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Official Redskins/Jets OL Discussion Thread: The big uglies and the Skins future


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My first ES official discussion thread, and may I say that I love this new format for keeping the board organized. I'm going to use a majority of this OP to examine our O-line and the direction we may go in April, but I'd like any subsequent discussion to be all things O-Line, including their performance today. Fair warning, I am not a tape guru like say, KDawg for instance, I don't always notice an O-lineman and all the subtle things they're doing unless they're pancaking someone or getting beat like a drum; hence the more draft and future focus of the OP. I will try to link any notable posts I see in the discussion at the bottom of the first post.

With that in mind, let's get to an examination of the Redskins big uglies:

Starting Tackles: Trent Williams (Oklahoma, 2 Years, Drafted) Jammal Brown (Oklahoma, 7 years, Traded For)

Backups: Willie Smith (East Carolina, Rookie, UDFA) Tyler Polumbus (Colorado, 4 years, Signed off the Street)

Position Analysis: Trent Williams experienced the expected ups and downs of a rookie season. I've been pleasantly surprised at the improvement shown in his second year. I think we as a fanbase have to realize he's never going to have a "perfect O-lineman season" like Orlando Pace or Walter Jones used to, the NFL's emphasis on passing gives Williams more chances to get beat, and playing in the NFC East, where he has to face DeMarcus Ware, Trent Cole, and the cadre of pass rushers the NY Giants always have make it impossible to keep his QB clean all the time. As long as he continues to show domination in the run game and occasionally stones Ware the way he did in the last Dallas game, I'll be happy. So long as he keeps his temper under control and rids himself of those nagging injuries (two games missed last season, two so far this season) it's nice that we were able to seamlessly transition from Chris Samuels to Williams, that our LT spot will be solidified again for the foreseeable future. Now if only we could do that at certain other positions...

On the right side, we have Jammal Brown. I'm on record as having been ecstatic when we traded for him...sure he was coming off a major injury, but he was a 1 time all-pro selection, much more impressive than Pro Bowls. I've always been a fan of the idea of buying low on injury risk players who used to play at a high level and seeing what they've got, I thought he was a steal for a 3rd rounder. But something seems to be missing with him...he has periods of time where he looks great, followed by looking like a UDFA. One thing to note, when he does get beat, it's usually to the outside, which may speak to lingering hip issues, I have noticed no problems between him and Chester at RG; and I only just found out they were college teammates. When they're both clicking, the chemistry on the right side is obvious. Brown is a free agent and probably won't be retained, which is sad considering how he good he used to be, but it might be for the best.

As for depth, ESPN lists Sean Locklear as a guard, so we only have Tyler Polumbus and Willie Smith listed as depth. Boy do we ever need upgrades here. Polumbus hasn't been able to stick in the NFL, and Smith is an enormous guy who has become one of those new ES obsessions (not to the level of Anthony Mix) where supposedly this gem out of nowhere just needs an opportunity. I'm not holding my breath...we need to draft this position.

Future prospects: Matt Kalil is by far and away the best OLine prospect coming out in this draft, maybe the best in a few years. He is technically sound, has good bloodlines (father played in NFL, brother is current starting center for the Panthers) and was so good that he kept Tyron Smith, the current Dallas RT, on the right side in college. Kalil is about as can't miss at Oline as Andrew Luck is at QB, and even though I'd hate paying so much money to a RT, he would be good enough to force Williams to shift to the right. I don't think we'd go that route, but if we did, we could be assured we'd have bookends for a decade.

After Kalil, there are a number of LT prospects which probably aren't on our radar. The top RT prospects, which are more important to us, are probably DJ Fluker of Alabama and Mike Adams of Ohio State. Both are giant, mauling types but I have no idea how they'd fit into Shanahan's run blocking schemes.


Starting Guards: Kory Lichtensteiger* (Bowling Green, 3 Years, Drafted) Chris Chester (Oklahoma, 6 years, Free Agent)

Backups: Sean Locklear (NC State, 8 Years, Free Agent), Maurice Hurt (Florida, Rookie, Drafted)

Position Analysis: You'll first notice some technical inconsistencies with Lich (I'm shortening it to that). First off, he wasn't technically drafted by us, but since Shanahan drafted him in Denver and sought him out specifically for this system, I'm counting him. Also, I know he's hurt, but he was supposed to be the starter and will likely be projected as such next season. What can't be argued is that our running game was consistently solid before he got hurt and has been much more erratic since, though Helu has been breathing some life into it. I really hope he recovers fully, because he was shining in this blocking scheme and I think he could be a solid piece for us for the next six years or so, one less position we'd have to worry about.

On the right, Chris Chester is one of those solid guys I never notice. I don't usually see him downfield shoving linebackers, but I don't remember seeing him get beat much. Just quiet and relatively dependable, which is all I really ask of my interior linemen, I'd prefer my tackles to be the stars if I'm forced to choose. Certainly, we could use a talent upgrade, but I think we could do a lot worse, and I have no problem keeping him around for the duration of his contract if he continues to perform at his current level.

For depth, I'm not sure why Locklear is listed as a guard, I thought he was a starting tackle for the Seahawks for years, and he's always been first off the bench when either Williams or Brown couldn't go. He's good to have for depth, but we'll eventually need to look younger. I thought Maurice Hurt acquitted himself well for a 7th rounder when he was thrown into the fire a few weeks back, at least as well as could be expected. I'm not sure why Polumbus was in instead the next week, I would have liked to see more of Hurt.

