So Much Will Be on the Line...Again

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brandies

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http://voices.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/jason-reid/the-coaching-staff-is-confiden.html#more

The coaching staff is confident the offensive line's play will improve through reps. The unit has enough talent to improve on its shaky performance in pass protection last season, coaches and players say, it just needs time to come together.

After watching the unit in camp to this point, I definitely agree more time is needed to evaluate the situation. It would be silly to reach any conclusions about the line's potential after what we've seen so far.

And it's important to remember that the defensive front has been significantly upgraded with the arrival of all-pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth - widely considered the league's top defensive player last season - and impressive rookie end/linebacker Brian Orakpo. But what if the coaching staff is wrong?

The reality is an overhaul of the line should have occurred long ago. I teamed with my guy, Jason La Canfora, on an offseason story that focused on the age and injury concerns along the offensive line, and many league sources told us the Skins have addressed the situation poorly for too long.

Washington gave up 38 sacks last season - the league's fourth-highest total - and Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels and guard Randy Thomas are coming off surgery again. The Skins finally released longtime right tackle Jon Jansen and let guard Pete Kendall leave in free agency.

CLICK LINK FOR FULL ARTICLE
 

Om

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Nothing new here, but a good overview. Jason Campbell's developtment and the OL are Issues 1 and 1A that will determine if the 2009 Redskins will step up and join the Big Boys Club or remain treading water like they have for as long as we can remember.
 

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While I am on this bandwagon, I am also sort of getting tired of hearing about it or maybe I am just getting desensitized to it. I know the line was an issue last year and it cost us in a few places. I also know there were a lot of plays that the line did just fine and the rest of the offense let them down.

Lots of dropped balls and bad routes by receivers last year. Lots of bad reads by the QB and a fair number of times he just hung on to the ball too long. Probably a lot of bad play calls by the coach too. Not to mention playing with backups at both T positions the last 3 games of the season.

Also not so sure RT was our biggest weakness on the line last season. Rabach had a lot of issues in terms of penalties and getting blown back into the pocket.

*shrug*

I think a lot of things have to work better together for this offense to really click like the short passing game making the defense pay for blitzing and the QB getting rid of the ball faster. No question the line has been neglected for far too long by the FO but last year wasn't all the fault of the line.
 
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LizKauai

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One thing for sure- the O-Line will get a workout from the Dee.
Things could be worse...
 

Utah

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As a coach, I will tell you that in all my years of playing and coaching, the offensive line is always the #1 concern going into every year.

Practice, practice, practice.

Hope for production when called upon.
 

Sarge

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We've fallen a a loooooooooooong way from 91 when we gave up only 9 sacks all year
 

Lanky Livingston

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The early reports from camp are definitely a little discouraging - however I think it is a very valid point that our D has vastly improved...from the #4 overall unit. Its a huge silver lining to know that one of the toughest if not THE toughest defensive lines our OL will see all season is who they practice against every day.

I'm just hoping Campbell and the quick-passing game comes together, so the OL doesn't have to worry much about pass-pro.
 

Bulldog

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For case studies, let's look at the Pittsburgh Steelers OL performance in 2008.

How many sacks did this unit give up to the Eagles in that mid-season game?

How about the Cardinals? Where are the pro bowlers on this unit?

La Canfora has bashed the Redskins consistently for the OL over the past 2 years and the team DOES need to identify and develop some younger talent there, but the evidence from last year is that you can win with a 'solid' offensive line, one that comes into the season with some question marks and continues to improve as the season progresses.

You don't have to have pro bowlers from LT to RT to be a playoff contender.

Given where the team was entering the offseason in 2009 (and for a moment forgetting the failures of previous years) the Redskins only had enough room to basically fix ONE of the two lines.

The available talent was on the DL in FA and the draft and the team went in that direction.

The OL needs to be addressed in 2010.

There was no difference maker available in FA on the OL that matched Haynesworth's ability and no one available at #13 in the draft that matched Orakpo's upside.

La Canfora and his other buddy Reid need to recognize that and report on that as well to be fair to the organization, at the same time as documenting past failures in 2006 and 2007.
 

Lanky Livingston

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To channel zoony for a second: a lot of the sacks are also on Campbell. If you watch Tom Brady, he is adept at side-stepping the rush, and avoids a bunch of sacks every year, just because he can instinctly avoid them. Not sure if this is something that can be taught, so again, hope the quick-passing game is realized this year.
 

