Redskins mailbag: O-line changes?

ASHBURN, Va. -- With less than a week left in the preseason, the focus is on roster spots (receiver), starting jobs (safety) and the future of certain positions (offensive line). Plus, do I agree with Jim Haslett on a particular topic? Enjoy.

John Keim: If you're talking about the starting lineup, no, I do not. The two spots everyone would be curious about is right tackle and right guard. Tom Compton has not played well enough this summer, whether in practice or games, to consider him a strong contender to unseat Tyler Polumbus. And rookie Morgan Moses is just now going to get reps at right tackle in preseason games. I like Moses' progress, but that doesn't mean he's ready to start. And I really like Spencer Long; does a good job working to the second level and blocking linebackers. But he still needs to get better at recognizing various defenses and how he must react. Like Moses, Long would be helped by more seasoning in practice. Both players might get snaps with the first team Saturday.

Keim: It's not one or the other. For a long time now I've had both players on the 53-man projected roster -- coach Jay Gruden has raved about both. The only way I see Santana Moss getting cut is if the Redskins only want to keep five receivers. Moss is good insurance at a couple spots. No, he does not play special teams but if they can get others at this group to contribute -- Aldrick Robinson, Andre Roberts -- then they can probably afford to keep Moss. Plus, after the top six there's a gap (Leonard Hankerson will not be ready when the season starts).

Keim: No. Bacarri Rambo has done a nice job in the first two games, but it's not as if Ryan Clark has played poorly. He's ultra-aggressive coming up against the run. The Redskins can live with some missed tackles as long as you force the ball back to teammates. Clark had that happen Monday, when he sprinted up, missed a tackle but forced the runner inside where two teammates immediately tackled him. Rambo is just now starting to get this aspect. And he has played more decisively. But Clark is far ahead of Rambo when it comes to their communication skills. They need that communication in the secondary.

Keim: Well, I do agree with Haslett, but I'm not basing it on two preseason games in which they've faced a backup quarterback in New England and two Cleveland quarterbacks who looked bad. You can only deduce so much from those games (remember last summer: the defense looked terrific). But I think this way because they have a lot of talent offensively and there's a far better atmosphere around the team than a year ago. Think there's better overall coaching as well. It makes a difference. I'm not putting them at 10-6, but they will be improved.

Keim: He has not and I doubt he ever will. I just don't see him ever viewing that as a way to help him, whether that's ego, pride or just feeling it's a waste of time and effort. I also don't think he'd like having someone brought in to work with him on this in practice. No slip-and-slides for him. Though his slides are bad, my guess is if Griffin was running the bases and sliding he'd look a lot better and more fluid than when he slides on an NFL field. Those baseball players know when and where they're going to slide. They've never done so with multiple linebackers bearing down on them and having to decide whether to get down now or in another step or two. The key for Griffin is knowing when to slide; they look awkward at times because he slides too late. He could definitely use some help in this department, but I don't think having the Orioles' Adam Jones show him how to slide is the answer.

Keim: Moses is expected to get reps at right tackle against Baltimore and Tampa Bay in the next week. They worked him on the right side in the spring, but found that it was a difficult adjustment for him and wanted him to get comfortable on the left side first. There's even a chance Moses could get some snaps with the starters Saturday.