Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan now has a star pupil to work with so he and Brandon Scherff worked some overtime this weekend.
There were two rookie minicamp sessions on Saturday and after each of them Callahan and Washington’s top draft pick stayed on the field long after the others had headed to the locker room. They appeared to be working on some pass protection techniques along with rookie guard Arie Kouandjio.
Scherff is trying to absorb as much as he can from Callahan, who has a reputation for being one of the best at what he does.
“You have to learn each day from coach Callahan, he’s a heck of a coach,” said Scherff. “I’ve learned so much from him this past week. Just got to come in, keep improving every day . . . He’s taught us different hand drills, different technique drills, so it’s good.”
“It’s been great, he’s taught us a lot, he’s put a lot on our shoulders and he expects us to know it. You’ve got to go to meetings, come out and practice, and go to your hotel room and study.”
Scherff is making two transitions as he joins the Redskins. Along with the other players at rookie camp he is moving up from college ball to the NFL. At Iowa, Scherff could handle most defenders with strength and determination. But in the NFL he’ll be facing the equivalent of an All-American defender every single week. Getting the job done at that level requires mastering the finer points of the game.
“Just technique, you know,” he said when asked what he’s learning from Callahan. “Things are a little different, they’re a lot faster so you’ve got to be ready to go.”
The other transition Scherff is making is from left tackle, where he played most of his career at Iowa, to right tackle. It’s not as easy as remembering to go to the other end of the line after breaking the huddle.
“Obviously, moving over to right tackle is not just a transition that’s going to be immediate and easy for him,” said head coach Jay Gruden. “He’s going to have to take some lumps, but the good thing about Brandon is he’s a very focused individual. He studies very hard, he takes coaching extremely well and he’s got the best coach to coach him up.”
To Scherff, successfully making the transition from left to right is just about practice. In fact, he’ll keep working on his day off even though he won’t go on a football field.
“It’s all just repetition,” Scherff said when asked about moving from left to right. “You’ve got to just keep repping it, repping it. That’s what coach Callahan said. We have a Sunday off tomorrow so he said go to your hotel room and rep your pass set in your hotel room so might as well do that, too.”
Kouandjio is Scherff’s roommate in the hotel near Redskins Park and it’s likely that Callahan made the same suggestion to the team’s fourth-round pick. Given that they weigh a combined 634 pounds, you have to believe that the hotel managers hopes that they conduct their workouts separately.