Skins Line Dominated, Not Dominant

So far, defense has the upper hand

By Chris Needham
|  Thursday, Aug 6, 2009  |  Updated 10:00 AM EDT
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Skins Line Dominated, Not Dominant

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They're not quite a finely tuned blocking machine... yet.

Brother, can you spare a lineman?  Or three?

The Skins efforts to rebuild last year's crappy offensive line looked good on paper.  But thusfar, things aren't quite working out the way that Vinny Cerrato drew them up (most likely on crayon on the back of a Chili's menu).

The offensive line is banged up already.  A number of starters have been held out of various practices, while others are playing at less than 100 percent.  What it's meant is that Albert Haynesworth and the defensive line are creating havoc, overpowering the motley collection of backups and injured starters.

But it's also valuable experience, something Coach Bugel told Redskins Insider: "If we could ever block our defensive line, we'll be okay in the NFL. Our defensive line [are] warriors. It may take five guys to block Albert.  They have a salty bunch over there."

The offensive line is perhaps the team's biggest non-Campbell concern.  The team made an effort to bring some new bodies in, and shift some old ones around.  Training camp should take on extra importance as the line attempts to gel -- so much of what makes a good offensive line is their ability to work as a unit, feeding off each other and picking up what the others are doing instinctively.

With players out or banged up, it creates problems, as Coach Zorn told the Times: "My level of concern is that we're not getting the reps to be cohesive.  They're nagging pulls and strains, so I'm not as concerned about the injury as I am about the lack of work we get when we are injured."

Defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin isn't too worried, telling the Post, "It's still early in camp and [they're] communicating and getting their timing. They're going to be good. They're going to be fine."

Whether that's true or not is going to go a long way toward determining whether this is the team that went 6-2 in the first half of last season or 2-6 down the stretch.

If it's the latter, than all those millions the team threw at Haynesworth won't matter a bit.

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