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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18-- Ramping up and a look at the OL

So Larry Michael and I went to dinner tonight to settle a bet and to talk about the upcoming season.. I bet Larry around week 10 that Brandon Lloyd would score one touchdown and well, I lost.. Brandon owes me dinner at the Palm now.. He's the one who got the 10 million dollar signing bonus..

We have some cool news regarding the upcoming broadcasts of Redskins Lunch which begins Thursday the 26th but I'm not supposed to talk about them so maybe I shouldn't have even brought it up.. Soon enough..

Onto the OL.. Should be an interesting race for the LG spot..

Lets get through the easy ones first, LT is Chris Samuels, RT is Jon Jansen, RG is a much healthier Randy Thomas who last summer was coming off a broken leg and though he worked his tail off through the off-season just wasn't himself at the start of the season, expect him to take it easy this summer but don't be fooled, he's in better shape then he was a summer ago..
Center is Casey rabach who isn't dealing with a bizarre injury of his own this time around either..

Not unlike a summer ago, back-ups are at major issue as the Skins move forward, but unlike last summer there is no certainty of ho will play LG.. Todd Wade was penciled in, and I say Penciled as a major overstatement now.. He is no lock whatsoever to win the job and essentially he's a stopgap until the Skins figure a better solution.. Wade is a natural tackle who performed well as the back-up to Jon Jansen when he missed the New Orleans game late last year but the fact that he resigned here when he openly discussed trying to find a tackle job says a lot.. It's been a rough transition for him.. I certainly don't blame the Skins for letting Derrick Dockery when he signed a massive contract with Buffalo, but they might have been able to sign him last summer to an extension that would have been mich less cost prohibitve.. But then again Dockery certainly didn't show his professionalism until last year, a contract year.. It turned into a catch 22..

Will Whittacker, a seocnd year guard out of Michigan State is the one to watch this summer is someone is going to step up and steal the job.. Wade is a lock to make the team as the onlt true back-up at tackle and considering the age and health situations of Samuels and Jansen the last few years, he'll probably see some snaps.. Whittacker has been the one who's been receiving the good reviews thus far and if I had to guess, he might steal the starting job..

Ross Tucker out of Princeton started his career here, he bounced around a few different places and is likely a back-up at best.. Taylor Whitely caught Joe Bugel's eye last year when they picked him up, I'll give him a maybe at this point to compete and get a roster spot.. Mike Pucillo is the back-up center and found a niche as a goal line sixth blocker, he's a keeper but not seen as a starter..Kili Lefotu was a late round pick last year who suffered a seizure in the dorms last summer and gave the team a good scare, I'm surprised he's back..Stephon Heyer is one of the massive bookends from Maryland who went undrafted, he performed very poorly at the combine, the reason no one took a chance on him, based on his size he has a chance.. Jason fabini is a ten year vet, I always like that typ of player's chances when back-up spots are on the line.. Calvin Armstrong is 6-7, that will make him stand out, but as a first year player, we'll see if he can play..

Right now If I had to guess, the intial four, jansen, Smuels, Rabach and Thomas are locks, I'm going to go on a hunch and say Whittacker steals the LG spot.. Back-ups are definitively Wade and Pucillo, probably Fabini and then, well, take your pick, probably Whitley right now.. This thing is way up for grabs and the truth is depth remains an even bigger issue as everyone just got a year older.. Like a season ago, the health of the line will be an integral part of whether the team can remain competitive..

OK men..


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