FanPost

Is OL really that much better?

I have heard a lot of people saying that the lines are going to be a lot better this year.  For the DL, I absolutely agree.  However is the OL really that much better?  Not that it would be that hard to be better than last year's lousy group....but we are keeping a lot from that same group and somehow expecting significant improvement.

Trent Williams - early reports are that he is much more focused this year.  Should be an improvement.  However, not sure that he is as far along as you would hope a #4 overall pick would be by this point.  Hopefully improvement here is significant or even dramatic.

Licht - most people here thought he was not particularly good last year (despite Shanahan's view to the contrary).  Any reason we should expect significantly more?  Probably some moderate improvement.

Monty - same as Licht, plus he couldn't beat out (in Shanahan's eyes) the consensus worst OL member in years (Casey).  I am not advocating bringing back Casey by any means - he sucks - but hard to project a significant upgrade, more like a moderate one.

Chester - the one new addition.  I think most people expect good but not great.  While he was a backup with the Ravens, that was a backup to a very good line (he did start a lot due to injuries last year, which is good).  So good to be optimistic, but hard to think of him as a top 25% of the league kind of guy - probably average would be about right.

Brown - has to be better due to injury.  I would guess moderate improvement, with a possibility of significant improvement.  But remember his injuries were described as 'chronic', so I don't think we should count on 16 games.

Backups: I know everyone loves to cry out 'Joe Jacoby' when people say that the backups are UDFA or 6/7 rounders.  But despite the infrequent Jacoby types, statistically 6/7/UDFA guys just are not very productive or consistent starters.  Every time I read a post about Selvish or Capers or whoever, I just mentally replace their name with Hoyer - who got tons of love from fans last year but honestly was just not that good....there is a reason he isn't even on the massive 90-person rosters across the league.  I do not see the backups as a relative position of strength or depth at this point.

Overall:  So my net is that I would expect moderate improvement overall, with a chance for pretty significant improvement but also a smaller chance (with injury) of minimal improvement. So improvement sure, but from a very crappy starting point.  This is fine, but I just get annoyed with the idea that the Redskins are 'investing heavily in the lines' that I hear when in reality it is last year's group plus Chester, who was a backup on the Ravens.  For the DL absolutely, but I just don't see it on the OL...

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