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This Line is Offensive

As a staff member at theHogs.net that goes by the name JansenFan, I think it’s pretty apparent that I am a big fan of the big guys up front. It is my core belief that games are won and lost in the trenches, and my team used to believe that, too.

When I think back on my youth as a Washington Redskins fan, I always think first of the Hogs. Joe Gibbs swore by this mantra. He won three Super Bowls by dominating the line of scrimmage, quarterback or running back be damned. John Riggins? Great running back, for sure. His stiff arm of McNeal and trundle down the sideline for the clincher will always be his, but the execution of 70-chip in Super Bowl XVII took all 11 guys.

In Super Bowl XXII, Timmy Smith set a Super Bowl rushing record. Was it because he was such a dominant running back that no Bronco could stop him? No. He had a good game, but the level of success he achieved fell squarely on the shoulders of the Hogs.

Then, in one of the most dominant seasons of any offensive line ever, the Hogs gave up 9 sacks all season long, allowing Mark Rypien, the posse and an excellent committee of running backs to lead our Washington Redskins to their third Super Bowl victory.

Now, here we are in 2009. The offensive line has become an afterthought. Its the position that seems to be the last priority on a team that used to identify itself by its ability to tell the defense where the ball was going and still execute the play. Its the position the Redskins seem content to plug anyone into, so long as it doesn’t interfere with drafting and signing skill players.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a General Manager, nor a scout. What I do know, however, is that there are very few teams in this league that could be consistently successful with the level of line play the Redskins have had in recent years. The Redskins have aging starters, little in the way of experienced depth and no reason for fans to believe that this will change any time soon.

This is a team with a lot of deficiencies, but the game is won and lost in the trenches, and I sincerely hope that this owner and front office start thinking about ways to address this, before they draft another young quarterback and ruin them in the way they have ruined players like Patrick Ramsey and Jason Campbell.

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6 Responses to “This Line is Offensive”

  1. I remember those holes Timmy Smith had to run though. Massive. Dave Butz could have been the running back, and still would have averaged 7 yards a carry. Agree, it’s not sexy, but the O Line is the foundation, and must be addressed first.

  2. I feel and share your pain.

    Chris Samuels and Casey Rabach are serviceable, but aging veterans that have logged a lot of road miles. We’re good with Dockery at guard, but after that, things get a little messy. Stephon Heyer just hasn’t improved enough to be a starter in this league. I don’t know if Chad Rinehart will ever be ‘good enough’ but he isn’t right now, and neither is Will Montgomery. I’ll reserve judgment about Big Mike Williams, because frankly, he played a heckuva game at guard for a guy who hasn’t seen the field in four years.

    We have no depth that can be inserted into the line-up and with the age of the starters, that’s a recipe for disaster – as we’re starting to see. With all due respect to D’Anthony Batiste – he’s not of starting calibre – at all.
    Why this team thought that releasing Jeremy Bridges was a good idea, I’ll never understand – at least he had some experience.

    Experts that I have spoken to think that not only is the line not good enough – it’s arguably one of the worst OL units in the league.

    … and they’re playing like it.

  3. … and that was before they started losing starters.

  4. I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often!

  5. The revolving door of bad personnell & lack of NFL head coaching experience will bring this team a little further down each year which is every Skins’ fan worst nightmare.

    Sitting there, watching the game with Vetskinsfan, Hoss & Fios trying to muster some sort of answer as to why this team figures out every way to kill our spirit was terrible.

    But because the outcome of the game truly was expected.

    Samuels’ stinger sets the team’s already thin starting o-line back a few notches.

    When Randy Thomas went down, who did they sign for insurance? No one.

    They grabbed RB Anthony Alridge to make it five active running backs to rotate each week.

    WTF?

    They are going to need two-three o-line men heading into next year.

    Mix that with the strong possibility of the itch to draft Tim Tebow & the rebuilding process starts yet again for the underachieving bunch.

    Woe is the Redskins without hope that things will right itself anytime soon.

  6. Scott Hurrey for General Manager !!!

    You make too much good sense for anybody in Redskin Park to sacrifice their ego and become accountable to the fans.

    Hail brother!

    RiC


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