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Casey Rabach takes on added responsibility as Redskins rebuild offensive line

For five seasons, center Casey Rabach worked alongside Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels and right guard Randy Thomas. The three were key members of a Washington offensive line that twice helped the team reach the playoffs.

But only Rabach, who agreed to a three-year contract extension last week, is still on the roster. The retirement of Samuels and the release of Thomas are among the reasons the line will have a much different look under Coach Mike Shanahan.

"They're trying to put together a starting lineup, and I'm just not sure what it's going to be yet," Rabach said in a recent phone interview. "I'm not sure if the starting five is on the roster right now or what they're going to do. But I'm sure they're going to address the situation through free agency and the draft."

Samuels officially retired last week because of a severe neck injury and stenosis. Thomas was slowed because of injuries the past three seasons. He played in more than three games only once during that span.

The Redskins have focused on the offensive line at the outset of free agency, bringing in at least four unrestricted free agent linemen for visits. On Saturday, versatile lineman Artis Hicks became the first unrestricted free agent from another team to sign with the Redskins. Hicks, formerly the Minnesota Vikings' top backup at guard and tackle, is expected to compete to start at right guard for Washington.

"With injuries and everything that went on last year, you saw five guys out there that didn't play very well together," Rabach said. "We were plugging holes. That definitely played into the performance of the offensive line. It takes time for an offensive line to gel together and get used to each other.

"Everything happens so fast that it's all reaction. With the guy next you, you need to know what his tendencies are. I knew Randy really well. I knew Randy was always going to be super aggressive. If I took off, he was always going to be in front of me by about half a step. So it's little things that play a big part in how the offensive line plays and performs throughout the season."

Although Hicks could prove to be an upgrade at right guard, the Redskins still need help at both tackle spots and improved depth. When Redskins management completes the group, Rabach will do his part to help everyone come together as quickly as possible.

"In the offseason, I'll be putting more time into just working with those guys," he said. "Definitely, OTAs are going to mean a little bit more this year and the minicamps will mean a little bit more. After our workout sessions, the time we spend in the classroom is going to mean more.

"We just have to make sure everybody is on the same page. I guess I'm the old guy of the group now. It's weird to think that way, but I am. And it's kind of my responsibility to make sure everybody's in line and everybody's on the right page."

In the Zone

In the Redskins Tailgate Zone today, discuss with Matt "Bobby" McFarland how long you think it will take for Mike Shanahan to establish a solid, winning system here.

By Jason Reid  |  March 8, 2010; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid , Offensive line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tony Pashos reaches agreement with Cleveland, after visiting Redskins
Next: Under Bruce Allen, free agency for Redskins may last for months

Comments

Does anyone get the feeling they might be dealing players (Cooley... one of our SS's) for some draft pics?

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 7:41 AM

No. I think they like the players they've kept. I think they see a lot of talent on the team - talent that's underachieved as a team. It's most likely they'll address the need of a LT in the draft. Beyond that they haven't really indicated where they see a weakness.

Posted by: skinfanman | March 8, 2010 7:47 AM

Posted by: skinfanman | March 8, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Brownwood and I rarely agree on things but I've got to say that he is spot on this morning. Seems a lot of folks are going through "splash" withdrawal. This team will be better simply through preperation, discippline, and coaching without the splash. We've got holes...who doesn't. We're not going to fill them all this year. Most teams operate with just some guys in spots. Oh no, we'll have to do it too. That's what the good coaches do. They plug in just guys and get the team to perform greater than the sum of tgheir parts.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | March 8, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone get the feeling they might be dealing players (Cooley... one of our SS's) for some draft pics?"

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 7:41 AM


What's up with trading Cooley comments. Why would you want to do that? To get another draft pick? Then who would be the back up to Davis assuming davis would then be the starter. Would you take the draft pick and draft another TE?
This logic doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: skinsfan0524 | March 8, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: skinfanman | March 8, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Seriously people...can we do without the "trade Cooley" stuff today? I mean, Redskins Park has done away with the crazy stuff, how 'bout we try and do the same here?

Skinfanman, someone up here posted while Clifton was here for a visit that he was only talking to us to drive up his price in negotiations with Green Bay. I totally believe it, considering he got his exact asking price (and about $2 million per year more than the offer the Pack originally had on the table). I give the Skins kudos for not upping the ante on a past-his-prime LT just to fill a hole.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

With the current approach, we could very well have two rookies starting on the o-line in 2010. I guess I am okay with that if one of them is Okung. I have said it before and I will say it again, "Shanahan has had a whole year to sit down and watch nothing but game film. I would be surprised if he doesn't have his finger on the pulse of most quality talent coming out of college. This team may very well end up with a large number of rookies - both drafted and undrafted - when the regular season starts."

