Not only do the Redskins entering training camp with a battle for the starting left guard position, offensive line coach Bill Callahan believes the unit's overall depth should bode well for the 2016 season.
It's hard to build quality offensive line depth in the NFL, but Washington Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan believes the team has quite a bit of it entering the 2016 season.
While tackle Trent Williams and guard Brandon Scherff are not only former first-round picks but entrenched starters, other players such as tackle Ty Nsekhe and guard Arie Kouandjio provide the Redskins solid backup options.
"It bodes well for us that we have that kind of depth," Callahan said this week after the team's final minicamp practice.
The depth also creates quite a bit of competition, too. At left guard, Kouandjio, Shawn Lauvao and Spencer Long are competing for the starting gig.
"I think we've got great competition across the board, and when we get to training camp that will all get resolved when they put the pads on, but it's been great work," Callahan said. "It's been quality work for Arie, for Spencer and for Shawn, and we continue to get better every day. The more competition we have, the more exposure these guards get [and] the better we'll be."
While Kouandjio and Long alternated first-team reps at left guard during offseason practices, Lauvao should return healthy by training camp. He, of course, suffered a season-ending foot injury that was followed by five surgeries.
Before going down, though, Lauvao started all 18 of his appearances for the Redskins dating back to the 2014 season.
Callahan loves "everything" about Lauvao and expects him to once again play at a high level.
"How he approaches the game, his passion for the game and he loves every aspect of preparation whether it's in the media room watching film or out here on the field," Callahan said. "You can tell he's dying to get back into the lineup. He's itching to get back into playing again and working his techniques, but we expect a lot from him. He'll comeback at a high level. He knows how to prepare himself and get himself ready, so once he cleared officially…I think he's got some time to make up and he's really excited about getting back and showing us what he can get done."
Morgan Moses, Brandon Scherff build off productive 2015 season
Washington Redskins tackle Morgan Moses on Saturday, March 12, 2016, accepted his Ed Block Courage Award at the 38th annual Ed Block Courage Awards in Baltimore, Md.
From the get-go, Moses and Scherff strongly held up the Redskins' right side of the offensive line during the 2015 season.
Both started all 16 regular season games and the Redskins' Wild Card Round game against the Green Bay Packers, subduing some of the league's best pass rushers in the process.
This was all in spite of the fact the two really didn't get to work side-by-side until training camp.
With a full offseason to be together, though, Callahan believes they're only going to be better this year.
"I think it's great that they're working together and in the classroom," Callahan said. "They sit next to each other so their relationship on and off the field is imperative, and to have a strong sense of what each other can do and how they can play off of each other bodes well for them. The communication and the nuances of adjustments they have to make during the course of a series or a play itself. The communication has got to get echoed out and that's all important information and obviously they do a great job with it."
After productive offseason, Kory Lichtensteiger returns healthyPrior to last season, Lichtensteiger was a mainstay in the starting lineup, as he started all 48 of the Redskins' regular season games from 2012-14.
But just five games into the 2015 season, Lichtensteiger suffered a neck injury that resulted in a stint on the short-term Injured Reserve list.
Unable to participate in Washington's final 11 regular season games, the eight-year veteran was able to return for the Redskins' playoff game following two weeks of practice.
After an offseason of rest and extended recovery, Lichtensteiger returns not only as the team's starting center, but a leader younger players and even veterans can look to for help.
"He's been the leader, he's been smart for us and he gets us in the right calls and that's what you ask from your guy, to make sure that all the multiple looks you're going to get that he gets you into the right situation and the right scheme," Callahan said. "He's like the quarterback of the offensive line on the field, so we've been really pleased with his progress. He's done a tremendous job. Great leader and good veteran in the locker room so we're fortunate to have him and looking forward to the fall. "