Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mike Williams Experiment Should Be Over

(Photo by Rick Snider)

I've been rooting for the amazing return of Mike Williams ever since he was signed with the Skins. His tale of weight loss and his comeback have been inspirational, however I think people really need to look at the reality of the story and not the fairy-talesque nature of the story that was being sold to everybody.

Here's the deal: Right now the Redskins only have two offensive tackles that have shown enough to play on the field during game day; Chris Samuels and Stephon Heyer. Outside of that, the pickings so to speak are very thin. Chad Rinehart and Jeremy Bridges seem to be better suited to play guard. The other tackles on the squad haven't been talked about much but are generally inexperienced at best and not going to be on this team come cuts.

Then there's Mike Williams. You know that he wants to be there because of the effort he made to lose weight. The coaches have stated that he's improved daily and has the right attitude but there have been some major bumps in the road. First, Williams has really struggled in camp against speedier DEs (Chris Wilson just to throw a name out there) in pass protection based on what I've read/heard. Second, Williams has been pretty injury prone. Here's a list off the top of my head: cramps, strained abdominal muscle, groin pull/strain, sprained ankle. It's hard to judge whether or not Williams could be a serious asset because he can't get on the field. He played in the Ravens game (word is he did well) but had to leave because of the ab. strain. He was unable to play in the Steelers game.

That leaves only two games left to go. He will probably have limited time in the game against the Patriots because the starters will go a minimum of the 1st have and could go into the third quarter if Coach Zorn feels it's needed. That leaves just the game against the Jaguars to determine if Williams can be useful in 2009. Not a lot of time for the Skins to evaluate if Williams should stay here or if they need to look elsewhere.

Frankly, the way I look at it, the Redskins have about 8 guys already that will make the roster on the line right now. The 5 starters and probably C/G Will Montgomery, G/T Jeremy Bridges (I'd say mostly a guard and a emergency tackle) and G Chad Rinehart (heir to the starting right guard spot). That means if the Skins keep 9 (which they probably will) O-linemen, the Skins must find a player who could be a solid RT/LT......let's face it, you can't convince me that Chris Samuels and Stephon Heyer (mostly Heyer) will remain healthy the entire year.

That mean that out of Batiste, Riley, Clark and Williams the Skins need to find a reliable tackle who could start if required but mostly be a solid performer in spot duty. I'm not sure that guy is currently on the roster. I know Williams has been a great story for the Redskins and Larry Michael to tell but I think that for what the Redskins need, Williams isn't the happy ending to the 2009 Redskins O-line story.

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