There's a lingering question facing the Redskin's offensive line heading into 2011 season, who will start at Right Tackle? While there are many possibilities as far as free agents, I am going to focus on one player who is already on the Skin's roster.
Selvish Capers spent last season on the practice squad learning the offensive system and working to build up his frame, which is a must if he is going to make an impact in 2011. Having played with Selvish at West Virginia University, I have a good grasp on what he is capable of. He came into WVU recruited as a tight end, but that didn't last long. When you're over 6'5" and about 270 pounds, offensive line coaches drool and quickly try their hand at converting them into offensive tackles. He performed well at WVU, starting his final two seasons at Right Tackle for the Mountaineers. It was no surprise to me when he was drafted in the Seventh Round by the Redskins, his potential is unlimited. He has only been playing offensive line for five years and still has a lot to learn. You can't teach size and athleticism, but you can teach technique.
Shanahan runs a zone blocking scheme, which is a huge advantage for both Selvish Capers and the Redskins. Selvish has experience running the zone during his career in college, so the transition isn't a tough one considering the only blocking scheme he has ever known is the zone. A zone blocking scheme demands quickness and mobility, all of which Selvish possesses. What Selvish is going to have to improve is his technique and strength. He has had one year to improve both of those categories, but I am not sure it will be enough to land him the starting spot at right tackle. His chances of making the active roster are looking good for 2011 since the Skins signed him to a futures contract at the end of the 2010 season. That's a good sign that they see the potential in Capers that I see. This offseason is going to be pivotal to Capers' success. He has the frame to carry the extra weight but his technique is going to be the big question mark. Technique can be improved but it's up the individual player to decide whether they are willing to put in the extra hours after practice to strengthen their weaknesses. Potential can get you into the NFL but hard work will keep you there. Only Selvish Capers knows how hard he is willing to work to become a starter in the National Football League, so we will have to wait and see.
In my opinion, Capers will be on the Redskin's active roster for the 2011 season, but don't expect him to see much playing time. He is still learning and will only get better over time. If he is willing to put in the work, then the sky is the limit and you could see him on the Skin's offensive line for years to come. I don't know about you, but Williams and Capers as the Redskin's bookend tackles in 2012 sounds pretty good to me.