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Gruden Would 'Love To Add Pieces' To Offensive Line

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said this week that the team is counting on its young offensive linemen to develop, but could still add pieces via the draft or free agency.

More than a week into the 2015 NFL free agency period, the Washington Redskins' plan under new general manager Scot McCloughan has been clear.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offensive linemen in action during the 2014 season.

The team has added five new pieces on the defensive side of the ball, as it unquestionably hopes to get a better push up front and force the opposing quarterback's hand to generate more turnovers.

But the Redskins to this point have been quiet on the offensive front – particularly along the offensive line, which gave up 58 sacks – the second most in the NFL – in 2014.

Washington in 2015 could potentially return every starter from its offensive line – and has some young talent from the 2014 draft waiting in the wings – but Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said this week that the team certainly isn't against the idea of adding more bodies – and creating better competition – up front this offseason.

"We would love to add pieces to the offensive line," Gruden said this week in a "Chalk Talk" event for team suiteholders at Redskins Park.

The second-year head coach hinted that the team isn't necessarily looking to make a splash along the line in free agency, however.

"It doesn't have to come from free agent spending," Gruden said. "Offensive linemen can come from the draft and young players via free agency."

The returning starters along the offensive line for the Redskins are left tackle Trent Williams, left guard Shawn Lauvao, center Kory Lichtensteiger, right guard Chris Chester and right tackle Tom Compton.

The Redskins also are hoping to see further development from tackle Morgan Moses and guard Spencer Long, each of whom were taken in the third round of last year's NFL Draft and, Gruden hopes, could compete for a starting job in 2015.

All of them will be guided by first-year offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who led the league's top offensive front in the league last year with the Dallas Cowboys.

"We're hoping some of our young guys – Morgan Moses, Spencer Long – develop like we think they should down the road," Gruden said. "So we have some guys in place who are good."

Gruden said the draft this year is once again stocked with plenty of talent, should the Redskins want to go that route with their picks. Some experts believe the team could even use its first-round (No. 5-overall) pick on Iowa guard Brandon Scherff.

Other high-profile offensive linemen available in the draft this year include Stanford tackle Andrus Peat, Pittsburgh tackle T.J. Clemmings, Florida tackle D.J. Humphries, LSU tackle La'el Collins, Miami tackle Ereck Flowers and South Carolina Guard A.J. Cann.

Gruden said the Redskins this year "have the luxury of really taking the best available player" with the No. 5-overall pick, but the Redskins "do have some need positions" to address in the later rounds.

"Obviously, everyone talks about the offensive line. I'd love to get an offensive lineman," he said. "You can never have too many good running backs. I think there's some very, very good skill at running back, and when you're talking about drafting players, you always want to protect the quarterback and get after the quarterback. So, those key positions, and then obviously covering some of the receivers you need to cover in the NFL today, you can never have too many good corners."


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