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Washington Football Daily 9/11: The Offensive Line Will Bring A 'Very Physical Mentality' Into Week 1

Center Chase Roullier blocks defensive tackle Daron Payne during practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)
Center Chase Roullier blocks defensive tackle Daron Payne during practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)

The 2020 season is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its inaugural campaign under head coach Ron Rivera.

Stay up to date with "Washington Football Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

Here's what you need to know:

THE LATEST

Much of Washington's offense and how the coaches plan to use certain players is shrouded in secrecy. That's the way head coach Ron Rivera and offensive coordinator Scott Turner want it, because the less their opponents know about their plans, the better off they will be.

Based on Turner's limited role as a play-caller in 2019, it's safe to expect plenty of wrinkles when the offense takes the field against the Eagles on Sunday. Don't be distracted by all the window dressing, though, because center Chase Roullier says the offensive line will bring "a very physical mentality" for the season opener.

"Moving guys off the ball, creating big running lanes for our running backs and making sure our defenders are staying off the quarterback," he said. "It's going to be very evident that we are a very physical offensive line and we're going to keep guys off the ball carrier."

Roullier, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses are all returning on the right side of the offensive line, but Washington had questions at left guard and left tackle heading into training camp. After a month of holding an open competition at both positions, Geron Christian Sr. and Wes Martin emerged as the starters on the team's first unofficial depth chart.

"I've had a lot of experience playing center next to them throughout the last couple of years, whether that was in practice or in games as well," Roullier said. "Even though they are some new faces, they are some guys that I feel very comfortable...next to an d feel very ready to go forward into the game on Sunday with them."

Roullier said Martin, who he has worked with more often than Christian, is a "very smart guy" who is able to play with the physical style the offensive line wants to embody. Both are important attributes for a guard to possess, and Roullier believes Martin does both well.

"He's a very strong-bodied guy who has the smarts to back it up," Roullier said. "That allows him to excel on the field."

Roullier and the rest of the offensive line will be facing off against the Eagles' stout defensive front, which features Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. He said the front is full of quick players who can "run down your throat but also take an edge."

"That is a difficult thing to go against every time you have to deal with that, but having some familiarity with them allows us to learn some of their tendencies and be able to know what we're going up against every time we go out there on the field."

With no preseason games, Sunday will be the first time the offensive line will get to show off their physical mentality in Washington's new offense. After going against the same players for weeks, Roullier can't wait to hit someone wearing another jersey.

"It's gonna be nice to go against another opponent," he said with a laugh. "Even with preseason games, you start to get sick of hitting your same guys over and over again. And now with no preseason games, I think now that has been more so than any other year."

QUICK HITS

-- Ken Zampese does not want to overwhelm Dwayne Haskins Jr. before Sunday's game: Washington's opener against the Philadelphia Eagles could be a defining moment for Dwayne Haskins Jr. He was named the starting quarterback for Week 1 and finally has the chance to show off the work he has put in over the offseason. Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese said he will go over certain situations on third downs and red zone plays on Saturday night, but he does not want to give Haskins too much information before the game.

"Not say too much and let the physical talent and the reactionary ability of the player take over. And then just: 'Hey, let's get some sleep and then have some fun the next day and execute. Do what you're here to do.'"

-- Rivera has a history of keeping the score close in season openers: Rivera is entering his 10th season as a head coach, and one constant throughout the decade is that his season openers tend to be close games. Rivera is 4-5 in Week 1, but those games were decided by an average of eight points. There is no secret to keeping games close in season openers, according to Rivera; it all comes down to making plays.

"It's not gratifying to lose obviously, but at least as a football team you can say, 'We know where we are. We're progressing.' I like [the Eagles] as the home opener because these guys are the gold standard in our division. They won it last year and got into the playoffs. So, this will be a good measuring stick as far as where we are as a football team."

-- Zampese is confident in Haskins' resiliency: Zampese knows he and Haskins can only prepare for so much before Sunday's game. There will undoubtedly be unexpected factors throughout the contest that Haskins will have to respond to. Zampese has only worked with Haskins on the field for about a month, but he has "all the confidence in the world that he's going to be fine when those things happen."

"We'll play the game and we'll find out. It'll be a test for a lot of different things for all of our guys. I know we have a very solid group in our room, very resilient and very supportive. He'll have a great supporting cast when he gets to the sideline, I know that."

INJURY REPORT

Check out the injury report for Washington's game against Philadelphia, HERE.

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