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Given where the team was entering the offseason in 2009 (and for a moment forgetting the failures of previous years) the Redskins only had enough room to basically fix ONE of the two lines.

The available talent was on the DL in FA and the draft and the team went in that direction.

The OL needs to be addressed in 2010.

There was no difference maker available in FA on the OL that matched Haynesworth's ability and no one available at #13 in the draft that matched Orakpo's upside.

La Canfora and his other buddy Reid need to recognize that and report on that as well to be fair to the organization, at the same time as documenting past failures in 2006 and 2007.
I will give you FA and the first round of the draft but I can't justify this with the rest of our picks BD. It doesn't square. You can't tell me there wasn't an O-Lineman out there somewhere rated higher than Glenn, the guy we took in the fifth was a projected UDFA by pretty much everyone (Duke Robinson was still on the board), or when we drafted a TE and WR in the 7th (granted, its the 7th round but still...)

Why not a linemen in this? Seriously.
 

Yusuf06

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For case studies, let's look at the Pittsburgh Steelers OL performance in 2008.

How many sacks did this unit give up to the Eagles in that mid-season game?

How about the Cardinals? Where are the pro bowlers on this unit?

La Canfora has bashed the Redskins consistently for the OL over the past 2 years and the team DOES need to identify and develop some younger talent there, but the evidence from last year is that you can win with a 'solid' offensive line, one that comes into the season with some question marks and continues to improve as the season progresses.
Let's face it, you're probably being a bit generous to the Steelers. IMHO, their OL just wasn't very good last year. With that said sure, you can still manage to drive your car with four flat tires, but why handicap yourself?

Both our lines have consistently been ignored for years. I credit Snyderatto for finally adressing the DL but the most successfull teams (the Steelers among them) traditionally tend to have strong OL and DL, filling in elsewhere as much as they can. OTOH, we've taken the opposite view building our teams from the back forward. No matter how you slice it, that's just going to be a losing strategy most of the time.

I will give you FA and the first round of the draft but I can't justify this with the rest of our picks BD. It doesn't square. You can't tell me there wasn't an O-Lineman out there somewhere rated higher than Glenn, the guy we took in the fifth was a projected UDFA by pretty much everyone (Duke Robinson was still on the board), or when we drafted a TE and WR in the 7th (granted, its the 7th round but still...)

Why not a linemen in this? Seriously.
This was the major problem I had with our last two drafts. In the 2008 draft, there was a run on OTs early so I can't really blame us for trading down and taking Thomas. However IIRC, there were still some second tier OL that were available after that and we passed on them for Davis and Kelly.

In this year's draft, I think we basically screwed the pooch on a number of guys that could have helped us on the OL and elsewhere, choosing to take two LBs that are likely to be out of the NFL in two years. Jamon Meredith immediately comes to mind here. Sure Meredith and the other players we passed on might not have been ideal but we're talking mid-late round picks. If we even got a good depth player for the OL at that point, it's still a win.

At this point, we've got Heyer and a project in BMW at RT . Sorry, but that just doesn't inspire me with much confidence at all. Regardless of whether JC improves much or not, I just don't see us taking many shots down the field (without using a Gibbs-like max protect scheme) because our OL likely won't be able to protect well enough to do so.

...which really is too bad because I think we may very well have a championship caliber defense this season.
 

Sassy Gretsch

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While I am on this bandwagon, I am also sort of getting tired of hearing about it or maybe I am just getting desensitized to it. I know the line was an issue last year and it cost us in a few places. I also know there were a lot of plays that the line did just fine and the rest of the offense let them down.

Lots of dropped balls and bad routes by receivers last year. Lots of bad reads by the QB and a fair number of times he just hung on to the ball too long. Probably a lot of bad play calls by the coach too. Not to mention playing with backups at both T positions the last 3 games of the season.

Also not so sure RT was our biggest weakness on the line last season. Rabach had a lot of issues in terms of penalties and getting blown back into the pocket.

*shrug*

I think a lot of things have to work better together for this offense to really click like the short passing game making the defense pay for blitzing and the QB getting rid of the ball faster. No question the line has been neglected for far too long by the FO but last year wasn't all the fault of the line.
I agree completely.

The O-line has been one of the better run-blocking units in the league over the last five years. Pass protection has been a concern at times, but as you pointed out, there have been so many other elements involved in the lack of offensive production, specifically, the passing game.

Also, Jason Campbell was not the only one that had to learn a new offense last year. While the age and durability of this O-line are big concerns, the knowledge and familiarity of the offense should improve their play.
 

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