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New Redskins OL Keith Ismael and Saahdiq Charles speak to the media

NCAA Football: San Diego State at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins selected two offensive linemen in this year’s draft, and they made both of them available for Zoom pressers with local reporters last week. LSU offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles was taken in the 4th round right after Trent Williams was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Charles talked about his off the field problems, getting ready for his first season in the NFL, his arm length, and more. San Diego State offensive lineman Keith Ismael was selected in the 5th round. He has the versatility that Head Coach Ron RIvera is looking for in players, and is looking forward to showing that in practice and on the field for the Redskins this season.

Rookie T Keith Ismael spoke to the media about the virtual meetings process, his position versatility on the offensive line and more.

Posted by Washington Redskins on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Keith Ismael Presser:

Offseason training:

Protection schemes:


“Like I said before in this draft process, I feel like I’m one of – if not the – most versatile linemen in this draft class. I’ve played all three interior positions. I feel comfortable playing all three interior positions. I know [Head Coach] Coach Rivera and Coach Matsko know that I have the tape to back it up. Wherever I’m needed, I’ll go and play just like I did in college – plug and play guy. They call me the swiss army knife on the line. I was a leader, but I played wherever they needed me week-in and week-out. If you need me at guard, I can switch over and go play guard. If you need me at center and command that middle, I’ll be there. It allowed me to also be very knowledgeable. I knew what every single person was doing, so I was able to get a really good sense and grasp on the offense in college and now especially at this level, I have to. I have to know the ins and outs, every play, every scheme, everything we’re doing.”


“Now, yes. I think the first week, we would switch off. Once day I was with Coach Matsko and the other day I would be with Coach Wharton. We would just switch off every other day. Now, we’re all kind of coming together as a group, so it’s both of us together.”

Saahdiq Charles:

Bigger, Faster, Stronger:

“I’ve added some weight ever since the Senior Bowl [and] Combine already. I think the weight that I’m at is really good right now. I think I’m going to be able to move and be stout wherever I’m at. I don’t want to just say in the middle at center. I want to be wherever to contribute. The goal every offseason and every year is to get bigger, faster, stronger. I’m going to just continue to do that. You have to. There’s not ever really just one thing that I super want to focus on. I just want to focus on getting myself better as a whole. Whatever that is, whether it’s my speed or my quickness. I hear the criticisms and I’m very aware of my body and my place, so I know what I need to work on. Overall, just everything. I just want to get more explosive. I want to get more powerful in my lower body, stronger in my upper body, strengthen my core, quicker off the ball. I just want to be a better me.”

College OL coach:

Antonio Gibson:


“I mean besides the dream of playing at this level, I think it just all goes back to really me. The only person that, what I found, is the only person that stands in the way of you getting to your goals is yourself. I’m a super competitive person, that’s how I am. That’s how my family is. We always compete, my cousins, I have little brothers and sisters they’re already starting to compete but we’re always competing. I compete with my dad, you know, whoever it is, whatever we’re doing. I just want to be my best self, day in and day out. I have to wake up every day and beat myself. I have to be better than who I was the day before. That, obviously, for me, that doesn’t just mean football. Right now it does, because this is the path that I’m walking, this is the path that I’ve chosen. And that is to play and be a part of the National Football League, but it applies to all aspects of my life. When I’m done, I’m going to still continue to do that. I’m still going to continue to strive to be my best self, day in and day out. Whether I’m working in real estate, or I’m working at McDonalds. I’m going to be the best damn drive-thru server that you’ll ever have. It just goes down to me beating myself. That’s what drives me. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I want to make my dreams come true. Right now, for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a player in the National Football League, and I want to be the best at my position that ever was, and that’s what drives me.”

Saahdiq Charles Presser:

Thaddeus Moss:

Staying in shape:

“I’ve been staying in shape as far as just, running miles, going to the levy and running levy out here in Baton Rouge. Just running balls on the field, something my strength coach taught us for conditioning back at LSU. I do push-ups at home; I do abs at home. That’s as much as I’ve been able to do, but I’m going to try to hit the road, go train, work with a couple of my offensive line trainers that I’ve been training with pre-draft.”

Redskins veteran OL:

Trai Turner:

“I’ve talked to Trai, he actually went to LSU, Trai Turner. He called me, he played for [Offensive Line Coach] Coach Matsko and [Head Coach] Coach Rivera in Carolina [Panthers]. I’ve talked to those guys about it. At the same time, I’ve talked to guys that’ve played in the league for a long time, guys that’ve played 20 years, [Former OT] Jackie Slater. I think I’ve got a good idea about what to expect, but at the same time I don’t know what to expect because it’s my first rodeo.”

Virtual offseason:


Something to prove:


Off-field problems:

“I felt like there’s nothing I can do to necessarily convince them because you can only move forward. I mean, I did fix my rights. I was suspended for an impulsive decision. I made a mistake. The problems that I had in college, aren’t a problem anymore. Me and [LSU Head Coach] Coach [Ed Orgeron] have a great relationship. I love him, he always tells me, ‘I love you like one of my sons.’ I love him too. Me and him grow close and over the season, he helped me mature as a man. Actually, over all three years in school. When Coach O met me, I was 16 now I’m 20. He knows a lot about me. He knows exactly who I am. I talked to Coach Rivera and the staff at the Combine, I had a meeting with them. I actually talked with [Senior Director of Player Development] Malcolm Blacken, I want to say, a week before the Draft. He was just calling me and telling me, we found out who you are, the guys have done a lot of research about you and they love you. And they’re sending me to you to basically find out, send you a last background check. We talked maybe 30, 45 minutes. I think the conversation went well. Like I said, I never necessarily convinced them, I was just being who I am.”

Left tackle:

Keith Ismael:

Arm length:

“I mean, at the end of the day, I guess people care about the numbers or whatever they say it is that they care about. To me, I’ve played three years and I’ve started three years in the SEC West, which I feel like is the best division of football that you can go play for, for college around the United States. My arms aren’t short, look at a guy like [Rams LB] Terrell Lewis’ arms, I block those guys all the time.”


“It’s basically all the same thing. Every day it’s just learning the playbook, learning football. When you get to this level, it’s just the stage of football is more details into it. You’ve got to learn more things within the playbook. It’s just taking more time, but I feel like it’s going really well.”