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone get the feeling they might be dealing players (Cooley... one of our SS's) for some draft pics?

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 7:41 AM
==============================
it is a little too quiet, so far, for a 4-12 team with only 5 picks in the Draft?
UFA and RFA leftovers wont turn around a last place team.
Maybe the "Future is Now, 2011" or there is a blockbuster trade underway for picks or players. Who knows?

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

There will be some trades, but I guarantee you that unless we are offered something ridiculous, that Cooley's name won't be on a trade transaction.

Posted by: PCinOz | March 8, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Despite what some say...I like Raback and I'm glad he re-signed with us.
Now lets get him somemore help. Keep up the good work Front Office.

Posted by: skinsfan0524 | March 8, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

With the current approach, we could very well have two rookies starting on the o-line in 2010. I guess I am okay with that if one of them is Okung. I have said it before and I will say it again, "Shanahan has had a whole year to sit down and watch nothing but game film. I would be surprised if he doesn't have his finger on the pulse of most quality talent coming out of college. This team may very well end up with a large number of rookies - both drafted and undrafted - when the regular season starts."

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

As a few have mentioned before since this draft is so deep guys that would have been drafted in normal years are going to go undrafted this year. I think we are going to stock pile a ton of that young undrafted talent. Right tackles and right guards often do come undrafted. I'm not worried if the plan is to find the best undrafted linemen to fill in the right side of the line. As long as we get a LT and a RB or 2 in the draft I'll be happy.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 8, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

There will be some trades, but I guarantee you that unless we are offered something ridiculous, that Cooley's name won't be on a trade transaction.

Posted by: PCinOz | March 8, 2010 8:25 AM
------------------------------------------
Yep, I think Cooley is safe, but I don't think anyone will take kindly to Carlos Rogers' whiny-baby attitude. I'm thinking they wouldn't hesitate to trade him and they're probably sitting back waiting for offers. They might want to trade Campbell, too - especially if they are thinking about drafting a QB. Once they get Grossman in the fold, they won't be so hesitant to deal Campbell.

I am hoping the definition of this first offseason with Allen and Shanahan will later be defined as "patient". I've figured out already that they are unwilling to pay a contract above market value and I have a feeling that they will approach any trade the same way. After having Shanahan pin our ears back on a few trades with the Bronco's, it's nice to have him negotiating for our side now.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

"Did the Packers outbid the ‘Skins for Clifton?"

Outbid is a selective term.

I think guys like Pashos/Clifton wanted a bigger payday than they deserved and both expected Dan Snyder to open up the pocketbook like he always has.

Thing is, this is a new day, and paying good money for middlin' players is no longer the modus operandi at Redskin Park.

The team can still add offensive linemen via free agency, and pay guys what they deserve--but not want they want.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 8, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Once they get Grossman in the fold, they won't be so hesitant to deal Campbell.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:35 AM


That would bring about a new meaning for the term "trade down"...

Grossman is nothing but a backup. If we start him for 16 games, count on picking in the top 5 in 2011 too.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"...this draft is so deep guys that would have been drafted in normal years are going to go undrafted this year. I think we are going to stock pile a ton of that young undrafted talent. Right tackles and right guards often do come undrafted..."


This quote is apart of the front office's thinking, and explains why they didn't overpay for Pashos/Clifton: they can get younger, cheaper undrafted/low round guys who might blossom into superior players.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 8, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

wow - lots of action this weekend. I like the OLine move. Vikings had a killer line. I haven't read comments on those posts, but is our consesus that Hicks was a major contributor to their success? or was he a weaker link in their chain?

... I mean, they did let him go...

whuddI miss?

Posted by: DikShuttle | March 8, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Dik, Hicks was certainly the least heralded of the OL players in Minny, not sure if that's an indictment of him so much as how good the other guys on that O-line are.

He fits the biggest need we have: a versatile lineman who can start in more than one spot. That's gonna go a long way for us going into the draft.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to me that we all didn't want our Skins to win the offseason award for most extravagant signings again this year. We wanted our team to be frugal and smart, but now we are passing on Pashos and Clifton and generally not making any moves at all. And for that, we're scratching our heads. It looks like this year is going to be part 1 of the rebuilding process. Build through the draft and pick up a few FA pieces along the way. I know we were 4-12 last year, but a lot of those games were very close and we were a few pieces away from being at least 8-8. Fix the offense, and everything will be ok.

