With LeRibeus signing, Washington appears confident betting on self

The Washington Redskins' latest move in free agency demonstrates a strong belief in their own system

The Redskins have stayed remarkably consistent to general manager Scot McCloughan’s game plan of keeping a low profile and taking care of the team's own in free agency. The Redskins took their commitment to a new level by re-signing offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus Wednesday.

Washington drafted LeRibeus, 26, in the third round of the 2012 draft. To put it nicely, he didn’t have quite the impact that is expected of an early-round draft pick. Part of that was due to problems keeping his weight down and part due to a plain lack of performance.

Last season, his fourth in the league, LeRibeus experienced some success after switching from guard to center and starting the final 11 regular season games in place of an injured Kory Lichtensteiger. Granted, LeRibeus floundered at times snapping the ball, but that’s to be expected of a player learning the center position on the fly. His blocking, although still far from top notch, appeared stronger than in previous seasons. But, for the Redskins, perhaps the most appealing thing about LeRibeus is that, after last season, he has experience playing multiple positions in a system that the organization has confidence in. 

LeRibeus is still a work in progress, and he’ll likely remain in the reserve role that he returned to when Lichtensteiger came back for the playoffs. But every team needs reserves, and from an organizational perspective, his signing is demonstrative of an auspicious trait that every successful club has: a willingness to bet on themselves.

McCloughan and the rest of the Redskins' staff saw enough improvement from an in-house player that they chose to reinvest rather than start anew with a player from outside the organization. The numerous re-signings, particularly LeRibeus’, demonstrate that the team is confident enough in its system to re-up on players that are still ironing out inconsistencies in their games. A good system covers up the weaknesses of its individual players, and the Redskins appear confident that they have one.

Dan Roth is a freelance sportswriter and Breaking Burgundy contributor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DanRothDC.

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