Position Analysis: Offensive Line

While the offensive line was a weak point last year, the group going into camp is athletic and versatile.

Strengths: Lots of athleticism across the board. There's not one player along the offensive line that can't handle lots of pulling and zone blocking schemes, unlike last season with Jon Jansen out and Cory Raymer starting. With the Redskins trying to spread the defense a little more, they need this athleticism up front, giving Clinton Portis a chance to find more cutback lanes. Too often last season the Redskins couldn't get to the second line -- meaning, the linebackers -- to create those lanes. That shouldn't be a problem this year. They also have good size.

Weaknesses: Depth, especially at tackle. Last year's rookies, Jim Molinaro and Mark Wilson still haven't shown they could handle those roles well in a pinch. Some insiders say they're more career backups, but if they're good backups that's OK. And Ray Brown, bless his 42-year-old body, is much better suited for a backup at guard at this stage. But for a game or two? Brown is OK.

Glad to see: Jon Jansen return. He gives the Redskins another missing ingredient from last season: a [expletive] on the field. No one finished blocks better than Jansen and that comes from playing with a hacked-off attitude. We like that.

Need to improve: Derrick Dockery. He's been inconsistent in his first two years. He's no longer a young player; he's now a player who needs to be solid.

Overall: The strength of the offense is up front and that's a good thing. The best way for Washington to improve, after a relatively quiet offseason, is through the details of the game. This line should provide them in terms of pass protection and better run blocking. If the Redskins get that from this bunch, they'll improve.


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