Posted by: johntaylor2 | March 8, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Once they get Grossman in the fold, they won't be so hesitant to deal Campbell.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:35 AM


That would bring about a new meaning for the term "trade down"...

Grossman is nothing but a backup. If we start him for 16 games, count on picking in the top 5 in 2011 too.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Alot of people on here have been clamoring about drafting a franchise quarterback next year. I wondered how we were going to get back in the top 5 in next year's draft to do that. I guess that's how.

Posted by: wagman1 | March 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love the new approach of not signing someone on a first visit basis. By signing only Hicks so far for the OL points to Okung with the 4th pick, hopefully. I think if they had gotten Clifton then Okung wouldn't have been an option, we'll see.

Posted by: joeboggs | March 8, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Hicks only started 3 games for Minny. He was a swing lineman who could fill in for injured guys at a few spots. Sadly though, he is an upgrade over the filth we had last year or currently is still hanging on.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | March 8, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Sadly though, he is an upgrade over the filth we had last year or currently is still hanging on.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | March 8, 2010 8:52 AM

You're sad that we signed an upgrade? I always thought that was a good thing. Sad would be replacing Ryan Clark with Archuleta, or anyone with Brandon Lloyd.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Chad Clifton. 3 years, $20 million, 7.5 million guaranteed

Pashos, signed for three years and $10.3 million

I wonder if Pashos failed the physical. I thought for what the Browns signed him for was not out of line with salaries. But what do I know?

Posted by: skinsfan0524 | March 8, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Smiles everyone..it's a new day

Allen says Snyder is on board with new approach to free agency

Posted by Mike Florio on March 8, 2010 8:59 AM ET

So in the first year without a salary cap since Daniel Snyder purchased the Redskins, Snyder's team behaved for the first time on the first day of free agency as if a salary cap were still in place.

The team's new General Manager says that Snyder has no problem with the change.

"''Do what you guys think is best'" was the message that Snyder conveyed to Bruce Allen before free agency, and that Allen shared with Peter King of SI.com.

Once free agency started, Snyder did not waver.

"He didn't throw anything at me," Allen told King. "And he didn't throw a tantrum. He's fine with it.''

King believes that the Redskins were indeed in the hunt for defensive end Julius Peppers, but that they were only willing to pay him $10 million per year. Once it was clear that the Bears would do whatever they needed to do to get him, the Redskins dropped out.

If so, that's the most tangible proof that the Redskins have indeed changed. In past years, they would have outbid the Bears and anyone else for the player they wanted.

Posted by: TWISI | March 8, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

You're sad that we signed an upgrade? I always thought that was a good thing. Sad would be replacing Ryan Clark with Archuleta, or anyone with Brandon Lloyd.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 8:57 AM

Its not sad that we signed him, but it is sad that a back-up on another team is better than most of our current starters. I believe that is what he was trying to say.

Posted by: anotherwes | March 8, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Alot of people on here have been clamoring about drafting a franchise quarterback next year. I wondered how we were going to get back in the top 5 in next year's draft to do that. I guess that's how.

Posted by: wagman1 | March 8, 2010 8:50 AM


You don't have to pick in the top 5 to get a franchise QB, you know...those are made, not born.

Tom Brady wasn't a top 5 pick. Neither was Joe Montana. Nor was Dan Marino or Brett Favre. You can get a guy anywhere in the draft and if he's got the aptitude to play at that level and the coaching to get him there, he's got a great chance.

That said, I think the Skins finally have a coach that could develop a QB like that. For all the credit Elway gets for those back-to-back Broncos Super Bowls, the fact of the matter is Shanahan had a hand in his development long before he was Elway's head coach. So we have a guy who can develop a QB into a HoF'er, it's now a matter of finding that guy.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone get the feeling they might be dealing players (Cooley... one of our SS's) for some draft pics?"

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 7:41 AM


What's up with trading Cooley comments. Why would you want to do that? To get another draft pick? Then who would be the back up to Davis assuming davis would then be the starter. Would you take the draft pick and draft another TE?
This logic doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by: skinsfan0524 | March 8, 2010 8:03 AM

-------------------------------------

Wow... everyone's got the undies all bunched up today. Did not suggest or hint to trade Cooley...

Just trying to get a feel for the new FO that seems to be eschewing the FA frenzy, which means they may be trying to lean towards the draft... which is a good idea... and to rely on Allen's words that they "could" fix the O-Line in one year.

If that is the case, they NEED more pics... and folks, they don't come free. I'm trying to gauge WHERE they may come from. The FO has shown they have ZERO loyalty to players on the roster by last week's move, which is the correct way to go... with that thinking in hand, that MAY create an idea to move one of our TE's...

