First of all, forget all the injuries the Washington Redskins offensive line had in 2017 which was one of the reasons for the losing season. That many injuries were abnormal. Twice as many injuries plus Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses playing hurt along with LT All-Pro Trent Williams doing the best he could on a bad knee that needed surgery. The 2018 O-line will be healthy and will not suffer that many injuries. In one game only, one of the Redskins starting offensive line started the game. Four non-starters were used to make a patchwork offensive line.
Let us see what we have at the present time before the 2018 NFL Draft happens. On the roster, at the time of this writing, these are the members of the offensive line on the active roster in alphabetical order. Tony Bergstrom #66, Tyler Catalina #68, Kyle Kalis #67, Arie Kouandjio #60, Morgan Moses #76, Ty Nsekhe #79, Demetrius Rhaney #74, Chase Roullier #73, Brandon Scherff #75, Now, on IR (Injured Reserve) in alphabetical order: Kevin Bowen no number, T.J. Clemmings #69, Shawn Lauvao #77, Spencer Long #61, and Trent Williams #71. I am going to include Reserve Futures because I believe one or two offensive linemen will come from that in 2018 or in 2019 like John Kling #63 aka “Kling Kong.” Also on Reserve Futures is Alex Balducci #60.
Offensive line coach Bill Callahan has good material to build his Great Wall of Washington. Let us assume that starters on the 2018 offensive line will be All-Pro LT Trent Williams and All-Pro RG Brandon Scherff. That takes care of 2 of the 5 starting linemen. Will Chase Roullier, who was a rookie be the starting center, or will injured starter Spencer Long be the starting center in 2018? Morgan Moses is under a multi-year contract at RT so I would assume he will be the starting RT if his ankle injury heals up. Now we have LG (left guard). Will it be Shawn Lauvao, starting LG in 2017 but now in IR, or will it be Arie Kouandjio, Tyler Catalina or Kyle Kalis? That will be looked at during minicamp, training camp, OTA’s and probably will not be decided until the final 53 active roster is chosen.
I believe center Chase Roullier has earned his stripes. Yes, he made some rookie mistakes against All-Pro pass-rushers but he also performed well overall. The games he played in because of injured Spencer Long were valuable learning opportunities. Tyler Catalina, a versatile rookie who can play any tackle or guard position also learned by being thrown into the fire due to injuries to starters. He too, as a rookie, made a few mistakes, but also performed well and planted some opposing defenders in the ground with slobberknocking run blocks. In the last game of 2017, quarterback Kirk Cousins ran for a 12-yard touchdown. Tight end Vernon Davis #85 made a key block and Tyler Catalina #68 blocked two defenders, #96 and #55 of the Giants to help Cousins score the touchdown.
Catalina is 6’6” tall and 325 lbs. of run-blocking power. I like his “sweet feet” and Catalina uses good technique. He also has above average intelligence and is coachable, so I believe he will be the starting LG in 2018. Tyler Catalina is going from Georgia Dawg to Redskins Hog. Do not bet against Catalina! Undrafted and against all odds he made the active 53-man roster in 2017, and only 8 offensive linemen were on the active roster. He can play any guard or tackle position. He has a chip on his shoulder because he was not drafted and has an exceptional work ethic. I have it on good authority that Catalina is working hard in the offseason and will impress coaches when the official practices begin in 2018. Who else? Shawn Lauvao at 308 lbs.? Or 302 lbs. Kyle Kalis?
O-line rules! There is so much the average fan does not understand about being an offensive lineman in the NFL. Of course size matters generally speaking. The 10-inch or 11-inch hands are important, but hand speed is even more important. The footwork for different O-line positions is critical in maintaining balance and power, keeping the core strength. Down blocking, counter, power plays, but most important is those 5 O-line players executing as a unit, together, and the timing is perfect. The Washington Redskins even before the NFL draft has the talent to have a top offensive line. Practice, practice and more practice, hard work and coaching up will make our 2018 offensive line a force to reckon with. We fans need to have faith in these players and in O-line coach Bill Callahan.
I predict as of this writing, here is your 2018 Washington Redskins starting offensive line: LT Trent Williams; LG Tyler Catalina; Center Chase Roullier; RG Brandon Scherff, and RT Morgan Moses. Stay tuned…
What are your opinions and/or predictions? Share them with us at @cover32_WAS on Twitter and Cover32Washington Redskins on Facebook. HAIL to the Redskins!
Redskins fans are welcome to follow us on @cover32_WAS on Twitter and we invite you to like us at Cover32Washington Redskins Group on Facebook. HTTR!