With the re-signing of right tackle Tyler Polumbus on March 18, the Washington Redskins 2013 offensive line will return all five starters—and adds free-agent tackles Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood to solidify one of the NFL's strongest O-lines from last season.
In doing so, the Redskins have banked on an offensive line that have not only played alongside one another, but are familiar with the nuances and play-calling of a Redskins offense that led the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2012.
Polumbus, whose terms were not immediately disclosed, returns at right tackle joined by right guard Chris Chester, center Will Montgomery, left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and left tackle Trent Williams.
With depth at each position along the offensive line, the Redskins will have an opportunity to continue their success up front in the trenches, providing quarterback Robert Griffin III time to formulate and execute the pistol formation offensive threat.
Here are five reasons why a returning offensive line will serve as a solid foundation for the Washington Redskins offense come September.
1. Continuity: The adage "a team that plays together stays together" could not be truer for the 2013 offensive line. It doesn't matter if it is applied to a business or a NFL franchise—success comes from team effort.
This unit will have the ability to not only recognize areas in which they need to improve, but build upon the areas in which they had faltered last season.
Kudos to the Redskins front office in recognizing the importance of retaining the offensive front five.
2. Familiarity: In working alongside somebody, whether it's a production line or a sandwich shop, you know from experience when the person next to you has forgotten some important aspect to delivering a finished product. The offensive linemen are no different.
With experience at their own position, a lineman has come to rely upon the person they are working alongside to do their fair share of the work. Should a weakness develop in the line, the cohesiveness of the group should allow for helpful insight and instruction from fellow linemen—not to serve as criticism, but "pointers," if you will.
A well-oiled machine depends upon all of the individual parts to work in unison.
3. Size Matters: The starting offensive line is enormous. Using the latest roster stats available (via Redskins.com), the 'Skins O-line (Polumbus, Chester, Montgomery, Lichtensteiger and Williams) average 6'4" and 305 pounds. These are big, big men.
Four of the five weigh 300 pounds or more.
In comparison, the beloved and worshipped offensive lineman known as "The Hogs" from the late 1980s and early '90s (George Starke, Russ Grimm, Jeff Bostic, Mark May and Joe Jacoby) averaged 281 pounds.
Joe Jacoby (6'7", 310 lbs) was the tallest and heaviest of the original "Hogs."
Taking into account just the strength to move someone that size, let alone them trying to prevent you from getting past and around you, size alone should provide RG3 and running back Alfred Morris to match and possibly surpass their phenomenal rookie season statistics.
4. Coachability: The Washington Redskins offensive line coach Chris Foerster enters his fourth year with the team and has been in the NFL for 20 years. He has had the opportunity to work with a young group of lineman that have had to work and play through injuries over the last few seasons.
With Foerster at the helm, the franchise has seen a significant jump in the offensive rankings in the NFL.
Statistics provided by ESPN.com reveal that in 2012, the Redskins finished fifth overall in total offense (383 yards per game), fourth in points (27.2 per game), first in rushing total and average (2,709 total and 169.3 yards per game) and committed the fewest turnovers (14—eight interceptions, six fumbles).
The linemen's familiarity with Coach Foerster allows for strengthening and building upon weaknesses—therefore, learning from their mistakes and preventing them from reoccurring.
5. Depth Chart—With the addition of Pashos and Trueblood to the offensive line, the Redskins are now in a position to have swing tackles as the signing of Polumbus indicates his likely return to the starting right tackle position.
Both free agents are monstrous—Pashos 6'6" and 325 pounds and Trueblood is 6'8" and 320 pounds.
With a swing tackle position, both players would join left tackle Maurice Hurt and right tackle Tom Compton as backups. It is certain they will see significant playing time, whether on special teams or as a substitution.
With this much balance, strength, size and depth along the offensive line, coupled with the factors mentioned, the Redskins offense should have the ability to continue their success as NFC East champions and hopefully advance further in the 2013 playoffs.