Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan said guard Spencer Long and tackle Brandon Scherff are making strides learning on the fly with the first-unit Redskins offensive line.*
In Bill Callahan's scheme, making adjustments and learning from mistakes are the most important traits an offensive lineman can possess.
The veteran coach said that what's excites him the most about Spencer Long and Brandon Scherff.
The young duo have been tasked with forming the right side of the Redskins' starting offensive line, and although it's certainly still a work in progress, Callahan likes what he sees so far with about a week of training camp practices under their belts.
"The daily exposure they get obviously counts towards the evaluation,* *so we're continuing to look at them and see where we're at," Callahan told reporters on Monday at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va. "They can start young and they can build their communication and build their repertoires of moves together and they can learn how to play with one another."
Though Callahan said "there's nothing etched in stone" when it comes to the depth chart, he said both Long, at right guard, and Scherff, at right tackle, are putting in the work necessary to succeed on the practice field and in the meeting room.
"I think that communication is important, not only on the field but off the field as well," Callahan said. "They're in the meeting room and they're learning together, they're seated together and there's a lot of benefit to that."
Like any young offensive linemen, Long and Scherff certainly have had their bumps and bruises along the way.
Callahan said Long is stout in run protection, but still has strides to make in his pass block skills as he learns first-hand how to attack talented NFL defensive linemen like Stephen Paea, who has become a master with his hands since beginning work with assistant strength and conditioning coach Joe Kim last year with the Chicago Bears.
"He learns a lot going against those guys on defense," Callahan said of Long. "You get [Stephen Paea] and he's been around the league for a few years. He gives him different moves that he's never seen before so it helps him understand the game and his ability to counter those types of moves."
Long said his first few months with Callahan have certainly been a whirlwind of a learning experience.
"He's got his own way of teaching several things and he's very detailed and I love that," the second-year Nebraska product said. "It really helps you understand what you can do to better yourself as a player and those minute details that can help you get an advantage on the field."
Check out images of rookie offensive lineman Brandon Scherff during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.
Scherff, meanwhile, has had a heavy dose of one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, Ryan Kerrigan, lining across from him each and every day at practice. And while the veteran is, for now, getting the best of the rookie during their 1-on-1 matchups, Callahan sees the same resiliency he noticed in Scherff when the Redskins decided to pick him No. 5 overall in April's NFL Draft.
"I've been pleased," Callahan said of Scherff. "Every rookie goes through those high and lows and those experiences where they get beat on one play and have to be resilient and come back on the following play and pick up their game so I see that in his play."
Those adjustments, Callahan said, are the most critical thing an offensive lineman can do during a game or practice.
"I think the big thing for our lineman during the course of a game is that there'll be moments where a guy will get beat and they're going to try to figure out why, and I want them to know why they got beat and they'll know," Callahan said. "They'll have the solution in their mind and they'll fix themselves in the course of a drive."
Callahan said he thinks that trait – for a rookie offensive lineman to a guy like left tackle Trent Williams, who is established as one of the best at his position – is "critically important."
"When you're playing the game there's highs and lows, ups and downs, good players, average players, and you've got to make those adjustments," he said. "In the pass protection game when they take a pass set, it's really important for them to know what those adjustments are and make the right adaptations during the course of a game or during the drill itself."