For everyone that says Shanny will work with two, he's never had it, or done it in the past, so it's a new situation for him... and possibly, just possibly his one bargaining chip to obtain more picks.

That's my thinking... not suggesting anything.

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

TWISI, I can't even tell you how beautiful that post is. I've waited a LONG time to see that...

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Thx Brownie,

It will be interesting to see how these guys gel.

Posted by: DikShuttle | March 8, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The guy I'd like us to get is Christian Ponder from Florida State. The guy can fly through reads and makes very quick very accurate throws. He's smart and can move around in the pocket. I think he may possibly have been born to play in a WCO. I'd also like us to bring Mike Kafka into camp this summer. I think Kafka ia a late round project that has a lot of upside.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 8, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 9:12 AM

It wouldn't surprise me that players will be traded, particularly after the first OTAs have taken place. This coaching staff will get a read on who's buying in, their work ethic, etc. Shanahan has shown he's willing to trade starter before, he'll do the same here as well.

Posted by: TWISI | March 8, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 9:12 AM

It wouldn't surprise me that players will be traded, particularly after the first OTAs have taken place. This coaching staff will get a read on who's buying in, their work ethic, etc. Shanahan has shown he's willing to trade starter before, he'll do the same here as well.

Posted by: TWISI | March 8, 2010 9:19 AM
------------------------------------------

SOund reason and logic... I like it.

Posted by: bschaef12 | March 8, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

2 tackles in the top 2 rounds of the draft would make our line much improved.

LG and C can be replaced in the next couple years.

Hopefully we acquire another top 2 pick via trade down or a trade for somebody we have tendered.

Still hoping for a trade with Seattle to get #14 and #40.

14 - Williams/Baluga
37 - Ducasse/Asamoah
40 - Best/Matthews/Hardesty (unless we get Willie Parker, we could take another lineman)
4th - Jordan Shipley/David Reed
5th and 7th - Dline/LB

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 8, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Grossman is nothing but a backup. If we start him for 16 games, count on picking in the top 5 in 2011 too.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

With the way prospective o-linemen blew town after dinners, we might think along those lines anyway. We needed one starting tackle from the two to lighten the burden on the draft picks we have to take. As you know, we got neither.

We are going to have to work a trade unless a UFA magically appears that is not a "VERSITILITY" HICKS, but a starting tackle. HICKS of course, has designs on taking RANDY THOMAS' place. Otherwise, the draft becomes the main venue for getting two new starting tackles on this team.

WIL MONTGOMERY will probably sign. Nobody is going to give a seventh for him.

BROWNIE, do you know what the current status on LEVI BROWN is?

I guess ALBRIGHT is still in limbo, not offered and unsigned with a back-up snapper under contract as a potential replacement. Sure looks like a move to new blood there.

MIKE WILLIAMS, EDWIN WILLIAMS and "CHIN-WHISKERS" RINEHART are the others, right? The collective assemblage, the polyglot if you will of "others."

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 8, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Does part of Casey Rabach's "added responsbility" include blocking people next season?

Posted by: isnadd | March 8, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

We have more problems than dealing Cooley a pro bowl tight end. We are good at the TE spot, lets bring in every lineman that can help us so we can get the run game going and protect the QB (who ever that may be) right now it's JC (love the guy). A running back, corner and safety. If we switch to a 3-4 then we need a stout NG because Haynesworth aint playing NG on every down. I am excited about the direction of mgmt, Danny has adjusted lets give him credit. We really need to get younger O linemen but a 30 + guy will work short term. We must build the team to take on the division, remember we didn’t win a division game last year. Much love to the effort and direction mgmt has the team going.

Posted by: DB14 | March 8, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

lmao@nadd

Posted by: DikShuttle | March 8, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

PAskinsfan, do you have any stuff on Ponder? Seems like he put up solid numbers last year for FSU, but nothing spectacular.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Once they get Grossman in the fold, they won't be so hesitant to deal Campbell.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:35 AM


That would bring about a new meaning for the term "trade down"...

Grossman is nothing but a backup. If we start him for 16 games, count on picking in the top 5 in 2011 too.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Alot of people on here have been clamoring about drafting a franchise quarterback next year. I wondered how we were going to get back in the top 5 in next year's draft to do that. I guess that's how.

Posted by: wagman1 | March 8, 2010 8:50 AM
------------------------------------------
I understand your comments but if we go 4-12 this year with Grossman at QB, are we any worse off than last season? I am just throwing it out there. I am not suggesting that Grossman is the answer any more than I would suggest Campbell is, but if the team knew they could get some trade value for Campbell - assuming Campbell is not the answer - would they be any worse off?

