The Washington Redskins will begin their pre-season campaign Thursday against the Buffalo Bills without three of their starting offensive linemen. In a story that has become common in Washington, offensive linemen have not been able to stay healthy.
Kory Lichtensteiger, Jammal Brown, and Chris Chester are all nursing/recovering from injuries that Mike Shanahan has called minor. However, Washington has had issues with their starting 5 staying healthy and only two players did so in 2011 – Chris Chester and Will Montgomery.
This is leaving many to wonder if their is reason for concern? Well, you would hope not, because Mike Shanahan has attempted to add depth to a position shallow with depth upon his arrival 3 years ago. So, while the projected starters are not at full health, the goal is to have quality depth.
The Washington Redskins have more players capable of replacing a starter this year than they did in 2011. Not to mention, a lot of those guys received a good amount of playtime last season, allowing them to be more seasoned in the blocking scheme. Washington’s blocking scheme alone has it’s benefits and negatives. It’s not a power front, these guys aren’t taught to move forward, especially on passing downs. They excel with lateral movement, and it’s the reason Shanahan covets athletes along the offensive line.
Rookie guard, Adam Gettis is a player that’s caught my eye. He was made to play in the zone blocking scheme, and during training camp, it’s obvious to see. At times Gettis looks like a rookie and gets pushed back, but this guy has a mean streak that allows him to simply out-man defenders. With Chester being declared inactive for Thursday night’s game, Gettis will receive an opportunity to start across from some great defensive linemen. Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus are animals, and Gettis will benefit from that level of competition across from him.
Tyler Polumbus has received starting reps with Jammal Brown injured, and at times has looked really good. I witnessed two, what would have been 70 yard TD runs from Robert Griffin III behind Polumbus during practice last week.
Allow Washington’s offensive line to pan out. It’s not even certain if the projected starters, excluding Trent Williams, are better than the players behind them. Washington has infused their offensive front with young players that has an opportunity to mature into good players.
Emmanaual Benton is a featured Washington Redskins columnist for Rantsports.com. If you enjoy talking Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual on Twitter: Follow @Roccoskins