Future Analysis: There are a number of guards coming out, but none more talked about than David Decastro, who has spent the past few seasons protecting Andrew Luck in college. Also, Wisconsin, that factory of O-Linemen, has produced Kevin Zeitler who should be a solid piece in the NFL. Both of them are right guards. Cordy Glenn of Georgia seems to be the top LG at the moment, he has excelled against SEC competition but, as noted by one website, he was abused by Boise State. I would not be surprised to see the Skins draft this position in the early-mid rounds. Zeitler has even been mocked to us in a few places.


Starting Center: Will Montgomery (Virginia Tech, 5 Years, Free Agent)

Backup: Erik Cook (New Mexico, 2nd Year, Drafted)

Position Analysis: What a revelation Will Montgomery has been. Supposedly he's strong as an ox and it's been a nice change from the Casey Rabach years when our center would get shoved five yards back into the QB. Plus, I like his versatility, his ability to play the guard spots as well. It's nice that the Skins were able to take a guy who had bounced around two other teams and get a solid starter out of him. We may eventually want to upgrade here, but Montgomery is young enough that I think we can work with him.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Erik Cook. I thought he looked overmatched and unable to handle the level of competition he'll have to face consistently in the NFL. I would not be surprised if Cook is cut in the next season or two, but at least he'll be able to tell his grandkids he had a cup of coffee in the NFL. We definitey need a depth pick at this position at minimum.

Future prospects: The top center by far is Peter Konz, a man ES's own Pez noticed and spoke about at a tailgate. I believe Pez's words were something along the lines of not knowing who Wisconsin's center was, but they anytime he snapped the ball or got near a pile, everyone else exploded like bowling pins around him. That's Konz in a nutshell, he's an absolute stud at the center position. An ankle injury has caused him to miss the past few games, and being a junior, might cause him to go back to school. If he declares, he was almost a surefire Round 1 prospect, but could drop to round 2 with the injury. If he's there, he would be a great choice. The other top center right now is Mike Brewster from Ohio State, who has had a good season but has been a step behind Konz the whole time. There are several other solid centers (a few from SEC teams) that should be available in the mid rounds.


Overall, this is a position I've got high hopes for. I like the fact that we are getting younger; Jammal Brown is the oldest lineman at age 30. I don't like the fact that only four of our ten lineman are draft picks, and only three if you don't count Lichtensteiger. I haven't done any research to back this up, but it seems to me like consistently top teams draft a majority of their own guys and develop them, like the Packers have done. This position needs attention paid to it, we are only solid at one position, possible two depending on Lich's injury. We especially need depth, I can't fathom relying on Erik Cook or Tyler Polumbus in the long term.

Anyway, that's all for our current and future prospects. But beyond that, let's have any comments on the O-line's performance today and this season.

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I am all for getting Decastro in the middle of the 1st. If RG3 goes back to school and Luck is drafted I don't reallly want another QB, unless its like kellen moore or weeden in the... because well its the 4th round what the hell take a shot on them.

I know I will probably catch flak for this, but if RG3 goes back to school, than the 2013 QB draft class would be far and away better than the 2012 draft class

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You shouldn't catch flak for it, not in this thread anyway, since this is for the O-Line :ols:

Anyway, I can't believe I'm typing this, but Jammal Brown is probably the weak link at the moment, assuming Lich returns healthy. So I'd look at right tackles first, but we have to leave open the possibility that we may need a left guard. I just hope Chester stays solid, I think he was the one who sprung Helu on that 22 yard toss play.

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Jamaal Brown looks old and done.

I have to agree with you. I was at the game today and to watch him go on and off the field he looked like he could barely put one foot in front of the other. Is the guy hurt or what? He is starting to look like another case of his former team better judged his ability than we did.

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That's an awesome sig with the skins patches, loved that movie.

For the linemen we have to use our 2nd if not our 3rd on the best RT available. Right after that grab the best G to push Lich for starter time.

I'm curious if we may need to start looking at LT's as well seeing how Cheech can't leave the ganja alone.

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The stats appear to be clear. The OL is not very good and the middle of the OL is terrible, even if Montgomery is an improvement he isn't that good. Look up offensive line stats on NFL.com. The skins are abysmal at pass protection and run blocking. They're bad at short yardage plays and produce few long runs. When short yardage is needed they're best at creating negative yards. The first round is going to be a QB. But if the next 4 picks are not OL then the Skins will stay at the bottom offensively

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Wildbill, I agree we're weak in the middle, but again, we're currently throwing last year's 7th round draft pick into the fire at LG. I think Chester has been a solid RG addition to date, but he's in his late 20's and won't be around more than a few extra years, most likely. This line was very different when Lichtenstieger was playing; I'd be more than comfortable giving him the LG position and forgetting about it for awhile. But the team can't afford to do that until they know for sure the rehab works. I think we have to look at RT first, no doubt, then sign a few interior guys to compete.

I certainly wasn't arguing that our interior guys are all pros, I was just happy that we managed to make something out of them.

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I'm hoping we draft some guys that we can turn into starters, though I think our biggest issue here is the lack of cohesion. If Lich. comes back healthy I think we may be in ok shape after a full offseason. Obviously RT is a big issue as well, we'll see what they do here.

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