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Casserly: Redskins Should Sign O-Line First


Charley Casserly could have used a freight scale to determine Washington's No. 1 priority in free agency.

In a Wednesday appearance on ESPN 980's "The Sports Fix," the NFL Network analyst and former general manager of the Redskins said Washington will "go hard" to acquire offensive linemen once the league year begins March 11.

Casserly's justification was worth about 80 pounds, or the weight difference between the starting five offensive linemen Gruden coached in Cincinnati and the big men who started for Washington. The Bengals' starting five averaged 322 pounds. The Redskins averaged 308.

"The body types in Cincinnati for their offensive line are radically different than the body types that Mike Shanahan had with his offensive line, so I think right tackle and guard are big needs for them and I think they will look to go hard there first," Casserly said.  

According to Casserly, the Redskins should inject bulk into the interior line and add competition at right tackle to improve protection for Robert Griffin III.

Jay Gruden has said a "good, solid foundation" exists among the offensive linemen already under contract.

Since his introductory press conference, Gruden has expressed a willingness to go with what works.

He won't abandon the zone running scheme the line was built around, but he won't shy away from a power game either.

He will employ a diverse philosophy to find what's effective and tailor the offense to fit the team's personnel.

"Two years ago, (the line was) very good," Gruden said.

"It's just a matter of… power versus the outside zone. Coach Shanahan and the staff chose to go with the smaller alignment on the interior.

"You know they're smaller, but they can get out and move in space. But sometimes on third-and-long they sometimes get pushed back in the pocket. That's a negative. But I think overall the line is in place.

"Now if we can add some pieces and some depth and some guys that can compete for jobs, we'll be better off."




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