September 16, 2019

Washington Redskins 2015 Position Preview: Offensive line

For all the talk about how the 2015 season is crucial to the NFL future of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin, arguably the biggest subplot to that storyline is the play of the five guys in front of him and their ability to extend the play by one or two seconds. With that in mind, new general manager Scot McCloughan  made a splash on the last day of April at the NFL Draft to shore up one of the Redskins’ biggest weaknesses.

In a move that was generally well-received, McCloughan used the fifth pick to select Brandon Scherff out of Iowa. Playing tackle for the Hawkeyes, the 6-foot-5, 319-pound lineman is currently penciled in at right guard for offensive line coach Bill Callahan. To this point in training camp, Scherff has looked the part of a rookie, but his current skill set is more suited to the guard spot and he’s begun to show some steady improvement. This preseason will be nearly invaluable for him in terms of getting some experience against NFL bodies, as he’ll be starting in Week 1 – did I mention that he’s the Redskins’ offensive lineman of the future? No pressure, then.

Morgan Moses looks to be the starting right tackle, and the second-year player out of Virginia has made some significant strides this summer. The Washington Post’s Mike Jones had an excellent take on Moses’ development (taken from the article linked above).

On the Moses front, he has improved, and if he hadn’t, he would not be an option at right tackle. Remember how he looked last year? No way in the world they would ride with him if it was the same case. But he’s stronger, he’s moving better, he’s playing with better instincts and understands how to use his length better. I think Moses has been a pleasant surprise for coaches. They initially believed he could be their swing tackle, and didn’t expect him to contend as a starter.

If you’re looking for an example of how green he was in his rookie year, look no further. With a resurgent Moses and a still-learning Scherff, the right side of the line has a ton of potential and will be significantly better by the time December arrives.

The left side of the line has a decades’ worth of experience, starting with left tackle Trent Williams. Far and away the best piece on an otherwise ineffective line last year, Williams is currently seeking a long-term deal in negotiations that McCloughan has called “ongoing,” adding that he wants them to be resolved before the season starts. Williams strategically lost weight in the offseason to improve his mobility and overall physical ability, and Griffin’s blind side should be quite a bit more protected this season.

Shawn Lauvao (left guard) and Kory Lichtensteiger (center) will bring some additional consistency and leadership to a line that could have a promising future, at least relatively speaking.

There’s little question that the Redskins’ offensive line has improved since last season – partially because there was nowhere for it to go but up. That being said, look for them to not play such an active role in costing the Redskins a win or two this fall. Heck, they might even help pick up an extra win or two from last season.

About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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