The John Beck experiment in Washington has come, and it has captured the attention of the national media and Redskins fans alike. This was expected, as everyone from California, to the New York Island, from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters knew Rex Grossman was not the answer in D.C.
The question now becomes, will John Beck be able to deal with the pressure that comes from being a starting quarterback in the NFL. He didn't fare to well in his last attempt, so we can't hold the bar too high, but then again, that was his rookie year, on one of the worst teams in NFL history. I think another change is in order in our Nations Capital, and this one may shock and even anger a few.
Trent Williams, the number four overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and the chosen predecessor to the great Chris Samuels, is considered to be the left tackle of the future, and the building block in the position of highest importance on our offensive line. However, he has not quite performed to the level expected of such a high round draft pick. "It's only year two" you say.............., true, but other left tackles have made the transition much quicker and smoother than Williams has in his young career.
The recent high ankle sprain will force Trent Williams to miss some time at his left tackle spot. Who could take over? The Redskins official website lists veteran Sean Locklear as the starting left tackle for this Sundays game against the Panthers. Locklear is known as more of a finesse type player, who excels in pass protection. He could be a logical fit at left tackle. If he fails, the coaches could move Jammal Brown, a former Pro Bowler at left tackle for the Saints, to the left side, and use undrafted rookie Willie Smith or Locklear at right tackle until Trent returns.
If either Locklear or Brown perform well at left tackle, what will the coaches do when it come time for Trent to return?
I am in favor of a permanent move to right tackle for Trent Williams. He has shown good run blocking skills during his time in the league, but has often been overpowered in pass protection, frequently getting beaten on bull rushes, and inside power moves. The bull rushes are somewhat expected, but for a guy with such great feet to consistently get beaten across his face by defenders is somewhat troubling. A teams best pass rusher is most often lined up on the right side of the defensive formation, and is asked to attack the right-handed quarterbacks blind side. Traditionally, teams have put their best run defenders on the opposite side, as contain ends. Since Trent seems to excell as a run blocker, yet has trouble with pass protection, his ideal fit may be as a right tackle.
This would also pair Williams with right guard Chris Chester, who is also known to be an effective run blocker, to form a devastating combo on the right side of our line.
The impact of this move would certainly shake up the offensive line, but we could be better in the long run if this move is made sooner rather than later. If Brown or Locklear can hold down the left side for another year, we could look to draft our future left tackle in the 2013 NFL Draft. Some prospects to watch are Seantrel Henderson(Miami), Luke Joeckle(Texas A&M), and D.J. Fluker(Alabama).
We could also look to the 2nd round in the 2012 NFL Draft. Nate Potter(Boise St.), Levy Adcock(Oklahoma St.), and Mike Adams(Ohio St.) are some possibilities.
Overall, I think both the timing and logistics of this move would bode well for both Williams and the Redskins. Trent should feel less pressure, and more comfort moving to right tackle, and the Redskins can continue building what could eventually become a solid offensive line now and in the future.