The folks over at Pro Football Focus recently ranked all 32 NFL offensive lines from this past season. Not surprisingly, the Redskins unit showed up near the bottom, 27th to be exact, but up one spot from their 2010 slot. Breaking down the rating into specific categories, the Redskins finished marginally better in pass protection (29) than runscreen blocking (30), but finished way up the list in penalties (12). The analysis: "The Redskins line was meant to be better than this, especially after spending big in the offseason. It wasnt, with injuries not helping matters, but very few actually showed they have what it takes to play at this level. Outside of one player (who well get to), there isnt anyone up front that the Redskins couldnt easily replace. Though, to be fair, Will Montgomery did look somewhat handy at center."
Granted, the Redskins added Chris Chester in free agency and re-upped with Jammal Brown for a hefty sum, but I'm not sure anyone really thought the line was expected to be substantially better in 2011. In fact, in certain games, the line did show improvement, though I grant you the bar was set rather low. Let's move on to the individuals ...
"Best Player: It was a bad year for the line, but at least 2010 first round pick Trent Williams (3.8) started to look the part before injury. His future looks bright, if his 640 snaps this year are anything to go by (assuming he can avoid another suspension).
"Worst Player: Is it Chris Chester (-17.2) or Jammal Brown (-18.5)? Brown looked spent while Chester was never going to live up to the contract the Redskins gave him. At least Chester is decent at something (pass protection), can you say that about Brown?" I'll give you Williams as the best, but Chester or Brown as the worst? Perhaps I need to spend more time watching the trenches, but this down-in-the-dumps comparison makes little sense to my football sensibilities. I hear plenty of talk about the Redskins' need for a right tackle addition this off-season. Same for left guard, but nary a peep about bringingin competition for Chester atright guard. Regardless, we can all agree whether it comes via the draft or free agency, the Redskins need an infusion of talented big uglies to get the offensive line's outlook looking a whole lot prettier.