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Redskins position preview: Center


Redskins position preview: Center

Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.

Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Sept. 5.

So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …

Position: Center

On the roster: Kory Lichtensteiger, Austin Reiter, Tyler Larsen

Likely to make the 53: Lichtensteiger

Comment: On a line that is getting younger and bigger, Lichtensteiger is out of place. The 30-year-old tips the scales at 296 pounds. The other four O-line starters all weigh north of 310 pounds and average 25 years of age.  But expect him to start and play every snap of every game regardless.

Left tackle Trent Williams went to the Pro Bowl last year but he struggled with injures frequently and you could make a reasonable case that Lichtensteiger was the team’s best offensive lineman in 2014. He played every snap and allowed just one sack.

It will be interesting to see how Lichtensteiger fares if the Redskins do indeed put more of an emphasis on power blocking and call fewer zone stretch plays. The latter concept lets Lichtensteiger use his athleticism and quickness; to succeed as a power blocker he will need to use leverage and angles. The chances are that he is capable of making the transition but we won’t know until the games start.

Battling for a job: Reiter, Larsen

Comment: Larsen was widely expected to a mid- or late-round draft choice when he came out of Utah State in 2014. But his name was not called and he signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. Miami cut him at the end of training camp and he was a spectator all year as no team gave him another shot. At 6-4, 315 Larsen has the size that GM Scot McCloughan likes but we’ll have to see about his ability when they put the pads on in Richmond.

Reiter was drafted, an occurrence that was a moderate surprise. He weighs in at 296, the same as Lichtensteiger and he relies on athleticism rather than power. As is the case with most players taken in the seventh round, Reiter is a project. They’ll put him with strength coach Mike Clark and perhaps try to get him to put on a few pounds and then see what he can do.

Both Larsen and Reiter got in some snaps at guard during the offseason program. If either player is going to be able to make the 53-man roster it will be necessary for them to be able to fill in at more than one position. Could one of them develop into a guard? Time will tell. 

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Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Redskins365 Episode 1: The Future Starts Now

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.

The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.

Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.

With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done. 

The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.

Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.


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Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

USA Today Sports

Trent Williams will not report to Richmond to open training camp, per report

Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.

The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp. 

Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia. 

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap. 

Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey. 

Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.