How The Redskins Line Is Looking

Washington Commanders

Last year the Redskins were among the worst in the league offensively, and while they’ve upgraded their receiving corps and running backs (and arguably their quarterback play), it won’t matter much if their offensive line doesn’t improve. Last year the Redskins unit was in the bottom tier in both run and pass blocking and it sunk the team. In spite of coming off a bad year the Redskins made just one major move along their offensive line replacing long time center Casey Rabach with Ravens guard Chris Chester (RG Will Montgomery will shift over to center). Instead the Redskins are hoping for the development of young players Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger, as well as the improved health of Jamaal Brown.

So far it is tough to get an accurate read on how the line will look this year, but there are both some positives and negatives so far:


Production- The Redskins offense thus far in the preseason has moved the ball incredibly well, and have been able to show off their new weapons. The line has been a big part of that as they have opened up holes for a number of big running plays.

Point of attack- It hasn’t been perfect, but the Redskins’ line has been winning their share of battles in the trenches. They haven’t dominated, but they also haven’t been dominated. Last year the Redskins’ line was routinely pushed back off the line of scrimmage, but this year the Redskins are at least holding their ground and at times are pushing the line forward.

Run Blocking- Again it hasn’t been the 2nd coming of the Hogs, but it is a big time improvement. They are getting a good push and are executing a couple plays to perfection each game so far. It has resulted into a number of big time runs that has been a huge part of the offense. Last year the Redskins didn’t have a ground game and it wrecked their whole offense. Now at the very least they should have a solid rushing attack.


Consistency- There is no doubt that the line is looking better, but thus far the Redskins have lacked consistency. Each and every player has looked solid, and had some good and great plays, but they have also looked lost at times as well. And unfortunately the zone blocking scheme relies on consistency to be successful. The biggest question marks are at tackle where the Redskins have invested good money into Brown and a top draft pick (and money) into Williams. At times both players have looked pretty lost, and it has cost the Redskins. Both players have had some injury issues, but the biggest concern right now is if they can succeed even when healthy.

Run blocking- Overall the run blocking has been strong, but they have yet to show that they can be effective in short yardage situations. The Redskins are a zone blocking team, but most short yardage situations rely on power blocking. That hasn’t been a strong area for the Skins of late and needs to change if they are going to keep drives alive and convert more goaline situations.

Pass blocking- This is a big unknown for the Redskins as while they haven’t given up a ton of sacks so far, opposing defenses have gotten a fair bit of pressure so far. Right now the quarterbacks have done a solid job of avoiding sacks, and completing passes while being hurried, but who knows if that can be sustained.

Competition- On paper the Redskins have faced three playoff teams so far, but in reality they barely saw the Steelers starters, and the Colts defense played about one quarter. They did face the Ravens starting defense for longer, but they also struggled the most against them. Also, they haven’t seen near as many blitzes and advanced schemes as they would in the regular season. So far the results are solid, but will these hurries become sacks in the regular season because the competition will be stiffer?


The Redskins offensive line is without a doubt improved, but they still will likely fall out of the top two thirds of the league (though hopefully they are right after that cutoff). Right now the Redskins need Williams and Brown to really improve their play, and fulfill the expectations placed on them. If not then the Redskins will be once again without an above-average (or better) starter, and it will sink their offense.

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