John Keim has covered the Washington Redskins since 1994. Follow his work at WashingtonExaminer.com.
Here's our latest Q&A with Redskins beat writer, John Keim. We discuss the progress of Dennis Morris, Chris Horton, and Chad Rinehart...and how the backup Nose Tackles are competing since one of them will likely be out starter.
Hogs Haven: How has Dennis Morris looked? (is he getting a lot of time as FB/H-Back/TE?). What team is he primarily playing with?
Can't say that I've seen him do a whole lot. Tried to focus on him a couple times and only saw him blocking from an H-back spot. He was OK, but I really need to see more. They plan to use him in various spots.
Hogs Haven: With Ma'ake only be 60%, it's clear we can't count on him to be the starter all year (he was over 380 lbs at one point last year). Who is emering as the better NT starter: Antonio Bryant or Howard Green? (ie: pushing back the OL, stuffing the middle, who's bigger in size?)
I think this will be an issue if Kemo gets hurt. I haven't been a big fan of Bryant, at least early in camp. He seemed to get to upright, a major problem for a nose tackle (or any lineman for that matter). Even at the snap he's too tall for my taste.
Hogs Haven: Has anyone announced what Albert's current, actual weight is?
No, but in all honesty the issue is not the weight. He actually looks good, especially compared to last season. He looks better than others on the team. But there's a difference between being thinner and being in shape. And if you hurt your knee on the second day running a test, that's not a good sign.
Hogs Haven: The last couple years the defense has always looked miles better than the defense, which unit has been better overall so far (ie: winning the daily battles)?
The defense has been more consistent, but that's fairly typical. The defense is showing a lot of looks and I think that leads to confusion, which leads to some rugged play by the offense. The secondary has looked the best overall.
Hogs Haven: I read that Artis Hicks is getting pushed into the back-field quite a bit. Should we be concerned at this point, and if so, does Rinehart have a chance to win that job? How has he looked coming off his major injury?
Yes, Hicks has looked spotty. He's getting pushed back because he stands too tall. Part of that could be a function of having switched from right tackle; at guard, you have to get a little lower inside. My problem is that 6-6 Adam Carriker is getting lower than the 6-4 Hicks. However, he looked better today and he does seem to work well with Jammal Brown. But I do think it's something to watch (I talked to someone the other day who kept shaking his head over the fact that Hicks was starting). Rinehart has actually looked solid vs. the reserves. He's been more consistent with his base and he's playing with good strength. I'm not yet getting excited over him and right now view him mainly as a guy who, if something happened to Brown then Hicks could move outside and Rinehart could go to RG.
Hogs Haven: Chris Horton seems to be a ghost these days...is he making any plays or still nursing the toe injury? The Redskins have to have the most depth at SS than any team in the league.
I've seen Horton make a play on a blitz, but that's about it. Really, outside of his first couple games in the NFL I haven't seen him make many plays. They do have good depth at SS, but I would prefer Doughty in front of him at this spot because he's a better blitzer.