What are the Redskins' options at backup RB?
By Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler
Twenty questions No. 4—What will the depth chart look like at right tackle?
The 2013 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 20 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.
After inheriting the starting job from the oft-injured Jammal Brown in training camp a year ago, Tyler Polumbus started 16 of 17 games at right tackle in 2012. And although he struggled at times in pass protection, he showed enough improvement to earn a two-year contract extension. Still, the Redskins felt compelled to bring in Jeremy Trueblood and Tony Pashos – just in case. So as training camp begins, the starting job is Polumbus’ to lose. But with two hungry veterans looking over his shoulder, he knows can’t afford to slip up.
Tarik El-Bashir: Polumbus isn’t a Pro Bowler like his counterpart on the left side, Trent Williams. But you know what? For a team facing an $18 million cap penalty, Polumbus is good enough. It’s also possible he’ll continue the upward trajectory he was on late last season. Remember, '12 marked his first season as a full-time starter. Additionally -- and I’ve made this argument before -- the offensive line paved the way for the NFL’s top rushing offense a year ago, while giving rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III enough time to complete 65.6-percent of his passes (fourth best). With Polumbus back in the fold, all five starters will remain in place. Why mess with success?
Rich Tandler: I agree that the Redskins could do worse than Polumbus at RT, especially given the cap restrictions. But I’m not so sure it should be “his job to lose”. If he has indeed improved his technique from last year, he should have no problem fighting off Trueblood and Pashos in an even competition for the job. The last time Pashos played in 2011 he gave up 22 quarterback pressures in 12 starts at right tackle (1.8 per game) per Pro Football Focus. Last year, PFF charged Polumbus with 58 pressures (3.6 per game). I think that you need to at least consider that Pashos might be an upgrade in pass protection. That’s always important but especially when your franchise quarterbacks is recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. I also would give second-year tackle Tom Compton a shot at the job as he may be the future at the position. It appears, however, that he is Williams’ backup at left tackle, at least for now.
Upcoming on 20 questions
- Question 3 Monday: Is Orakpo posed to have a monster season?
- Question 2 Tuesday: Who starts at free safety?
- Question 1 Wednesday: Will RG3 be “all in for Week 1”?