RICHMOND—It looks like the move to put Brandon Scherff in at right guard is permanent, at least as permanent as things get while a team is still in the process of trying to find a winning formula. The move of the team’s top daft pick and the No. 5 selection overall from right tackle to right guard and the insertion of Morgan Moses at right tackle took place on Wednesday and it seems to be entrenched after three days.
Jay Gruden was asked if the realignment was permanent. “Yeah, it could be,” he said. “It could very well be.”
That’s about as committal as a coach will get in August.
If the alignment is permanent then the Redskins have to consider a reshuffled group of linemen to keep when they decide on the 53-man roster on Sept. 5. It is likely that the team will keep nine offensive linemen. The five starters, Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Scherff and Moses from left to right, now appear to be set. Then they should keep two interior linemen and two tackles as reserves. But with the move of Scherff from the outside to the inside there suddenly is one more guard in the picture and one less tackle.
That could be good news for veteran Willie Smith or rookie free agent Takoby Cofield and bad news for Josh LeRibeus. With the move of Scherff and the elevation of Moses, the Redskins likely will keep Tom Compton as one reserve tackle and perhaps Smith or Cofield will be the other.
On the inside, Spencer Long was the starting right guard who was pushed back on the depth chart by Scherff’s move. He is likely to make the team as is Arie Kouandjio, this year’s fourth-round pick. That could leave LeRibeus on the wrong side of the bubble looking in.
However, LeRibeus has been working as the backup center. If he goes, someone will have to fill that role. We don’t know who that will be yet, although Gruden did say that all of the interior linemen except for Lauvao were working to play center well enough to get by should an injury need arise.
They do have four more weeks and four preseason games to sort things out and there could be more changes. Stay tuned.