Starter: Casey Rabach
Sixth NFL season, second with Redskins
2005—Started 16 games
Resume: Rabach's play was a marked improvement over what the Redskins got at center from Cory Raymer and Lennie Freidman in 2004. The bad news was that mere mediocrity would have represented that improvement and that is what Rabach delivered for much of the year. He hit his low point when a dumb holding penalty cost the Redskins a chance to kick a game-winning field goal against the Chargers in Week 12. After that Rabach, along with his offensive line mates, seemed to hit his stride and up the middle became one of Clinton Portis' favorite places to run.
'06 Pressure Point: In the Redskins' two games against Dallas they will be going up against a 3-4 defense, which puts Jason Ferguson on Rabach's nose. This neutralizes Rabach's athletic ability and puts him in a battle of mass against mass and that's when he tends to struggle. The upside here is that besides those two games only the one in Houston is against a team that runs a 3-4 as its base defense.
Said about Rabach: "This kid can play. We took out film to watch him last year at guard because he is as good a guard as we have seen in free agency. That really lit up right there because right now the centers have to be pullers in this league. That's how much the league has changed right now."—Joe Bugel, March 3, 2005
John Keim's Inside Juice: He's coming off a mediocre season. He's athletic, but there was still problems either with calls or pressure up the middle. The ATV accident didn't exactly help. More was, and is, expected.
Depth: Tyson Walter is the most likely candidate to back up Rabach. He started six games at center for Dallas as a rookie in 2002, but he has not seen much action since then. Mike Pucillo, who started some at guard for Cleveland last year, might also get a chance at backing up in the middle.
Previously on the In-Depth Chart: