Redskins TE coach Sean McVay on depth at the position
Bye week grades: Offensive line
At 1-3, a quarter of the Redskins’ season is already in the books. It’s not the start the reigning NFC East champions had envisioned, but given the sorry state of their division, all hope is not lost, either. As the team enters its Week 5 bye, the players are on hiatus but Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are grading the team position-by-position. Join the conversation in the comments below.
The Redskins’ offensive line is much maligned by many in the fan base and while some of it is deserved the reputation of the unit has yet to catch up to its improved performance over the last couple of years. They’re not the ’82 Hogs but last year they performed well enough for the Redskins to lead the NFL in rushing yards. How are they doing this year?
Tandler: The Redskins are currently 16th in the NFL in rushing yards but the scoreboard has dictated fewer rushing attempts this year. When they do run, however, they are getting it done; the team has averaged a very respectable 4.8 yards per rushing attempt, fifth in the league. And despite trailing for all but about 20 minutes this season, the line has allowed just seven sacks despite blocking for a less-mobile version of Robert Griffin III. Only four teams have allowed fewer sacks. Other than Trent Williams none of the members of the line are Pro Bowl candidates but they perform better than the sum of their parts.
El-Bashir: I agree with Rich on this one. The O-line is the least of the Redskins’ problems at the moment. As a collective, they’ve opened holes for Morris (5.3 yards per attempt), provided Robert Griffin III with ample time in most situations and done a solid job neutralizing some of the game’s top pass rushers. In fact, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Connor Barwin and Clay Matthews all failed to register a sack against the group.ProFootballFocus.com ranks the Redskins’ line as one of the NFL’s top units, having allowed 38 quarterback pressures (sacks, hits and hurries) through four games. Only seven teams, according to PFF, have allowed fewer.