Redskins dept chart analysis: Competition at center?

Redskins dept chart analysis: Competition at center?
June 26, 2014, 10:00 am
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Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will be taking a close look at the Redskins’ depth chart, dissecting each position.

Some spots are straightforward. Others are more complicated. This much, however, is not up for debate: A player is not on the 53-man roster until the final cuts are made.

So who’s the odds-on favorite to start? And who’s in trouble? Up today …

Position: Center

On the roster: Kory Lichtensteiger, Mike McGlynn, Tevita Stevens, Kevin Kowalski

Likely to make the 53: Lichtensteiger, McGlynn

Comment: One of the first major personnel moves that Jay Gruden made after being hired as head coach was to release Will Montgomery, who had played nearly every snap at center since the middle of the 2010 season. Word soon got out that the plan was to have Lichtensteiger move to center from the left guard spot he has occupied since 2010. Center is Lichtensteiger’s natural position and so far the coaches are impressed with his ability to call protections at the line.  

But Lichtensteiger had better continue to impress. He is listed at 6-2, 296 and that is smaller than Gruden prefers his offensive linemen to be. McGlynn is more of a big body at 6-4, 325. It would not be at all surprising to see McGlynn push Lichtensteiger for the starting job during training camp and perhaps into the regular season. McGlynn can also play guard so he has to versatility needed to stick as a backup.

Battling for a job: Kowalski, Stevens

Comment: It will be difficult for either of the younger players to make the 53. Stevens was on the Redskins practice squad last year and he was on the all-conference academic team all four of his seasons at Utah (2009-2010 Mountain West, 2011-2012 Pac 12). He is smart enough to figure out that his best career path is to perform well enough to make the practice squad this year and then see what happens in the interior of the line in 2015.

Kowalski was out of football last season after the Cowboys, his team for two years after they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo, released him in the final cuts in 2013.