While you are pondering that, let me throw this hypothetical situation at you: Campbell sticks around and Grossman is signed. In the preseason Grossman looks marginally better than Campbell (remember, Campbell is going to have to absorb another offense with a learning curve whereas Grossman spent a year in Texas under the tutelage of Shanny Junior). Who do you start in the regular season?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Does part of Casey Rabach's "added responsbility" include blocking people next season?

Posted by: isnadd | March 8, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that will be the case. At any rate, RABACH is already talking around that subject mentioning familiarity with others or lack thereof, and ".....not being sure what the starting five is going to be yet." Well, yeah.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 8, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

While I am not a big JC fan, but if people think Grossman is the answer then we are in trouble.

Posted by: joeboggs | March 8, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Gl, I have no idea what's going on with Levi Brown, but I'd be happy to see him back (again--at the right price). But the assumption that grabbing up OL help by the dozen in FA falls right back into the faulty logic of years past. We should definitely pick up a couple of decent, mid-level players like Hicks, but this team needs to build the line with young, promising talent. Hopefully the line is built with the first couple picks in this year's draft so that we can turn our attention to positions like corner and QB in next year's draft.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 9:34 AM

RSH take the comments made by Patrick Willis in regards to David Carr. Players know who the ballers are. If Grossman is your starter from day one without competing with JC, do you think that he'll get the support of the team? Publicly they will say the right things, but privately? If Grossman wins the preseason battle, then I can see JC being sent on his way.

Posted by: TWISI | March 8, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree brownwood26, that's why they need to get Okung with the 4th, you agree.

Posted by: joeboggs | March 8, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

PAskinsfan, do you have any stuff on Ponder? Seems like he put up solid numbers last year for FSU, but nothing spectacular.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

He's a guy that you pretty much have to watch play. He's on a crappy team but they are young. If they are good this year you'll start hearing more about him. He's picking up some interest from scouts but I don't see a lot of scouting reports on him yet. He had shoulder surgery so his value may take a hit because of that but he has his whole senior year to rehab. Right now WalterFootball hates him but I think they'll change their opinion this year. They refer to him as a slightly worse version of Tony Pike. Personnaly, I think he has a better frame and stronger arm than Pike.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Looks to me like someone posted Florio's Peter King rip-off. Did anyone post the original from Peter King?

------------------------------------------
Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan seem to have a (fiscally conservative) plan in Washington.

I'm not sure it's going to work, but it's can't be much worse than the old days, when the Redskins won the NFL offseason championship every year but precious little else. Shanahan, the Redskins' coach with the power, and Allen, the new general manager, worked on a long-term plan for the team in their first month on the job and gave it to Snyder just before the Super Bowl. "He said, 'Good. Do what you guys think is best,' '' Allen said Sunday.

And the plan really included keeping the checkbook in the pocket on the first weekend of free agency? Really? Was Snyder apoplectic?

"No,'' Allen said. "He didn't throw anything at me. And he didn't throw a tantrum. He's fine with it.''

Allen believes is setting a plan for free agency, for instance, and not moving very off it with the emotion of the moment. As with Julius Peppers. Were the Redskins interested in Peppers, the eighth-year Carolina defensive end who signed with Chicago? I believe they were. Absolutely. But I think they were interested in Peppers at a reasonable level of compensation -- say, $10 million a year. When they started hearing how desperate the Bears were for Peppers, I believe the Redskins knew they'd never have a chance at him. Same with several other guys they liked.

"What we did,'' said Allen, "is when we got the list of free agents with their phone numbers and agent phone numbers from the league [Thursday at midnight], and I highlighted the 40 or 50 we were interested in, and we started calling them. We left messages for some of them, talked to some of them, and told them we were interested. And we'll see where it takes us.''

Washington had left tackle Chad Clifton from Green Bay in on Friday, but the Packers kept Clifton with a three-year, $21-million offer -- probably more money and more years than Washington wanted to offer. On Saturday, they settled for a less accomplished but more versatile offensive lineman, Artis Hicks, who has played four of the five line positions in his checkered career. He's 31, with much less wear (and experience) than Clifton.

They re-signed center Casey Rabach. The offensive line and offensive backfield are still positions of major need. But Allen's experience tells him some historically good players with a year or two left -- maybe Thomas Jones, for instance, in the backfield -- will be there when the money is more to their liking. "The music hasn't stopped, and there's still a lot of chairs to be filled,'' Allen said. At least the tune in D.C. is different this year.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Who do you start in the regular season?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 9:34 AM


I'm a huge proponent for the idea of playing whomever EARNS the job. If Grossman outplayed JC, I could live with him starting. But if you trade JC, you don't have a viable backup for Grossman if/when he starts fumbling the snap from center and/or lobbing jump balls to opposing DBs. That guy was a complete disaster in Chicago and probably cost them a shot at winning a Super Bowl (or two).

