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NFL Washington Redskins

Success For Washington Redskins Begins In The Trenches

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few things the Washington Redskins do well is run the football. The Redskins finished fifth in the NFL in rushing in 2013, after ranking first in rushing in 2012. In true Redskins’ fashion, their efficient rushing attack has been neutralized by their middle of the pack passing game, which ranked 16 in 2013. While quarterback Robert Griffin III regressed considerably from his 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year season, his offensive line hasn’t helped matters.

The Redskins’ offensive line allowed Griffin, also known as “RG3” in NFL circles, to be sacked 38 times in 13 games during 2013. It’s hard for teams to win when they’re allowing their franchise quarterback to be sacked on average nearly three times per game. Washington’s inefficient offensive line play not only strips the offense of their continuity, it could also get Griffin injured in the long run.

The Redskins need to address their offensive line in 2014. Left tackle Trent Williams is the unit’s only proven commodity, considering that he’s a two time Pro Bowler. After Williams, the Redskins’ offensive line is nothing to write home about. Sure, their play was instrumental in anchoring Washington’s running game in 2012, as the Redskins won their last seven games to win the NFC East title that season. But the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately?” league. What the Redskins have done lately was finish 3-13 in 2013. To state the obvious, that’s nowhere near acceptable.

Washington is trying to shake things up on their offensive line. So far, they’ve released center Will Montgomery and moved guard Kory Lichtensteiger from guard to center. Washington also signed free agent guard Shawn Lauvao (pictured above), who is expected to start at the left guard position vacated by Lichtensteiger. According to Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, Lauvao brings a toughness and strength to the guard position that apparently was missing last season. The Redskins hope that Lauvao’s addition will solidify the left side along with Williams.

Washington might want to consider adding depth to the offensive line via the draft. Since they don’t have a first round selection, the Redskins wouldn’t have to pay exorbitant money for said linemen. It’s uncertain if efficient linemen will be available when the Redskins select 34 in the 2014 NFL draft. Redskins fans hope Gruden and team general manager Bruce Allen can somehow find a diamond in the rough to solidify the offensive line.