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Redskins mailbag: Part 1

For Part 1 of the Redskins mailbag, a lot of questions about offense -- are they content with their talent? Why aren't they bringing in more players? What area must they address? All that and more. Enjoy.

John Keim: I wouldn't say they're content. They absolutely had more holes to fill on defense, so that was a bigger priority. But they did express interest in some right tackles; it's just that the market was thin so they weren't going to pay a higher sum for a player who wasn't an upgrade. There just weren't many areas to address, either. Aside from tackle, maybe a guard but, again, you shouldn't pay big money for guards and they did not. Also, the market wasn't strong at that spot. A big way they can improve is through quarterback play, regardless of who ends up with the job. I also think they'll address offense in the draft and look for more linemen, receiver depth and a third-down back among other spots. All of that is needed as well and can help. Also, we don't know all the players they've either looked at or had in for visits. Those of us making calls on this know that the Redskins weren't leaking this information so it often was tougher to learn. Let's see how the rest of the offseason progresses. Redskins fans should know by now moves made in March don't always mean a whole lot in November. Finally, I think -- hope -- that this means they're not just looking for quick fixes offensively. So if you don't feel they'll help, you don't sign for a certain price.

Keim: Paea is a 3-4 defensive end who can shift inside in a four-man look in nickel situations. He played inside quite a bit in Chicago as a 4-3 defensive tackle. To me, he and Knighton should mesh well. Knighton can clog the middle so I'd want guys on the outside who can get upfield quick. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan can do that; so, too, can Paea. Also, you never ever have enough defensive linemen. Depth is as important here as any area. In the base package, Paea will be an end and Knighton the nose. In the nickel, often times Knighton will come off the field with Paea and Jason Hatcher sliding inside -- or Ricky Jean Francois or Chris Baker. It'll be quite easy to employ both Knighton and Paea this season.

Keim: It's rather slim pickings out there. Also, we don't know everyone they've brought in. I do know they expressed interest in tackles Derek Newton and Jermey Parnell. I also know they haven't expressed much interest in free-agent right tackle Joe Barksdale (not sure why; but I also know Rams coach Jeff Fisher was surprised at his former player's asking price. Word is, he'll probably end up back in St. Louis). I also know the Redskins like what the draft offers along the line so that appears to be the way they want to go. If they don't find someone in the draft, then they can turn to some of the veteran linemen still available and hope that players such as Morgan Moses are further along in their development and could possibly be the answer. Nobody they add now would be a sure fire starter unless they draft someone in the first round (assuming they trade down).

Keim: If they trade back it's not as much that they're targeting a particular player, it's that there's no player they love above others. It could be as much that they like several players and know that one of them will be around at that spot. That, plus the ability to acquire more picks, makes trading down palatable. Sometimes they will trade back because they like a guy who they shouldn't take in a certain range (Patrick Ramsey was such a player). Usually you target a certain player if you move up in the draft.

Keim: Right tackle. They need a good pass-protector at this spot and haven't had one in a while. Yes, everyone will point to right guard as well. But they need to get the edges cleaned up, too. This is also my little lecture to remind you that pass protection encompasses more than just the line -- the backs and tight ends must do better and the quarterbacks have to be more decisive. When you give up a lot of sacks, it's often a case of many not doing their jobs, not just the front five. But along the line I'd want to improve at right tackle. Tom Compton is a fine backup and I don't know that Morgan Moses is ready. I'd like to see more competition at this spot (or at any line spot for that matter).