Position battles: Right tackle

Position battles: Right tackle
August 18, 2013, 11:45 am
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Chase Minnifield stands out at Redskins training camp

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) runs with the ball behind Redskins tackle Tyler Polumbus (74) past Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) in the first quarter at FedEx Field. The Falcons won 24-17.

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Tandler - Tarik

By Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir
CSNwashington.com

When Redskins training camp opened more than three weeks ago, there were a handful of question marks at various positions. We still don’t have any firm answers, but after 17 days of practice and a preseason game, we now have some clues.

This weekend, CSNWashington Insiders Tarik EL-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine four of the more intriguing position battles and predict the outcome.

Position: Right tackle

Outlook: In March, Tyler Polumbus was offered more money by the Jaguars but ultimately chose to re-sign with the salary cap strapped Redskins. Why? Better chance to win. Familiarity with the scheme and coaching staff. And he probably felt confident that he could beat out Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood. Polumbus gambled on himself – and so far it’s paying off.

El-Bashir: Polumbus has lined up with the first team since the start of camp and is the odds on favorite to be the starter Week 1 against the Eagles. The real intrigue is what’s happening behind the 28-year-old, whom the Redskins hope will show marked improvement and better consistency in his second season as a full time starter. Tony Pashos, who missed all of 2012 with a foot injury, has emerged as Polumbus’ backup, while Jeremy Trueblood has slipped to third on the depth chart. The Redskins kept four tackles last season, and right now it looks as though it will be Polumbus and Pashos on the right and Pro Bowler Trent Williams and up-and-coming second year player Tom Compton on the left.

Tandler: I keep going back and forth on whether or not Pashos is a lock to make it. Two things could knock him off. One would be for the Redskins to go with eight offensive linemen and have Compton be the swing tackle. It seems unlikely that the second-year player would be entrusted with that role but there have been roster surprises in the past. Another possibility is that Maurice Hurt, who has been on the PUP list for all of camp, will be the ninth lineman, knocking Pashos off of the 53. Hurt can play both guard and he started at right tackle last year when Polumbus missed a game with a concussion. Mike Shanahan likes his line reserves to be versatile and as long as Pashos can play only right tackle he has to be considered in danger.