It’s “gut check time” for the Washington Redskins. They lost left guard Shawn Lauvao and right guard Brandon Scherff. All-pro left tackle Trent Williams is recovering from surgery on his thumb and right tackle Morgan Moses has been playing hurt.
Offensive line guru coach Bill Callahan is trying to put an offensive line together that can run-block and pass-protect before the game Sunday. As long as the duct tape, baling wire and Gorilla Glue holds up we should be ready for those pesky Bucs on Sunday. The Redskins did sign two guards who have NFL experience, so at least Callahan has something to work with.
New Left Guard, Jonathan Cooper
Jonathan Cooper will probably start at left guard since he played left guard when he was with the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys. Cooper is a big ole boy at 6’2″ tall and weighs about 308 lbs. He is a former 1st Round draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 because he was an Unanimous All-American and ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy and First-team All-ACC in 2012. He has been injured different ways over his NFL career but seems to be healthy now. Of course he’ll have to work hard to get back in top shape and learn the Callahan O-line system and language.
New Right Guard Luke Bowanko
Luke Bowanko will probably start at right guard and is a big’un too. He is 6’6″ tall and weighs 305 lbs. The Virginia native was drafted in 2014 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also played with the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. The New England Patriots picked him up and signed him to their practice squad. With only 4 years in the league he should have plenty of gas left in the tank.
Both Jonathan Cooper and Luke Bowanko have suffered injuries in their NFL careers and both want to prove they can still play at a high level. Both need to be “quick study” types and learn Bill Callahan’s system and language. They get thrown into the fire this Sunday versus a strong, tough Tampa Bay defense. They will probably have to deal with Gerald McCoy, Beau Allen, and Vita Vea.
In my opinion, head coach Jay Gruden and coach Bill Callahan should put a fullback in the backfield with quarterback Alex Smith to help block and pass protect Smith since the offensive line is basically new and unproven. I suggest running-back Samaje Perine since he is very strong and quick. He can also run-block for Adrian Peterson on run plays. I think if coach Gruden puts Perine or another player back in the backfield with quarterback Smith, the Redskins will win.
Quarterback Alex Smith can complete passes to Maurice Harris, Josh Doctson, and Jamison Crowder who will probably play Sunday. Of course, tight ends Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are great targets also, but Alex Smith will need pass protection. That is why I suggest keeping Perine or another player back there to pick up blitzers & pass-rushers that get past our new offensive line.
With our normally great Redskins defense I expect the Redskins to limit drive killing penalties, but this isn’t a perfect situation. Still, if the offensive line gives Alex Smith decent protection, the Redskins should win the game by as much as 31 to 20 and go to 6 wins with 3 losses.
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