In 2011, the Redskins’ Week 1 OL starters missed 1593 snaps:
That OL was a disaster. In 2012, with basically the same personnel to begin the season, swapping out an ineffective/injured Jammal Brown for a similarly ineffective Tyler Polumbus, they only missed 239:
That 2012 version of the OL paved the way for the Redskins to become the #1 rushing offense in the NFL (with a major hat tip to type of offense the Skins ran). They ran for 169.3 yards per game, and the OL was monumentally better than the 2011 version. Here are the ridiculous rushing numbers the Skins put up against NFC East opponents last year:
That would be 195.8 rushing yards per game, as they steamrolled the Giants to the tune of 455 rushing yards, and the Cowboys to the tune of 423. For those reasons, it makes a lot of sense why the Redskins would want to maintain that continuity.
Last night, Kory Lichtensteiger signed a 5 year deal to stay in DC. The numbers on that deal are not yet fully known. Lichtensteiger did have a chance to test the market during the NFL’s new “legal tampering” period. Perhaps there wasn’t a large demand for his services, and the Redskins got him on a reasonable deal. However, I think it’s more likely that Lichty got paid. To be determined.
Based solely on talent, Lichtensteiger can be replaced rather easily. However, due to the continuity the Skins have developed, he’s probably worth more to the Skins than any other team. From that standpoint, it makes sense to bring him back, as long as some other dopey team wasn’t going to make him a dumb offer.
Josh LeRibeus was a 3rd round pick last year, and you typically want those guys to play sooner than later. I had a chance to watch LeRibeus play against the Seahawks in the playoffs last year, and I came away very impressed. For the better part of the day, he won his battles against a really good player in Brandon Mebane. However, the Redskins cannot count on the good health the OL was fortunate to have last season to continue. If indeed Lichtensteiger was a little bit overpaid, it’s something I could live with if I were a Redskins fan. LeRibeus will provide good depth in the short term, before he eventually takes over at one of the interior OL spots.
Also, I’m contractually obligated to mention Josh LeRibeus’ male modeling career whenever his name comes up.