Rebuilding of O-line takes interesting turn for Redskins
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) The process of rebuilding the right side of the Washington Redskins' offensive line has taken an interesting turn.
While many expected first-round draft choice Brandon Scherff from Iowa to be the starting right tackle, the last two days have seen him lining up with the starters, but at right guard, with Morgan Moses alongside at right tackle spot.
The pair acquitted themselves fairly well Thursday in joint workouts against J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans.
Moses, in his second year out of Virginia, has drawn praise after spending much of the offseason recovering from a Lisfranc sprain. He appeared in eight games as a rookie, starting once, but finished the year on injured reserve.
While sidelined, he watched practices and studied the playbook.
''I knew what I had to accomplish in the offseason and that, first, getting healthy, but being able to sit behind the scenes and look at the guys practice and kind of learn about the defense and the defensive rotations, and really buy into the playbook from the mental aspect, helped me out a lot,'' the 6-foot-6, 318-pounder said after practice Thursday. ''When I got back and I went off to train and stuff like that, all I really had to focus on was gaining that confidence in my foot.''
Left tackle Trent Williams has noticed a more mature Moses.
''It's just becoming a pro. It's his second year. The game is starting to slow down for him,'' Williams said. ''Every rookie is going to have those rookie lulls, but he recognized it, he went and worked hard on it, he studied his butt off and it's starting to pay off.''
That payoff includes the opportunity to help solidify the Redskins' line.
''Any time you get an opportunity with the ones you just want to take advantage of it and get out there and compete and let them know that you can play with this high-level intensity,'' Moses said.
New offensive line coach Bill Callahan prefers to have his linemen ready to play more than one position, but there has been little movement on the right side as Scherff and Moses have been given long looks.
It could be they will stay there, too, coach Jay Gruden said.
''We're just going to go out here and give these guys reps and, like coach Callahan said, cross-train them and let the exhibition games take care of themselves, and then we'll make our decisions for Miami. But that's a definite possibility,'' Gruden said.
Along the offensive line, communication and chemistry are critical, and Moses and Scherff have a ways to go on that front.
''Really this is the first chance they've had to work together, and there's a lot that goes on with communication and technique that they have to get used to if that's the route that we're going to go,'' Gruden said.
Moses, despite limited experience, finds himself in something of a mentor's role for the No. 5 overall pick.
''I told him that I don't know everything, but as long as we communicate and we're on the same page, as long as we're working together, that's most important,'' he said. ''You'd rather have both doing the wrong thing together than have two people doing opposite things.
Watt did get to the quarterback a few times in live drills Thursday, but Gruden said there were positives as well.
''There were some things to build off of, no question about it,'' he said. ''There were some things to correct. You're blocking the best player in pro football right now, voted on by his peers, so he's going to make a few of his plays.''
Quarterback Robert Griffin III, the player perhaps most interested in the line coming together before the Redskins open the season against Miami, said he trusts the coaching staff to put the five best players on the field in front of him.
''My job is not to pick the five up front. It's to pick apart the defense,'' he said.
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