So at the end of the day, I completely disagree with trading JC unless you get assets that far outweight his possible contribution for this year. Which, IMO, is no less than a 2nd/3rd round pick or a possible starting O-lineman.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Seems like the general ShanaPlan is to bring in cheap, experienced vets as stopgaps with contracts which won't break the bank, while we rebuild the team position by position, one year at a time.

Sounds fine with me.

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 8, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

brownie:

I know. I'm saying it looks like the brass want a way out of HAVING to take two OT's in this draft. I can't see any other way. It's pretty obvious to me that they want a QB with that first pick, but don't want him killed in the process. I think the team has to bite the bullet and draft the o-line first. Doesn't look like a FA bail-out is in sight, at least not short of a trade before the draft.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 8, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

It looks more and more like the Redskins will address LT in the draft. Good.

There's also been some speculation by people like Mike Lombardi that 2011 will be a huge FA year. This assumes that a CBA is in place, and a lot of the RFA's this year will sign 1 year tenders, and test the market next year.

It looks like that BAMS are operating on this assumption: clearing cap space this year in preparation for a big 2011. If that is the case, the FA's signed in 2010 will be guys like Hicks and NOT potential starters. Expect very little activity in the free agent market, and attempts to trade the 2nd round pick for multiple lower picks this year.

The intriguing question is what will they do with that #4 pick? Go for the best player available, or address the immediate need for a left tackle? Or even... draft a QB?

They're not saying, are they?

Posted by: dpc2003 | March 8, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Once they get Grossman in the fold, they won't be so hesitant to deal Campbell.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 8:35 AM


And once they found out Grossman sucks 100 times more than Campbell, Snyder wouldn't be so hesitant to fire Shanahan.

Posted by: abxinc | March 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I think the Skins are going to be in big trouble come April if they are relying strictly on the draft to shore up the O-line. There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot.

I am pretty sure this is how it's going to break down, which is a complete nightmare scenario for this team because the other guys out there are just not worth the $$$ we would have to pay.

Posted by: McMetal | March 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Despite what some say...I like Raback and I'm glad he re-signed with us.
Now lets get him somemore help. Keep up the good work Front Office.

Posted by: skinsfan0524 | March 8, 2010 8:25 AM

Yeah, I have not been Rabach's biggest supporter around here, but I do acknowledge his greatest asset is his game knowledge and experience. I'm glad that re-signing was about leveraging that. Makes a little more sense now. Still think alittle competition there would be good. Maybe Edwin Williams steps up...

Posted by: edvar | March 8, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't look like a FA bail-out is in sight, at least not short of a trade before the draft.

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 8, 2010 9:57 AM

Free agency doesn't end with the draft.

Allen will be improving the team with free agents well after the draft. With all the good, young OL coming out this year, there will be some quality, older guys cut after the draft who have a few more years of production in them. Allen will sign a few of these guys.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

While you are pondering that, let me throw this hypothetical situation at you: Campbell sticks around and Grossman is signed. In the preseason Grossman looks marginally better than Campbell (remember, Campbell is going to have to absorb another offense with a learning curve whereas Grossman spent a year in Texas under the tutelage of Shanny Junior). Who do you start in the regular season?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 9:34 AM
==========================================
Interesting hypothetical Redskinhead.. good post..

When Collins came to the Skins in 2007 he knew Saunders playbook inside and out.. But, Campbell started because Gibbs and Snyder had a Huge investment in him, money and ego (gave up most of the significant 2006 Draft picks to move up to Draft JC in 2005).
So, Campbell Starts in 07 and struggles 5-7 W-L, Saunders "simplifies" the playbook. Still doesnt work.. Campbell is in a 0-4 W-L slide and gets injured. Collins comes in, after 10 years on the bench and goes 4-0 W-L. Advantage being skillset AND playbook knowledge.
My point, like you said.... Grossman, (w/Kyle in Texas) or another ex-Shanny QB could start next year for this reason ..

No coaching ego remains that needs JC to be successful.. Gibbs and Zorn are gone. Gibbs had to see JC successful for the aforementioned reason.. And Zorn got his first Head Coaching job to turn JC around. So, JC started in 08. But, Snyder officially left the JC camp in 09 when he went gaga over Sanchez and tried to trade JC for a 2nd round pick..

