Skins' Summer Storylines
by
May 22, 2012 -- 10:18pm

OTAs are underway, minicamp is right around the corner, and training camp will be here before we know it. RG3 was the story in March, April, and May. He'll be the story in June, July, August, and September as well. Nothing will trump anything RG3 does, good or bad, from now until the first month of the regular season. But there are other things to talk about. Here's a list.

1. The Offensive Line: How will it shape up? Will Lichtensteiger be healthy enough to perform at the level he did early last season? Will Jamal Brown be healthy enough to be worth keeping? If he isn't healthy enough or good enough to be an obvious starter at right tackle, see ya. Trent Williams staying clean and becoming a legit top-half-of-the-league left tackle is as important as anything on this team other than improvement at quarterback. Is Will Montgomery good enough to beat out potential competition from others (see Lichtensteiger) and remain as the starting center? Could a rookie like LeRibeus or Gettis be good enough to start at guard and allow Lichtensteiger to move to center? Maurice Hurt played last year because they had no choice. Is he good enough to play or even make the team if the two rookie guards are as some have advertised?

2. The Secondary: Hall and Wilson are penciled in as starters at corner. After that, the other 5-6 corners/safeties that eventually make the final roster are unknown at this moment. The best guess is that Brandon Merriweather should be the closest thing to a lock because he's essentially the only one that got any meaningful guaranteed money. DeJon Gomes got significant time at the end of last year and showed he belongs. Madieu Williams will get a serious look but isn't a lock to make it. Same for Tanard Jackson, Leigh Torrance, and Cedric Griffin. Kevin Barnes may get more of a look at free safety than corner. But then who's the nickel corner? Maybe a rookie like UVA's Chase Minnifield (who could've been a 2nd round pick if not for an injury) makes a run at the final roster. And don't forget the possibility that a starter or key contributor may not even be on the roster right now.

3. Playmakers: Is there enough playmaking speed on offense? RG3 is the single biggest playmaker addition to the team. Will Garcon be the deep threat and the after-catch threat he was in Indy? Will a slimmer Santana Moss turn back the clock? Will this offense be a perfect fit for Josh Morgan? Is Leonard Hankerson the real deal? The biggest offseason need other than upgrading at quarterback was adding more playmaking speed to the offense. The jury is out on whether or not they added enough of it.

4. Cooley: We may know sooner rather than later if Cooley remains a Redskin. OTAs are his test. If he's healthy and faster, he stays. If the knee acts up and he runs slower than they want, they may cut him loose.

5. Jarvis Jenkins: We've heard big talk about this kid and he's yet to play a regular season game. He is reportedly stronger than he was before the injury. Shanahan said he was the best defensive lineman in camp last year. The expectations are huge. Anything less than a havoc-wreaking defensive playmaker will be a disappointment.

6. Kicker: Neil Rackers vs. Graham Gano.

7. Brandon Banks: Is their best playmaker of the last two seasons going to be back to do it again or will they turn to someone who plays a position too? Or, will he get more looks at wide receiver?

8. Niles Paul Tight End Experiment: Will it work? Even if it doesn't, they love him on special teams.

9. Inside Linebacker Depth: Did they get it with draft pick Keenan Robinson?

10. Rex Grossman: Is it possible that RG3 and Cousins are so good and catch on so fast that Rex becomes expendable? 



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