Offseason Priority: Plug the Middle

Rick Snider's Redskins Blog: The top priority among many at Redskins Park needs to be to identify and draft the best available monster in the middle.

Rick Snider has covered the Redskins for 23 years and is the Washington Examiner columnist. He can be reached at

Name the Redskins No. 1 offseason objective. Not easy, is it?

A whole lot of things start coming out of your mouth. The draft and free agency. Fixing the front office. The offseason retooling of the offensive scheme.

You could spend the offseason just numbering what needs to be done.

I really want to say getting a general manager is the top priority, but that's not going to happen. It's their biggest problem, but Joe Gibbs and Dan Snyder aren't sharing power and no one worthwhile would take the job so let's pass that point.

Oh, I could also say offensive playcaller Al Saunders and Gibbs agreeing on the offense and letting Saunders call it without interference should be atop the list. I'm realy close to saying that because without peace internally there's no way the team progresses.

But, my top choice is drafting a stud defensive tackle. Notice I didn't say getting a defensive tackle. Free agency has ruined the Redskins and this is the perfect example why. In years past, the Redskins signed veterans who came here to get paid, not prove themselves. Dan Wilkinson and Dana Stubblefield were both happy to take the money, but felt they had already done the heavy lifting needed to get paid. They weren't hungry anymore.

No, the Redskins need young players wanting to prove themselves. It's that simple. That's why the Redskins should use their No. 6 pick on a standout tackle. Or, if the draft permits, move down a few notches and get a good DT plus a second-rounder. A tackle would bolster the awful run defense and help the non-existent pass rush that would -- can we hope -- help the secondary and even create turnovers. Tackles are real disruptors.

Michigan junior Alan Branch is expected to declare early as a top- five pick. LSU junior Glenn Dorsey may leave early as a top 10 while Louisville's Amobi Okove and N.C. State DeMarcus Tyler might be solid mid-round picks. Rating this group should be the Redskins scouting department's end-all, be-all objective. The personnel department rarely hits on late-rounders so give them cursory attention comparatively and just hope to get lucky.

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