SNIDER: Redskins offensive line may be OK after all

Rick Snider
August 05, 2019 - 3:29 pm

The grim realization that Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams may be out a while or maybe for good has the Redskins looking at options. And, Plan B is looking respectable.

Donald Penn began banging away at left tackle less than one week since signing when the Redskins decided Williams was serious over not returning. The 13-year veteran looked comfortable in the system with enough quickness to pull effectively. Geron Christian also looked quicker and more comfortable after a failed rookie season that ended in injury after two games.

Meanwhile, Ereck Flowers slid over after his failed left tackle tenure to guard where his lateral sluggishness is better hidden. And, Flowers looked decent sliding to the right on pulls and man-up blocking. Rookie Wes Martin is also making a bid for left guard and is a mauler who simply needs snaps.

TINSMAN: Skins must end standoff with Trent Williams now

Suddenly, the left side doesn’t look like a swinging gate as feared last week.

“(Donald’s) working his way back into football shape and learning our terminology,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “Obviously, Wes is brand new as a rookie, but he's a bright guy with a lot of talent. It’s a good group.

“The big thing is getting Geron a lot of reps in the preseason, see where he is after his injury. It's going to be a big look for us. Timon (Parris) has done some good things at right tackle. Flowers will try to get some work at guard in the preseason. We’ll see where he's at there. Mixing and matching these guys until we find out the right combination for Philadelphia is what we’re hopefully going to find out in the preseason.”

Gruden’s hope that Flowers can move quickly to reach linebackers seems possible. After floundering at tackle, Flowers seems more capable of slipping a defender to get to the linebacker to spring long runs

"You know, it’s new to (Flowers) so he’s not going to be perfect every time,” Gruden said. “I think at guard you have to be really quick to recognize movement and different things and you have to be able to adjust stunts and games and different fronts, different protections. You’ve got to go from blocking this guy to that area at the snap of the hat. So, you know, it’s going to be a process for him, but he has the size, he has the power that you want at guard. Now it’s just a matter of getting him comfortable and recognizing all the different things that come with that from a mental standpoint."

If Williams returns, a Plan C (or maybe a return to Plan A) would give the Redskins more tackle depth with Penn also playing the right side. But, for now, Washington is moving forward without their seven-time Pro Bowler and things appear survivable.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks