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Roster Review: Guards/Centers

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Redskins.com breaks down the Redskins' roster position-by-position and identifies potential need areas. Up next: offensive guards/centers.

The Redskins underwent change along the interior offensive line, with a pair of long-time New York Jets moving in at guard.

At the center of the line, though, remains Casey Rabach, who finished his third season with the Redskins.

Rabach played in 15 games last season--missing one due to a groin injury--and remains an integral part of the offensive line. He calls out adjustments at the line of scrimmage, an increasingly important job on offense.

To Rabach's left is guard Pete Kendall, who joined the Redskins via trade from the Jets last August. He stepped into a starting role immediately.

Kendall, a 13-year veteran, solidified the left side of the line. He adjusted quickly to Rabach, picking up the blocking schemes and fitting right in. He started all 16 games.

Kendall also serves as a backup center, adding to his value.

The right guard position was unsettled after Randy Thomas suffered a triceps injury in Week 2. He was sidelined the next 10 weeks and tried to return for the stretch run, but he aggravated the injury and was placed on injured reserve.

Thomas underwent surgery on the triceps in December and he is expected to be back at full health by the May mini-camp.

Thomas was replaced by Jason Fabini, the former Jet and 10-year veteran who joined the Redskins in March 2007.

Fabini provided stability on the line and was a strong power blocker down the stretch. It was Fabini's first extensive playing time at guard. He has mostly played tackle in his pro career.

Mike Pucillo, a six-year NFL veteran, has versatility as a guard and center. He has also served as a tight end in short-yardage and goal-line packages.

Pucillo played in 11 games last season, with one start at center for an injured Rabach. He suffered a back injury midseason and was placed on injured reserve.

Down the stretch, his role was taken over by Lorenzo Alexander, the converted defensive lineman who drew raves from coaches last season.

Alexander's future has yet to be determined. Is he an offensive lineman? Is he a defensive lineman?

Expect Joe Bugel and Greg Blache to make their pitch to keep Alexander on one side of the ball. The good news is that Alexander says he is open to playing any position.

Rick DeMulling is an 8-year NFL veteran who signed with the Redskins when Thomas suffered his injury. He served as a backup guard to Fabini, seeing limited action last season.

Ross Tucker joined the Redskins last offseason but suffered a neck injury during preseason and was placed on injured reserve.


#### Positional Analysis

The Redskins appear set in the interior with Kendall, Rabach and Thomas returning next season. They are a veteran group, though, and coaches may want to infuse some youth at the position this offseason.

Fabini, who enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, has versatility at guard and tackle, something the team likes in its linemen.

Pucillo and DeMulling provided veteran experience last season, but both are scheduled to become free agents. Their future with the club is uncertain.

Tucker, also a pending free agent, is expected to retire.


## Three Guards/Tackles Eligible For Free Agency
As of Feb. 22, 2008; names listed are in no particular order

  • Floyd Womack, Seattle Seahawks: A part-time starter throughout his career, Womack is a big, experienced guard who is familiar with the West Coast offense that Jim Zorn plans to run in Washington.
  • Alan Faneca, Pittsburgh Steelers: Faneca is reported to be unhappy in Pittsburgh, and the five-time Pro Bowl guard is expected to depart the Steelers this offseason.
  • Jake Scott, Indianapolis Colts: A fourth-year player, Scott has started 16 games at guard each of the last three years and protected Peyton Manning for the Colts' offense.


Three Guards/Centers Available In the Draft

As of Feb. 22, 2008; names listed are in no particular order

  • Brandon Albert, Virginia: Albert is a 6-7, 315-pound guard who was three-year starter for the Cavs. He was a team captain last season.
  • Mike McGlynn, Pittsburgh: The 6-5, 315-pounder started at right tackle for the Panthers, but he is thought to be better-suited at guard in the pros.
  • Steve Justice, Wake Forest: He's a 6-4, 285-pound center who may need to bulk up some in the pros. He could shift to guard in the pros.
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