive line

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Redskins OTA to-do list: Offensive line

The busy portion of free agency is completed. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview. The 90-man offseason roster has been filled out, as well. Now comes the difficult part for second-year head coach Jay Gruden: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin next Tuesday, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going examine the top items on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares his team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Offensive line to-do list

El-Bashir: To me, the two boldest moves of the offseason were aimed directly at improving the Redskins’ subpar offensive line—the addition of Bill Callahan and the selection of Brandon Scherff. But the work is not done. I’m fine with the left side of the line, though it would be wise for GM Scot McCloughan to ink three-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams to a long term extension before the questions begin. I’m also okay with Kory Lichtensteiger at center. His veteran savvy will be enough as he adapts to Callahan’s system. The right side? Well, that’s where I anticipates some issues. Sure, Scherff is an instant upgrade at right tackle. But he’s also a rookie who’s switching sides. There will be growing pains, particularly early. The starting right guard, meanwhile, should be Spencer Long, a 2014 third rounder. But is he ready? Chris Chester, 32, and his $4.8 million cap number are still on the roster for a reason. The good news is Gruden has a few months to sort it all out. The bad news is that, a year later, it’s still a potential problem.  

Tandler: Top draft pick Brandon Scherff comes in with a ton of physical ability and a great attitude and work ethic but he has plenty of work to do. Like most top college linemen who were able to dominate their opponents without using great technique, Scherff will need to improve his fundamentals. We saw him doing this with Bill Callahan during the rookie minicamp and he will undoubtedly continue to spend extra time on the field with the new offensive line coach throughout OTAs. Scherff can work on his footwork, hand placement, and other technical matters during the non-contact OTA period. Then when they put the pads on in Richmond he will be prepared to go up against Ryan Kerrigan on a daily basis.

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

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Various sources

Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 31-53

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins.

No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>>

Today we’re starting up the list with the players we ranked from 31-53, Here are some of the players in our latest update:

— Seven of the team’s draft picks, including the pick they made last week.     

— All three specialists.

— The team’s leading rusher from 2017.   

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-31>> 

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10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

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USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions in 10 days: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

It might be hard to remember now, but there was a week late last season for the Redskins where most informed people considered Kevin O'Connell on his way out. The talented young quarterbacks coach was being pursued by Chip Kelly to be offensive coordinator at UCLA, and the smart money suggested O'Connell would take the job. 

Except he didn't. 

O'Connell decided to stay with the Redskins and continue to work on Jay Gruden's staff. In turn, Washington promoted O'Connell to passing game coordinator, a new title that likely means much more involvement in game-planning. 

Working for Gruden comes with some perks. Sean McVay ran the offense for Gruden for a few seasons and landed a prime head coaching job with the Rams. McVay has plenty of his own talent, but throughout the NFL, Gruden's offense is widely respected. 

How will O'Connell's influence shape things this fall?

Consider that he deserves some credit for Kirk Cousins improved play out of the pocket in 2017. Now combine a coach that schemes plays for QBs on the move with new Washington passer Alex Smith, a strong runner and serious athlete, and this offense could look much more mobile in 2018. 

Gruden still has the final call on gameday, but O'Connell's voice will matter this year, more so than before. Bill Callahan and Matt Cavanaugh retain their roles and prominence in the offensive game-planning, for sure, but as Washington imports more run-pass option plays and QB movement, know that O'Connell is playing his part. 

Things will look different with Alex Smith running the Redskins offense than they did with Kirk Cousins at the helm. 

Just remember, O'Connell didn't turn down a job in Hollywood for no reason. 

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