Thursday, July 28, 2011

Redskins upgrade D-line, O-line, and punting game

Several moves of significance today: Philip Daniels and Ma'ake Kemoeatu were cut, which in conjunction with the trade of Jeremy Jarmon do a lot to clear up what had been a rather cluttered defensive line depth chart. Then, of course, there were the three free agent additions:

DE Stephen Bowen

So the talk of the Redskins-Cullen Jenkins “imminent” deal was either smokescreen or just reporters making the assumption that the Redskins would pursue the biggest name at a given position.
Bowen spent the vast majority of his time in Dallas playing on the right side, so my assumption is that he and Carriker are now the starting defensive ends, with Vonnie coming in for the nickel package and rookie Jarvis Jenkins working his way in when other guys need rest.

Now, my thinking here is that the apparent solidification of the end position means that Barry Cofield is truly designated for nose tackle, which was originally a bit ambiguous because he’s not at first glance a perfect fit. If I’m jumping to conclusions and Cofield’s role is more flexible than that, then maybe the depth chart won’t be as simple as I’m making it look here. And if, against my expectations, the Redskins make another D Line addition – well then it’s all up in the air.

RG Chris Chester

Not an outstanding guard, but a capable one. And he’s not a mauler but pretty quick on his feet, which we all know is the priority in the offense anyway. The contract is probably a little steep for someone who’s only a little above average, but like receiver, offensive line is a position that the Redskins badly need to bring up even to a level of NFL adequacy, so with cap room to spare overpaying a bit is in order. The question now is whether the interior line is set or if there are more moves to come. Kory Lichtensteiger, Will Montgomery, and Artis Hicks may be dividing up the center, left guard, and the primary interior backup job among them. And G/C Eric Cook and 7th round pick Maurice Hurt could conceivable be in the mix. Lichtensteiger might be the best center out of the bunch, though he would probably also be the best guard (relatively) – so it could be he sticks at LG and Montgomery takes over center. We will probably get more clarity after a few days of practices.

P Sav Rocca

I get a little too excited over punters. But Sav’s a good one, and with all else that was going on the catastrophic punting situation last year got relatively slight attention. But a good punter like Sav could be key to the Redskins being competitive in 2011. The fact is, even if more moves are coming it is extremely doubtful that the offense will rise even to an average level. But the defense might – not certainly but might – be significantly improved. The Redskins best may be to run a bit and have a good kicking game, and hope the defense can pull out some wins.

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