Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes that fans can rest easy knowing just how strong the offensive line has become in recent years.
"You can go to sleep at night if you're a Redskins fan, because those guys are good."
While the Washington Redskins have been concentrating most of their free agency efforts on boosting the defense in recent weeks, one unit that was already a strong suit going into the offseason was the offensive line.
With Pro Bowlers Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff, budding fourth-year veterans Spencer Long and Morgan Moses and a fully healthy Shawn Lauvao, Washington has one of the best starting fives among offensive lines in the NFL today.
Not only did the Redskins set franchise single-season records in total net yards (6,454) and average yards per game (403.4) in 2016, they've allowed just 50 sacks the past two years. And all five starters remain uncer contract this year.
"I feel really good about those guys, I feel good about their work ethic, I feel good about who's coaching them," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said last month at the NFL's annual League Meetings in Phoenix. "But at the end of the day, they're very talented, strong, they're athletic, they're talented and we've got a lot of them."
Not only does Washington have a productive group of starters, but Gruden believes backup tackle Ty Nsekhe easily be a starter in the NFL right now.
An exclusive rights free agent going into the offseason, the Redskins officially re-signed Nsekhe last month. The journeyman has not only found a home in Washington, he looked comfortable in the starting lineup last season for four games in place of a suspended Williams.
Check out the Redskins top 10 players in 2016 for offensive snap counts.
Nsekhe credited Williams with easing his nerves while protecting Kirk Cousins' blindside.
"Just knowing the type of talent and accolades that he brings to the table and all the accomplishments he has had in his career and for him to be such the humble guy that he is," Nsekhe said. "To sit down talk to him and break things down, that is unheard of. You don't really see that too much in this league. For him to do that, it is a credit to his character."
As for Moses and Long, both are entering the final year of their rookie deals and could potentially see contract extensions some point soon.
"For me right now, is focus on the things I can focus on," Moses said. "I have a family that will be needing me at home and I will get to spend a lot of time with the kids and getting in the best shape as possible. At the end of the day you're still a professional and you've got to take care of the things you've got to take care of off the field."
And, of course, it would be difficult to mention the offensive line's success without giving a share of credit to Bill Callahan.
Entering his third season as Washington's offensive line coach, Callahan also added assistant head coach to his title last month.
"I think he's great at what he does, obviously," Gruden said. "He's got a proven track record of building offensive line — not just offensive line but he's got just a great idea of football in general and how to build a football team. He always has great ideas of not just offensive line play but practice and schedules and all that stuff, so he's a big help to me personally."