I have to believe after the RFA period is over and JC is re-signed, there will be a Campbell trade. Otherwise, if the Shanny's were convinced he was the QB for 2010, they would of signed him to a 2 year extension.
Some QB's perform great, in a Contract pending FA year... But, unfortunately, JC doesnt seem to respond very well under those conditions.....(see 2009).

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think the Skins are going to be in big trouble come April if they are relying strictly on the draft to shore up the O-line. There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot.

I am pretty sure this is how it's going to break down, which is a complete nightmare scenario for this team because the other guys out there are just not worth the $$$ we would have to pay.

Posted by: McMetal | March 8, 2010 10:04 AM

And if we don't go deep in the playoffs this year, all is lost!

Mc -- We're not trying to do everying this year. Vinny's gone and Snyders selling burgers and fries.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

No News is Good News....


Posted by: 4thFloor | March 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I think the Skins are going to be in big trouble come April if they are relying strictly on the draft to shore up the O-line. There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot.

Posted by: McMetal | March 8, 2010 10:04 AM


I will be livid if that happens.

But if it does, no need in reaching for Claussen or something crazy...I'd just take whichever of the big DTs is left (probably Suh...I've heard McCoy better fits what the Bucs run) and be glad I've got a potential impact player at #4. Then go OL at #37 and hope for a great pick in the late rounds.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I think the Skins are going to be in big trouble come April if they are relying strictly on the draft to shore up the O-line. There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot.

I am pretty sure this is how it's going to break down, which is a complete nightmare scenario for this team because the other guys out there are just not worth the $$$ we would have to pay.

Posted by: McMetal | March 8, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Who would you draft? I'd take Bruce Campbell. I think Bruce Campbell is as good of a prospect as any of these guys. I think Clausen is a reach. I'd think about Berry and Spiller but probably go with need instead. McCoy seems like a great DT in a 4-3. Since we are switching to a 3-4 I don't know if I could justify taking him here. Since his arm strength is questionable a 3-4 would probably make thta even more of a risk. Rolando McClain is probably too much of a reach.

Jimmy Clausen
Eric Berry
Gerald McCoy
C.J. Spiller
Bryan Bulaga
Bruce Campbell
Rolando McClain

Am I forgetting anybody?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 8, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Agree 1000%, Brownwood. Best player available at #4! Hopefully it's also our greatest need, but that's just luck if the two coincide.

People forget that after the draft a lot of teams will have good OL that they don't need anymore. They're not the best out there, but they're better than some of the guys on our roster and we can still upgrade, on the cheap. It's not a long-term solution, but so what? You can't solve all your problems long-term in one year with only five picks.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot."


So, let's say that happens.

I say we still win as any of the top players would fill a need:

Spiller

Suh

Berry

McClain

Suh is someone we don't talk about, but you have to wonder what a 3-4 front with him playing nose tackle and Haynesworth playing right defensive and Orakpo left end, is blockable.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

ref the Grossman discussion..
Looks like there is a reason he is available as a UFA. Or, why no tears were shed when he left Chicago.

Grossman's stats, below, are from his last year of significant playing time, 8 games in 2007.

>Non-First year QBs and their 1st Qtr and 4th Qtr last 7 mins QB Rating (from NFL.Com)

Rex Grossman (2007) 1st Qtr = 74.9
4th Qtr last 7 minutes = 73.8
overall rating 66.3

Jason Campbell 1st Qtr = 69.8
4th Qtr last 7 minutes = 61.0
overall rating 86.4

Peyton Manning 1st Qtr = 101.7
4th Qtr last 7 minutes = 132
overall rating 99.9

Drew Brees 1st Qtr = 110.7
4th Qtr last 7 minutes =106.6
overall rating 109.6

Brett Favre 1st Qtr = 107.4
4th Qtr last 7 minutes =118
overall rating 107.2

Rony Romo 1st Qtr = 90.5
4th Qtr last 7 minutes = 102.4
overall rating 97.6

Ben Roethlisberger 1st Qtr = 108.7
4th Qtr last 7 minutes =98.2
overall rating 100.5

Kurt Warner 1st Qtr = 114.6
4th Qtr last 7 minutes = 88.1
overall rating 93.2

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I understand your comments but if we go 4-12 this year with Grossman at QB, are we any worse off than last season? I am just throwing it out there. I am not suggesting that Grossman is the answer any more than I would suggest Campbell is, but if the team knew they could get some trade value for Campbell - assuming Campbell is not the answer - would they be any worse off?

