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Not to sure if this had been posted yet:

After failing to land G Ray Brown, the team has shifted its attention to veteran OT John Fina. NFL sources told the Washington Post that the 'Skins plan on moving him to the interior of the line. Fina was released by the Bills in June, but he is being pursued by several teams and seems to be leaning toward signing with a club that would use him at tackle. Washington has already watched one converted tackle — Rod Jones — struggle to make the transition to guard during this preseason, and appears to have Glenn Parker now atop its list of free-agent guards.

Could this possibly be the solution to our guard issues?

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Having only run behind "big uglies" in high school, it was always my impression that Tackle was a harder position to play than Guard.

Why would a player prefer to play the harder position (Tackle)? Or am I totally wrong on this?

John Fina would be a solid pickup, and would add depth to the line. If he could convert to Guard, that would be gravy. Still think that the Skins will pick up a G or two in the next week.

Hail.

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Originally posted by The Evil Genius

Why would a player prefer to play the harder position (Tackle)? Or am I totally wrong on this?

Maybe because Tackle is more the "glory" position of the O line, if there is such a thing. Maybe he's just more comfortable there...who knows.

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Originally posted by escholz
Originally posted by The Evil Genius

Why would a player prefer to play the harder position (Tackle)? Or am I totally wrong on this?

Maybe because Tackle is more the "glory" position of the O line, if there is such a thing. Maybe he's just more comfortable there...who knows.

I would think it's because Guards usually have to deal with big DT's and also, being a guard in some systems requires more athleticism, becuase many of them have to pull on running plays, which requires more running and blocking on the run.

Another thing may be that he's so comfortable playing tackle (most of his career) he doesn't want to learn or play the G position. Old dog, new tricks.....

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Because tackle pays a LOT more, and small-minded, tight-fisted, never-win GMs (Mendes? I hope not) like to put off drafting/acquiring guards because they think they can make a minimum salary pick-up in camp at the last minute.

I can't say I blame Mr. Fina. If Mendes calls up with another tempting and juicy minimum salary offer, I guess it won't be a shock if yet another guard goes somewhere else.

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it is amazing to me how difficult it is for this team to acquire players on the OL, and to acquire players that actually are featured at the same position we want them to start at for us :(

the center was moved from guard, the projected RG was moved from RT...........now a LT in Fina is being thought of as a LG.........

my head is swimming. evidently, linemen are as interchangeable as combat clothes on GI Joe :laugh:

remember how competitive the spots on the line were under Bugel and Hanifan?

one year Nate Newton, then 23, was a training camp cut before going to Dallas to have a 14 year career in the NFL.

another year we released Mark May, our #1 pick in 1981 and a solid NFL performer, because there were better candidates available on the roster to start at guard.

during years when the depth was thin we went out and signed veterans Ken Huff and RC Thielemann, traded for Jim Lachey and didn't miss a beat.

now, we can't even find a guard who can come in and play guard.

we have to look for career left tackles to move over after 10+ years on the outside like Fina and guys like Glenn Parker that because of injuries can't walk down the street to buy a loaf of bread :mad:

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I think it has to do with how much we offer them.

The Rod Jones and Larry Moore signings were good on paper, although I guess Jones isn't working out great yet. But neither one is getting the minimum.

A lot of guys have rejected us at guard because Mendes is lowballing them.

This is my problem with the CC/Mendes approach. It sounds like "good cap management," but what really happens is you end up with *nobody* at the end of the day, and so then you end up really overpaying someone to get you out of a desperate situation.

Better to show up with the money at first. There were guards available this offseason. We didn't get them. In the 80s, we didn't act this way (granted, there was no cap).

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we aren't signing Coleman because:

1. he has a bad knee

2. he is 32 years old

3. he is a better run blocker than pass protector

4. he wants at least $1 million a year with a bonus and the Skins don't want to pay a starting guard that much :(

these points on the surface appear quite reasonabe until you see the same standards aren't applied to other players like Glenn Parker who has TWO bad knees and is 35 years old and who at this point probably is not a very good run blocker OR pass protector :laugh:

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Yeah, our front office seems to have that mentality, that OGs don't matter, and you can plug in any old schlep you find in June, pay him minimum, and you'll be o.k.

Wrong.

OG is an important position. When you have a guy like a Tre Johnson or Russ Grimm in there, guys that can pancake block anyone and also pass protect, you can do a lot. For example, while many of Norv's problems were his own doings, Norv's wins often came when #77 was in there, and his losses when #77 was not.

Add to that you need a line that can play together for a while, or else it takes five games at the beginning of each season to gel.

One million for a veteran, accomplished guard is not too much.

Hopefully, we'll have a late first round pick again this year, and this time we'll grab a guard.

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I really don't think sliding players around on the O-line is a big deal. In fact, it was a trademark of Joe Bugel and Jim Hanifan in Joe Gibbs' days.

Joe Jacoby started at every position on the line except center over the years. He certainly wasn't a stop-gap either. Mark May was the starting RG when the Skins won their first Super Bowl in '83. In the Super Bowl against Denver in '88, May was the starting RT and made the Pro Bowl. Russ Grimm played guard, center, and even ended up playing tackle in a couple of games due to injuries. Likewise, Raleigh McKenzie played every position on the line at one point or another.

