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BGO's Own Obsession: The Offensive Line

McKissic for the win

McD5

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Most of us have known each other for at least a few years now, and many of us enjoyed the great years as fans.

The Hogs. Power Running. Riggins. Win the game up front.

I get all of that, and like to think of myself as an old school fan that believes in dominating the lines.

But when I read or listen to the comments of others who also know the game of football, the O-line isn't near the top of our biggest concerns.

Personally, I believe the O-line is a pretty easy fix. Add one RT in FA, and we are above average immediately. We're already great at the running game, now just use smarter coaching to fix the passing game.

3 step drops. No 7 step drops. Get the ball out quickly. Send more than two receivers out on patterns. Learn to throw the ball away if nothing is open. Something similar to our very first possession when RG3 was a rookie.

So which is it? Is everyone else wrong, and we're right? Or do memories of the Hogs distort our perceptions today?


Matt Ashford
@MattAshford75
@john_keim #redskinsmailbag The team has many holes, but what is priority #1 to be upgraded this offseason? #redskinsmailbag
Jan. 24, 2014ReplyRetweetFavorite

Keim: It’s a tie between Griffin's game and the defense. Griffin needs to improve in the pocket, and the better he gets the more he makes others around him better; the defense needs more talent. That was easy.
 

Boone

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Great question. The reason it's so difficult to answer is that we don't have an offensive identity. I've been saying for years that if you look at teams that succeed, not just a year or two here and there, but long-term (teams like the Steelers, the Saints, New England), they tend to have a very clear team identity on both sides of the ball. That allows them to continuously know what kinds of players they will need, draft specifically for those skills, and to develop players who understand at all times what the system requires of them. We haven't really had that in 20 years. Even when Gibbs came back, we couldn't seem to settle on a particular offensive identity. Do we want to be a power rushing team with monsters on the o-line? Are we a finesse speed rushing team with lighter quicker linemen (been there, done that)? Are we a pass first to set up the run team? I don't think we've been able to commit to an identity since Gibbs was here the first time. I'd really like to see us have a 10 year stretch where we run a consistent offense and have an offensive identity.

I think the biggest reason why the O-line has to become a priority for the Redskins is that we have a potential game-changing QB under center now, one we gave up the farm to get. Regardless of what our offensive identity becomes, we have to protect him better. It's just got to happen.
 

Ax

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It shouldn't be too much to ask that 4 of our 5 Olinemen not lose every...single...one-on-one battle when pass protecting. They are constantly overpowered in the pass game.
I would attempt to upgrade RT, RG, LG, and C, in that order. With RT & RG being essential.
 

Boone

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Well - any second Bulldog is going to come in with his typical common sense answer. It's all about talent level. And to a certain extent, it is. Tyler Polumbus? Do we really need to say anything more? Regardless of what kind of offense we ultimately run, if you can't protect the QB, you're not going to be successful. It's the talent stupid.
 

Lanky Livingston

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I really do think there will be a chain reaction once Polumbus is replaced. As long as the new RT is even mildly competent, it will make everyone else better, IMO.

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McD5

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It shouldn't be too much to ask that 4 of our 5 Olinemen not lose every...single...one-on-one battle when pass protecting. They are constantly overpowered in the pass game.
I would attempt to upgrade RT, RG, LG, and C, in that order. With RT & RG being essential.
This is where I get confused. And it's probably my fault with interpretation over the net.

But certainly you understand that we can't possibly upgrade 4 out of 5 O-linemen this year, right?

Aside from maybe Garcon, Morris and Trent, nearly every position on our team could be upgraded. But we only have so many picks and so much money.

We need a safety badly. We need another WR. We may need another TE. We need help on the D-line too. We may need another CB.

I expect a new RT. And maybe one additional lineman who can win a job--but that's it. The rest will have to wait, or will have to be filled with players currently on our roster.

Are you going to be happy if we get only a new RT? Or how about only a RT and a G too?
 
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Boone

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I would prefer we focus on the O line almost exclusively this year. Because if we don't get better protection for Griffin, and soon, we are risking one of the most promising QBs in the last decade. None of the other upgrades will matter much if Griffin is lost. And of course we could upgrade 4 or 5 linemen - as long as we're not trying to fix everything else at the same time :)

That being said, Gruden will likely do exactly what you are suggesting, trying to improve talent across the board. I think it's a mistake. We need talent upgrades all over the O line, above all other needs.
 

DieselPwr44

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I agree we need to address the OL..heck, both lines.

I would sign Eric Winston(RT-FA) to a modest deal (if possible) and draft a good prospect at OG to replace Chester....that's if Gettis or Hurt can't handle things first.
 

Ax

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This is where I get confused. And it's probably my fault with interpretation over the net.

But certainly you understand that we can't possibly upgrade 4 out of 5 O-linemen this year, right?
Well, yes & no. I put it in my order of preference to suggest we start at RT, and go as far as we can. I did say RT, and RG were essential, IMO.

Aside from maybe Garcon, Morris and Trent, nearly every position on our team could be upgraded. But we only have so many picks and so much money.

We need a safety badly. We need another WR. We may need another TE. We need help on the D-line too. We may need another CB.
Agreed. However, I would contend that if we could get dramatic improvement from our pass blocking, that we could make due with the receivers we have. These guys were part of a top 10 offense, right? If better used, who's to say we couldn't match, or beat that performance.

