Mini Camp: Offensive Line Set To Shine
The Washington Redskins' offensive line received a lot of criticism last season, albeit most was inaccurate. Coming into this season, things are looking up for the Dirtbags.
One of the main things the unit has going for it, is that it is intact and healthy. Two of last year's starters, Cory Raymer and Ray Brown, will likely assume back-up roles to the returning Jon Jansen and newly acquired Casey Rabach, adding much needed depth.
Stalwart left tackle Chris Samuels sees greatness on the horizon for his group. "We have the potential to be the best in the league and there are some good ones out there, we just have to go out and live up to it. We have to play harder and play smarter and just take it to our opponent every game."
One of the issues the unit had last year was the loss of starter Jon Jansen. As a team leader and one of the best run blocking linemen in the NFL, Jansen's loss left a big hole in Coach Gibbs' newly installed offense. Ray Brown filled in admirably, but with a main cog in the Dirtbag Machine out of commission, everyone was forced to compensate for the missing component.
"I felt when that injury happened last year it took quite a bit away from us", Joe Gibbs said. "You've got some real leaders on teams and people that mean a lot in the locker room and certainly Jon is one of those guys. All of a sudden you take him out of the mix. I think it was tough for him and it was tough for us."
Fellow lineman Chris Samuels believes Jansen's return not only boosts the spirits of the offensive line, but the entire team. "We're happy to have him back. Jon is a leader on this team - a hard worker. A lot of guys look up to him. He's a great player, and we are fortunate to have him back."
Quarterback Patrick Ramsey agrees. "Jon brings a lot to the team. It's going to be great to have him back. He feels good about it, and needless to say, we're all excited to have him back."
With a re-energized line battling in the trenches, the offense should improve dramatically -- as should as the results.
This article was released on 2005-06-17.
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