What's the problem with having versatile linemen? In reality, there's not THAT much difference between playing guard and tackle. The blocking assignments are a little different. All in all, you still have to maul the guy in front of you in the running game, and you have to stay between the defender and the QB in the passing game. That doesn't change no matter where you play on the line.

For the record, I like Moore at center. It's his more natural position, irregardless of how much time he's played at guard. And I get good vibes about Tucker. Some say he's not ready, but I think he can be as good as Mark Schlereth, who started as a rookie, was for us back in the early '90s.

LG isn't a disaster, yet. Jones still could get the job done. It depends on how bad he wants it. To me, depth is the biggest concern, and I think that's why coaches would like to see another veteran.

Overall, though, I still maintain this is a more talented offensive line, no matter who starts, than the last two Super Bowl champions.

Not time to panic or freak out, in my opinion.

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Originally posted by GURU

In reality, there's not THAT much difference between playing guard and tackle. The blocking assignments are a little different. All in all, you still have to maul the guy in front of you in the running game, and you have to stay between the defender and the QB in the passing game. That doesn't change no matter where you play on the line.

On last year's team, I would agree with you and point out how Ben Coleman could easily slide into RG after playing RT the year before. That's becaues Marty's scheme literally had each lineman picking a man and driving forward.

We don't have that scheme in place this year. Our guys are in a zone blocking scheme, and supposed to pick up whoever on the defense tries to come through their area.

Even ignoring that, in any scheme the things you need to watch for are different at each spot on the line. Tackles always must be wary on pass plays of being beaten to the outside by a DE or OLB. Guards must coordinate what they do with what the tackle and center on either side of them does. They are also responsible for more watching to see if people try to rush: DE, DT, OLB, MLB and even safety. They are the ones tasked with recognizing and picking up stunts and have more double team blocking assignments than tackles do too. And, they're usually the one who is assigned the task pulling out of position, running down the line and trapping a d-lineman or LB.

While some of these duties are generally considered to require less athleticism than the tackle positions (especially LT) require, that does not make the skills and the know-how any less specialized or complex. It's not impossible of course to turn a guard into a tackle, but it takes some time for them to learn the ropes.

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But OL wasn't an afterthought in the 80s and early 90s for the Skins. Jacoby was undrafted, but a lot of the others were high picks. We traded a strong-armed QB for Lachey. And in the years where we won, we always had a stable line. For example,

the line was Jacoby-Grimm-Bostic-May-(Starke or Dean) in 82/83. It didn't change. Later, Jacoby played right tackle, but that was much later, and again on a stable line (1991).

When people look back at Gibbs' run in the 80s, you have different QBs, RBs, and (except for Monk) WRs. But Jacoby, Grimm, Bostic, and May were on almost all the Super Bowl teams. (Was May in 91? Otherwise all). I would say the Gibbs' Redskins had VERY stable OLs, and sacrificed stability at the so-called "skilled" positions to get that OL stability. So I think it is still possible to do that today.

We weren't trying to get last minute bargains on the OL ten and twenty years ago. At some other positions (often wide receiver, linebacker, and running back), but not at the OL or DL.

Having said that, I am also optimistic about Moore, and hopeful for Jones and Tucker.

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Actually, Mark May wasn't a starter on that line in the first Super Bowl against the Dolphins.

it was Jacoby-Grimm-Bostic-Dean-Starke as the starters.

the point that good linemen can and do play out of position at times is a valid one.

but, right now there is no need for that. we are set at center and both tackle spots.

what we need is to find a starting guard to play THAT spot only.

and then we need Jones to revert back to RG or have Tucker start there and for either player to show improvement over what they have done so far.

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Murilo,

I agree with your point about stability. That was on of the real keys to the Hogs. But it wasn't as much of a constant as you might think. The only constant starters during Joe Gibbs' tenure were Jacoby and Bostic, and Bostic was on the bench when they started their Super Bowl run in the '91 season. In their 3 Super Bowl wins, Mark May, RC Thielman, and Mark Schlereth were the 3 RGs. At RT, it was George Starke, Mark May, and Joe Jacoby. Russ Grimm started at LG the first two Super Bowls, but was no longer capable of starting by the end of the 80s. Starting in about 1989, they kept trying to start Raleigh McKenzie at center, Joe Jacoby at left guard, and Ed Simmons at right tackle, but Simmons kept getting hurt. So they shuffled Bostic back in, McKenzie to guard, and Jacoby to right tackle.

The real strength of the Hogs was depth, because there was nothing real stable about the starting lineup. But that depth wasn't acquired by investing a lot of high draft picks. Smart trades, smart talent evaluation and great coaching were the keys.

But in these times of free agency and the salary cap, I don't think you can do that kind of stockpiling, anymore. I think it's an illusion that some teams have a glut of O-linemen, like the Raiders. If you really look at who they have, they have a bunch of underachievers (Mo Collins and Matt Stinchcomb) and experienced but mediocre journeymen (Brad Badger and Tom Ackerman).

How is that better than what we already have?

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