Same on the Dline. A true NT would be a top priority. Followed by a safety, a corner, and an ILB.

That's 4 on offense, 4 on defense. Anything after that is gravy.

Are you going to be happy if we get only a new RT? Or how about only a RT and a G too?
If that's all we can get, then yes. I just think it's about the big uglies.

3 Super Bowls, with 3 different average or worse QB's, 3 different RB's, 1 great receiver, mediocre role TE's, and one badass gang of interchangeable Hogs.
I'm not worried about the paint job on a jalopy. Rebuild the engine first.
 

Goaldeje

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Agree with Ax on every point. I'm not saying our first three draft picks have to be spent on OLine. We need to see who remains available through FA, and as I've said before, if only 4th round talent at RT or RG is available when we pick first, then it doesn't make any sense to stick with RT (for instance). If a top 15 WR were available and no linemen (on either side of the ball) were, for instance, I could be talked into that move.

However, last offseason it felt to me like Shanahan tried to plug some holes with leftovers and scrubs. I realize the cap penalty hampered us significantly, but we were bringing in guys that couldn't make it anywhere else and they tried to sell us that Shanny's line schemes required a different type of linemen. This off season, be it through the draft, FA or a combo of both, I want to see both lines addressed. If the BPA when we draft is a virtual dead heat tie between Oline/Dline and WR, I would rather choose the lineman EVERY time. Same with FA; if we have to make choices because we can't afford both, so be it. Let's go OLine.

I suspect though we will be able to get some of both.
 

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I agree we need to address the OL..heck, both lines.

I would sign Eric Winston(RT-FA) to a modest deal (if possible) and draft a good prospect at OG to replace Chester....that's if Gettis or Hurt can't handle things first.

There are better than Winston out there at RT.
 

DieselPwr44

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Didn't Winston already spurn us once? Eff him, lol.

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Nope, Shanny spurned him...we never talked to him.

And once he got settled in at Arizona, only gave up two sacks the second half of the season.

He'd be a heckuva lot better than that folding chair we got at RT right now.........
 

Elephant

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Didn't Winston already spurn us once? Eff him, lol.

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Yup! Regardless, he's 2 years older and has been released by 3 teams within the last 2 years. Would have been nice to see him signed to take Brown's spot instead of the tender on Fred in '11, but he's done as far as I am concerned.

As far as OL...Alex Mack should be a priority. Mack is going to demand money, but he's worth it. I know Montgomery is solid, but when you can get a player like Mack...you get him. He's only 28 and could anchor that OL for 5 years.

RT is crucial, we need to replace TurnsTyler...nothing should come before this. No other position is as important as the RT. There are 3 available who would be instant upgrades, although one is a bit of a risk with tremendous talent.

Anthony Collins - Cincinnati Bengals 28
Of course this looks like the most realistic signing with The Gruden hire.

Breno Giacomino - Seattle Seahags 28

Solid not spectacular. If they win the SB he could be simply looking for a payday?

Roger Saffold - St Louis Rams 26
Kid finally showed promise this season (reportedly). Risk, but tremendous upside. I still have to believe he is better than Turnstyler.


If Mack was the anchor of that OL, Chester is automatically better, Trent can hide some of Lichtensteiger's flaws and one of those 3 at RT our OL is better. We have the money to hire 2 young offensive lineman to 4 year contracts. That would still leave plenty to sign players at the other positions and our draft. No, we can't do it all in one year, but the priority has got to be solidifying that OL.
 

Dead Money

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I appreciate the different and collective views but I would like to add an emphasis to the C position. It's a bigger problem then most admit. We are soft in the middle (LG, C and RG) but our center is beaten like a drum week in and out just as bad as RT. Also.....If the guard position is supposed to be one of the easiest to fill... WHY can't we?

Hey they overachieved at times, great... but nonetheless, 'd like to see RT, C, RG, LG change in that order.
 

fansince62

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when an o-line does a bad job picking up stunts and sustaining a pocket longer than 3 to 3.5 secs - it's more than just the RT.
 

DieselPwr44

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An upgrade at C isn't going to miraculously restore Chester's knees. Time to move on from him and Polumbus.
 

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An upgrade at C isn't going to miraculously restore Chester's knees. Time to move on from him and Polumbus.
I don't disagree, but there are no RG's in FA who can change the dynamic of that OL like Alex Mack could from the C position. He's one of the best C's in the game. Chester would be better with better players on either side of him. There is no one to cover for him now. Monty is only good enough to not get beat all the time. Polumbus is terrible. With solid play on either side of Chester, his glaring weaknesses can be hidden. If there was a Marshall Yanda type at the RG position in FA, I would agree. There just isn't this year.
 

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I agree with others that RT, RG, and C are all positions that need to be upgraded. At the end of the season though, the player that struggled the most was Chester. I don't know if he was hurt or what, but he just couldn't block in the last several games. I would love to see them take a top guard with their first pick, and then target a RT and center in free agency.
 

Birdlives

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Mack. That would be my #1target in FA. Let the young guys on the roster compete at guard; Leribus, Hurt, Gettis. Then draft a RT in the 2nd,3rd, or 4th.
 

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