While you are pondering that, let me throw this hypothetical situation at you: Campbell sticks around and Grossman is signed. In the preseason Grossman looks marginally better than Campbell (remember, Campbell is going to have to absorb another offense with a learning curve whereas Grossman spent a year in Texas under the tutelage of Shanny Junior). Who do you start in the regular season?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | March 8, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Brennan.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | March 8, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"...ref the Grossman discussion.."


I'd say there was value in such a discussion if we knew Grossman was actually coming to town.

And so far, we haven't heard a word that he is.

So let's end the discussion.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 8, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

No News is Good News....

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 8, 2010 10:15 AM
========================
calm before the storm?
Or, before the mega blockbuster Cutler deal??

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Wow! Maese is copying Peter King now.

Posted by: League-Source | March 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

NOt only might it happen...IT will happen....

Our best choice if we stay is Suh and trade Ant Monthgomery for a 4th/5th rounder......

Posted by: 4thFloor | March 8, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"No. I think they like the players they've kept. I think they see a lot of talent on the team - talent that's underachieved as a team."

are you nuts? what talent? where is it hiding? the coaching staff has to be scared to death with the 43 players left from the 2009 53 man roster. they just can't get rid of the whole bunch, which i am sure they would like to do.

presuming the new guys in the FO and coaching staff know what they're doing and have the wherewithal, this franchise is 5 years away from being good. wake up redskin fans.

Posted by: bestmick1 | March 8, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

All this talk talk talk about ... and meet meet meet with ... offensive linemen is making me giddy.

Like maybe even if they "discover" some guy or "develop" some angry pounder (like the Falcons did with undrafted RFA Harvey Dahl). Could it be Heyer? Or Bachelor #3?

I'm thinking I might even break down and buy a jersey, where the number is "60s-70s" and the name across the back is "Offensive Lineman".

I'm also juiced about the possibility that the "tandem" of RBs could even end up including Thomas Jones. Portis-Jones or Jones-Portis (or Jones-Ganther!).

My latest saliva dream (much less messy form of wet dream) is that somehow teams (other than the Skins) start trading up to grab Bradford/Clausen/Okung ... and that the monster DTs fall to the Skins ... so that we can trade down just a couple of notches ... to grab Eric Berry ... and then another one of the other seven first round left tackles. I'm giddy just typing it.

Posted by: dcsween | March 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"...ref the Grossman discussion.."

I'd say there was value in such a discussion if we knew Grossman was actually coming to town.

And so far, we haven't heard a word that he is.

So let's end the discussion.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 8, 2010 10:38 AM
=======================
Moe.. No one said Grossman would Start... But, if you google Grossman and Redskins you do get about 107,000 references.. so, its not exactly non-blog fodder. Although, I'll give you that I havent heard of Rex visiting Redskins Park..

JC's QB skills are far better than Grossman.. But, Rex would have a leg up on Kyle's playbook until JC got up to speed.

http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=grossman+and+redskins&btnG=Google+Search

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think the Skins are going to be in big trouble come April if they are relying strictly on the draft to shore up the O-line. There is a VERY good chance both Bradford (Rams) and Okung (Lions) will be off the board by #4, and it is virtually impossible to trade out of that spot.

Posted by: McMetal | March 8, 2010 10:04 AM


I will be livid if that happens.

But if it does, no need in reaching for Claussen or something crazy...I'd just take whichever of the big DTs is left (probably Suh...I've heard McCoy better fits what the Bucs run) and be glad I've got a potential impact player at #4. Then go OL at #37 and hope for a great pick in the late rounds.

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 8, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Buffalo will come get Clausen, or somebody will come get Berry or McSuh if Bradford and Okung go 1/2.

All will not be lost.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | March 8, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This draft is rich in OL talent.

Since this is the biggest area of need for the Redskins, it would make more sense to use free agency to acquire the linebacker, corner and DL the team needs.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 8, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Beep Beep

Posted by: Flounder21 | March 8, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | March 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that Grossman compiled most of those numbers from behind the #7 offensive line in the league in 2006. Run that comparison for 2007 when he faced roughly the same amount of pressure as Campbell.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 8, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

grossman again will NOT beat out campbell if he is signed..he simply is not better mobility or arm strength and he can't take a hit just like the so-called top qb's coming out in the draft that many have written about on this blog,they will sign him or maybe p. ramsey for competition that is fine but if campbell stays he will start for the 2010 season..deal with it. as for rabach again this guy is horrible and is NOT a starter his man drives him into the qb if rabach and heyer start on this line in 2010 you will get more of the same kind of play as 2009.

Posted by: wathu19 | March 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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